Catching the sunset. (Mt. Rainier)

Delayed, are we too late? Our steep ascent relieved by gradual hairpin curves, we barely feel the climb deceived until the distant mountain grimly looms, seems close enough to touch though undreamed miles away. We come in time to scurry from car to shelter, numb, to watch late skiers zoom in final flourish back to Sunrise Lodge, to view November skies turn orange.

A frosty sun falls quick below surrounding crests, until a warm pink light turns all the snow into candy cotton froth, until Rainier becomes a kindly silhouette, the giant to shield us home.

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