Friday, October 23, 2015
Mount Rainier Pit Stop
I still can't believe it's done. After three months on Marinero it was finally time to head home. We spent a few days cleaning her up and getting her ready for winter and enjoying favorite places and friends around Seattle.
Aaron is our mountain lover and has been wanting to go to Mount Rainier for years so we decided to make a quick stop on the way home. We bid Marinero a sorrowful good-bye and set our sights on Rainier. We had just enough time to hike (or hobble in my case) to a nice viewpoint. On the way down we stumbled upon huckleberries. We carefully picked them from the paved path. When others saw as hanging over the lines with purple-stained fingers and grins, they cautiously joined us. Clearly, this was the first time that many of these tourists had picked a berry from a bush and eaten it. Maybe we were bad examples but the berries were delicious and it was fun to see people enjoy their first ever berry-picking experience. By the time we left there was a happy, munchy crowd in our wake. As we hiked, Jason and I were shocked at how bare the mountain seemed. The snow-line was dramatically higher than on our previous visits. When I talked to a park ranger about this, he said that the glacier is currently receding at 1 meter every 10 days. The normal rate of recession in the past has been 1 meter every 1 year. Not good.
The following day we pulled into our driveway and began the process of settling back into land life. It's always amazing how easy life in a house feels after spending so much time on a boat. Resources are so easy to come by and seemingly infinite. Its strange not to have to worry about water or electricity consumption, though our good boat habits do carry over into home life. Gathering food and doing laundry are so easy and I can do them any time, though I don't burn nearly as many calories in the process. Cooking at home is never a challenge, I have four burners, a comparatively ginormous stove and so much counter space I don't even know what to do with it all. I can shower or go for a walk any time and I never get seasick, but the house never takes me to amazing places, I can't swim off the back step and it never rocks me to sleep at night. At home I'm just a normal person living a normal life. Sort of.
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