This day rekindled so many childhood memories for me. Growing up in the UK, most of the time the weather was pretty meh, there were a few weeks a year where it was absolutely glorious. Good weather in May in Sussex was (and I maintain probably still is) the most wonderful time and place in the world. Cool sunshine, the grass is all glossy from its quick growth, the wildflowers are still out, the trees’ leaves are bright green from the spring and everyone is just enjoying the clean and cool air. As a family we very rarely went to theme parks, restaurants and other typical family activities. Instead we went on really long walks in the Sussex countryside (I mean really long often usually 8 miles or more and I was only two) visiting churches as my dad was a historian and had a penchant for them and thumbing through the church records and making sense of the gravestones as well as looking for birds and other wildlife (he is also a bit of an amateur natural historian too). Our lunch would be peanut butter sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper with an apple. While at the time I would have much rather have gone to Thorpe Park, I feel grateful that we did this as a family. It instilled in me a love of walking and nature. Mum and Dad… So sorry I moaned about these walks. I am glad you made me do them.
Our short exploration of Mount Rainier National Park and the walk we had reminded me of those times. We started the morning from Kent and drove up in to the national park. We made a stop in Elbe where we found the cutest looking church and quirkiest accommodation. The drive reminded me of the Weald in Sussex. We saw deer and drove past meadows full of flowers. Our aim was to get to Paradise and walk from there but the place was covered in several feet of snow. This blows my mind because in my eyes June is summer, but I guess in the mountains it’s still spring and the thaw hasn’t completely happened yet. We didn’t have the right shoes and the visibility was terrible so we had to go back down the mountain. I was a bit sad as the area was famous for its alpine meadows and I love me an alpine meadow. I’ll come back in mid-July. Instead we decided to do a walk further down the mountain after a delicious picnic lunch in a small clearing. The walk was 5 miles a hard up then along the ridge with lovely views and then hard down. Such a beautiful day and made me miss such green lush temperate countryside although I need to keep some perspective and remember that it takes rain most of the year to be so green and I don’t like that so much and probably wouldn’t if I had to live here all the time.