Thursday, May 1, 2014

K. H.

Since our first encounter with Mt. Rainier in the fall of 2012, my wife has nicknamed the big mountain Kuneticka Hora. I really don't know why, a hill of that name is located in Bohemia, it is about 1000 feet high and has a medieval castle on its top. But the name stuck.
On my recent trip to Seattle, which was probably going to be the last one for a while, I had a chance to enjoy nice, yet distant, views of the majestic mountain. 

Beautiful pictures of KH are likely to be found in all tourist brochures and calendars, but in reality, it is actually quite rare to see it, due to mostly cloudy weather of the region. Even when it is not raining in Seattle, KH may be difficult to see if there is haze or clouds surround the volcano that tends to create its own weather. I had only one afternoon free in Seattle and any serious physical activity was out of question due to my severe spinal blockage with resulting skeleto-muscular pain. I set out to "run" our old standard loop around Magnolia, which is about 9 miles and uses some beautiful trails of the Discovery Park.

It was a sunny, bright, clear 75 degree day and spring was in overdrive. Fresh green leaves and grass, lilacs, tulips and tons of other plans and trees blooming. This place can really be quite gorgeous under the right circumstances. I guess it is not meant for me to enjoy Seattle, even now, when I do not have to worry about my future here, my jog turned out to be a very painful experience. I ran for couple of hundreds meters until my neck, shoulder and arm hurt so much I could not stand it, then walked until I could not stand walking, repeated. 

Inside the Discovery Park, I found spots with nice views of KH I did not notice on any of my many runs here in the past. Small discoveries in familiar places. 

On Magnolia Beach, I finally turned my back to the mountain and hoped to complete the second half of the loop without peeing myself from the pain. I did, eventually (finish, not pee myself), about two and half hours after starting. 
This loop has become a symbol of slow and painful for both Marketa and me. Till next time, KH. 


  1. Nice. The first time I saw Rainier was on a flight from Juneau to Seattle to SLC. Taking off from Sea-Tac, I was just about dozing off when I glanced out the window and the mountain was *right there.* The summit was still above eye level, and the plane was flying so close that I felt like I could probably pick out climbers on the mountain if I looked hard. Incredible. That's definitely one thing to miss about Seattle, but I'm glad you're making your way back this way.

  2. Oh yes, I saw the big hill turning all pink just before sunset on one landing in Seattle. But seeing the Sunol hills change from green to amber is also a lovely sight :)