Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mount Rainier

The mountains beckoned again so we had to make a trip to the mountain that is faintly visible in the Seattle skyline and often hidden in the mist and clouds. It is as mysterious as Mount Fiji with its base seldom visible. It took us all day to drive around Mount Rainier but the trip was well worth it. Rolling mountain meadows were covered with purple and white wildflowers. This view from Sunrise Ridge is looking down on the Lodge and parking lot where the tourists gather. A short hike up the hillside and I was serenely alone. The air was cool and the sun warm. It was fantastic to sit still and sketch the scenery. I did get a bit of a high altitude sun burn right through the sunscreen I had lathered on. The valleys leading up to the mountain are filled with horse ranches and farms which have the most astonishing views with the mountain filling the horizon behind the barns.
When the mountain was directly in front of the car as we drove towards it, it would seem to fall away while the trees roared towards the foreground. This gave an unnerving effect of vertigo. Rivers and waterfalls rushed water away from the mountain in every direction. One deep gorge called Box Canyon had a steep vertical drop of sheer cliffs of rock which had been eroded over time by the water.
On the drive back to Seattle we went through the town I once lived in after I had taken a bicycle trip across the country. Tacoma is sort of the armpit of Seattle. It is very rural with pickups, gun and pawn shops and rampant poverty. Terry and I considered getting a pizza for dinner and the sign on the door proudly boasted that food stamps were accepted. Teenagers hung out in the strip mall parking lot drinking beer and waiting for night fall. I felt as out of place today as I did when I found myself trying to carve out a living here years ago. I only stayed in Tacoma for about a year and then I rushed back to NYC. I was glad when the drive through memory lane had ended and I was back in scenic Seattle.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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