It’s Trivia Tuesday, folks! So are you looking at UFOs in the images above? Nah. But, if you ever visit Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, you might see a lens-shaped cloud hovering over “The Mountain” or the Tatoosh Range. These are called lenticular clouds and they usually form when there’s a moist airflow over a mountain (although sometimes they form where there is no mountain). They look calm and stable, however they are anything but stable. Pilots like to avoid them as they make for one heck of a turbulent ride. “Lennies” also make for great photo ops, don’t you think?
It was indeed splendid isolation that day. I stood on the Rim Trail between Inspiration and Sunset Points, all by myself, feeling the breeze in my face and enjoying the vast view. It was the monsoon season and the “thunderbumpers” were moving swiftly toward my area. I knew I needed to hightail it back to the lodge, like all the other sensible people were doing, but I kept having to stop to capture a photo of the scene. I did finally make it back to the Sunset View Point just as the rain began to pummel people still out there. I jogged over to one of the cabins to stand underneath the roof of the cabin’s patio as the rain, thunder and lightning continued. Of course, I was soaking wet already, but at least I was out of the elements. It’s never a good idea to be standing in a thunderstorm because of the lightning strikes, which occur with regularity in the high, exposed altitudes.
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