Thank you to our hostess Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday.
For the next few National Park postcards, we are going to take a tour of the American West, as if you had plenty of time, money, and a good car. Today it’s Mount Rainier National Park. Its location close to Seattle and Tacoma and relatively easy access by car makes this a very busy park, along the main roads and at the visitor's centers anyway.
Giving credit where credit is due:
The back of this card says:"Works Progress Administration (WPA) circa 1939, Artist Unknown. Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA's Federal Art Project printed over two million posters in 35,000 different designs to stir the public's imagination for education, theater, health, safety, and travel. Due to their fragile nature only two thousand posters have survived. The National Park image shown here is also available in the original poster format from many National Park bookstores." Published by Ranger Doug Enterprises. http://rangerdoug.com/index.php Seattle, WA.
“At 14,410 feet [4392 m], Mount Rainier is the most prominent peak in the Cascade Range. It dominates the landscape of a large part of western Washington State. The mountain stands nearly three miles higher than the lowlands to the west and one and one-half miles higher than the adjacent mountains. It is an active volcano that last erupted approximately 150 years ago.”
When I was a bit younger, just starting in geology, Rainier was considered dormant, but the re-awakening of Mt. St. Helens changed all that. Its proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma area makes this volcano one of the most dangerous, in terms of potential harm to people and property. The US Geological Survey maintains active monitoring of this area.
Mount Rainier does not have the classic cone shape of a typical stratovolcano (think: Mt. Fuji in Japan) because it has lost an estimated 1000 feet due to volcanic explosions and landslides. The top now has two overlapping craters, and much of the mountain is covered in glaciers and snow.
This volcano is labeled active, with good reason. From the USGS page on earthquakes:
Cross section of Mt. Rainier, South to north, with earthquake foci plotted. Data from 2000- 2010. Most earthquakes are tiny and would not be felt.
Red dots represent events occurring in the past month.
Green dots represent events occurring less than a year ago, but more than a month ago.
Volcanoes show many signs of changing activity before they really erupt. If Rainier gets active, it will be in the news.