Northwest Trek and Paradise

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This past weekend I went “camping” with my parents at Alder Lake, near Mt. Rainer.  I say “camping” because we really didn’t do too much of that, our time was mostly spent being tourists.  We visited Northwest Trek, which was absolutely amazing.  The weather (cloudy and cool) was perfect for both seeing the animals and photographing them.  And see animals we did! The main part of NW Trek is an hour long tram ride through open habitat where all the herbavores roam freely.  There were moose, big horn sheep, mountain goats, caribou, elk, black tail deer, bison and one lone white tail deer.  The animals weren’t doing anything too spectacular, just laying around and resting.  But it’s amazing to see them so close!  Did you know that a male bison’s head can weigh around 300-400 pounds?  Just it’s head!! So incredible.  The rest of NW Trek is well worth seeing. The exhibits of smaller animals and carnivores are very well done. They feel intimate and draw the viewer in, yet I didn’t get the feeling that the animals were too confined. The best part: they had a porcupette! Just the name is wonderful, and the baby porcupine was perfect.  It was small and adorable and moved like an old man. All in all, the visit was well worth it and I’d love to go back whenever I can.

The other place we visited was Paradise up on Mt. Rainer.  It was hot and sunny and swarming with tourists from all over the world. But the wildflowers were gorgeous.  I couldn’t believe how pink the paintbrush was up there.  Hot hot pink! And there were flurries of avalanch lilies all over the place.  Mix the two together and throw in a mountain and you have breathtaking.

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