When the PNW gives you a window of good weather, you get outside as far and as fast you possibly can.
That plan carried us through a whirlwind tour of the Cascades and Mt. Rainier last month while in town for business meetings in Seattle. Dashing from trailhead to trailhead, we took in Colchuck Lake and Lake Serene, two gorgeous (almost) alpine lakes near Leavenworth. From there we toured Rainier in all it's sunny glory. From Paradise we hustled up the mountain until we had clear views all the way to Mt. Hood, a view we didn't know was possible.
Washington is beautiful any time of year, but there is something about a clear day on the trail that truly feels like a gift.