On 9 April 2001, Kelly Wood and I drove to Mount
Rainier National Park in the state of Washington and hiked up the Carbon
River valley to the toe of the Carbon Glacier. While hiking through
the lush forest, we were constantly pelted by meltwater falling from the
trees. As we neared the glacier, we had to cross the Carbon River
on a rickety suspension bridge. The old wooden planks were showing
much wear and tear, and we held our breaths as we gingerly stepped on the
planks for fear that they might collapse at any moment. Several missing
planks justified our concern. Safely across the river, we climbed steadily
up to the terminal moraine where we stopped for lunch and enjoyed the view
of the glacier. A crow stopped by to check out what we were eating,
but we were finally convinced to leave when a few rocks, probably loosened
by melting snow, came whizzing down from the cliffs above us.
Kelly crosses the rickety suspension
bridge over the Carbon River.
Kelly watches for rockfall from the
cliffs above while eating lunch at the toe of the Carbon Glacier.