Mount Rainier Shows Off in Grand Fashion

Some days I feel more blessed than others, living here in the Pacific Northwest … like yesterday. It was a very nice morning when I woke up, and I pondered where I should go  that pleasant day, it being Saturday. I thought about visiting Mount Rainier National Park, which is only 50 miles away from me. I took notice of the sky conditions and weather forecast and noticed certain high clouds toward that direction. Winds were calm. I had a hunch that there just might be some interesting cloud formations around the summit of the mountain, and so I took a short drive around the corner to get a clear view of the mountain. Sure enough! There were some cap cloud formations gathered around the summit. With camera in hand, I headed towards the park. I decided drive around the northeastern side of the park to get some shots from that side of the mountain. I intuitively knew that I would not be disappointed.  There is a spot to pull over on the highway on the way to the Sunrise park entrance that offers a magnificent view of the mountain. The special cloud formation was just getting started. Here is what I saw.

017Notice that thin layer of clouds just above the main cloud formation. That is part of the lenticular cloud formation that is beginning to transpire. I continued along my drive and entered the park through the Stevens Canyon entrance via Cayuse Pass. I was excited, knowing that I was going to get some good shots that day. Little did I know that I was going to hit the jackpot. Never, in all my trips to the park, have I seen such a magnificent cap cloud display over the summit of the mountain.

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I stood in awe of this great spectacle and clicked away on my camera as the lenticular cloud formation was in constant transformation before my eyes. I must have stayed in that same spot for at least 20 minutes, watching layer after layer of compressed clouds building on top of one another, and, of course, me clicking away shots of this fantastic phenomena. I got back into my car and drove along Stevens Canyon and pulled over at another spot to capture yet another angle of the continuing cloud transformation. I was totally awe-stricken at what I was looking at. Just look at this image! It looks as if a spaceship had landed on the summit!

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050One can see in the image above how the cap cloud had built in layers and in height. “Today was indeed my lucky day,” I thought to myself. I continued my drive to the Reflection Lakes area and took this image, below.

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Closer to the Paradise area, the cap cloud formation had started to dissipate, with the heat of the day now being upon us. On my drive back home along Mountain Highway, I noticed that the cloud formation was completely gone. I felt blessed, being in the right spot at the right time that day. I will never forget those images.

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I am retired and enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store, http://www.zazzle.com/northwestphotos.
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10 Responses to Mount Rainier Shows Off in Grand Fashion

  1. LaNae says:

    She was such a beautifully frosted cupcake yesterday!

  2. Magnificent captures of the great mountain!

  3. Spectacular… amazing cloud formation pics! You certainly had a great day for photography, Peggy. 🙂

  4. Gunta says:

    Oh lucky, lucky you. Not to discount your wisdom in taking advantage of the signs that pointed to this spectacular sight. Beautiful shots of this lovely sight! I’ve had this sort of event on my wishlist for such a long time. I share your excitement at catching it!

    • Thank you, Gunta! I’m so glad I went there yesterday. A photographer has to follow gut instincts. I’m not feeling as lucky as I am feeling blessed and grateful for being given this opportunity to witness one of the Creator’s great works in progress.

  5. Spectacular! And you were able to take the shot at the perfect time! I have been to the Grandfather numerous times and someday maybe I will be able to see this in real time.

Thank you!

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