“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world
To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.”
The Buddha -- Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C

Friday, February 17, 2012

3 Treasures

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
John Muir -- Our National Parks , 1901

When i saw Ken Burn's "The National Parks" i realize that the national parks are truly this country's greatest treasures. I told myself that every year i will try to go to a new national park and in the summer of 2009 i had a chance to visit not one but three in a 10 day trip :-). I went with 3 friends to Mt Rainier, Olympic in Washington, and Crater Lake in Oregon.

Mt Rainer National Park

The majesty of this moutain can not be understated. The mountain was always covered with snow and clouds kept rolling in and out covering the top throughout the day.

Mount Rainier

The weather was perfect, wild flowers were blooming everywhere and deers roaming in the meadows feasting themselves on avalanche lilies, the famous wild flower of the Northwest.

Avalanche Lily

We met with some friends from Seattle and Portland at the Sunrise area for a fantastic hike and a wonderful picnic lunch.

Some of the highlights included a visit to the beautiful Narada Fall

Narada Fall

and a chase after a marmot :-). This marmot seemed to know i was chasing it from above the hill and after running for a while it must felt tired because it came to a very charming resting pause :-)

i need a rest ...

Olympic National Park

After a few days in Mt Rainier National Park we drove to Olympic National Park at the northeast corner of Washington state where we hiked in the famous "Hall of Mosses" trail in the Hoh rain forest where the giant moss-covered bigleaf maples and Sitka spruces live. Walking among the old giant trees with the mosses dangling down i felt like these trees were ready to move around at any time. In the middle of the day there was hardly any sunlight shining through. The spectacular park was not as popular as Mt Rainier but i think it should not be missed during the visit to Washington state.

A visit to Olympic National Park should include a stop by the lovely Sol Duc falls. I actually walked to these falls twice, once in the afternoon and once in the next morning which i was able to capture the sun shining on to the water.

Sol Duc Falls

Crate Lake National Park

The third national park we stopped at was Crater Lake in Oregon during the drive back to California. I was mesmerized by the intensely bright blue of the shimmering water. Crater Lake is 1,949 feet deep making it the deepest lake in the United States,
the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world. This lake is probably the best place to visit for those with walking problem because it is located right off the road. I would love to come back to this place so i could take a boat ride.

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