Monday, August 18, 2008
The Heat of a Summer Sunday
The summer is heating up. The weather here in the northwest this last five days finally felt truly warm, delightfully so, until today's chilling rain. And the candidates are heating up their confrontations.
Perhaps by the time this is posted, Barack Obama will have selected a running mate. John McCain, however, will probably wait to see who Obama picks, and then make his choice with his competitors in mind. Interestingly, Colin Powell's name seems to be floating in the politico-sphere as a possible GOP running mate, though Tim Pawlenty still seems to be in the lead, with Bobby Jindal a close second. With the steeplechase analogy, Gen. Powell would certainly be the dark horse, no pun intended. I didn't see the Saddleback Church candidate interviews because we don't have TV in our home, but the clips and analysis I heard suggested Obama's embarrassing pauses and dodges to questions concisely and knowingly answered by McCain gave the Republican candidate a decisive image boost.
Meanwhile, my husband and I took a fieldtrip to Mt. Rainier. The day was envelopingly, soothingly warm but not uncomfortable, and the verdant roadways with their pleasant curves snaked through old-growth groves of enormous cedars and firs that reminded us of our minuscule size in the grander scheme of things.
I'd bought a little portable BBQ in a box on sale, and we stopped at the kosher supermarket for supplies on our way out. After some exclaiming over the bountiful wildflowers, we set out to cook our vegetarian hamburgers and hot dogs, and discovered that we should have unboxed the BBQ, because it came with an ominous "instruction manual," aka means to use up the packets of "wingnut A, grommet B, hinge C..." all the way through thing-a-ma-bob G and H. Reminded me a bit of The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, minus the Vroom.
However, the combined brain power of my husband and I managed to put together the cooker and serve up some delicious mushroom burgers and Tofurkey Kielbasas before returning to roam the big mountain and tour, for the last time before its demise, the Henry M. Jackson Visitor's Center (above), which the friendly ranger told us is scheduled "to return to the mother ship" next spring, when its more architecturally-correct replacement is completed. We took a walk through the recently-refurbished Paradise Inn, built in 1916, with hand-carved and painted decor designed and built (according to the Inn's website) in 1919, by Hans Fraehnke, a German carpenter--including a rustic piano and a 14 foot grandfather clock.
And we also toured the National Park Inn at Longmire with its adjacent walk through forest and field with mineral rich springs gurgling up from the ground. My husband kept praising the great use of tax money for National Parks, and the wise foresight of officials to set aside this land in 1899.
What a great way to spend a summer Sunday.