We hiked up near Mount Rainer, an active volcano in the Cascades.
Driving to Mount Rainer, we saw lots of patches of woods that had been clear-cut. Seeing the empty patches of dried gray branches and stumps that I fought the spread of in college working with the Sierra Club and MASSPIRG was powerful.
The difference with Washington, though, is that, at first, the logging industry did not manage the land very well and eventually handed the reigns over to the state. They have to replant these areas. While I would prefer they leave these areas alone because of all the animals that leave their homes, and I definitely want them to leave the 400 year old trees alone, some of the pastures and meadows that result from the new planting are pretty. There were fields of purple flowers that wouldn’t have been able to squeeze in between the thick, dark forest that the tall trees made.
It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day, a perfect lapis-blue sky, but we were so high in the mountain that snow still covered patches of the ground. Small wild flowers covered the sides of the mountain; larger flowers will come in a couple of weeks.
The snow melted into ice-cold waterfalls and lakes all over the mountain.