Visitors to Paradise Valley on the Fourth of July spent the day wrapped in overcoats, (when not wrapped about a stove), throughout the fog-long day. Visitors of July Fifth enjoyed, lightly clad, "The kind and famous sunshine". Nevertheless, Uncle Sam's weather observer, who climbs the tower near Paradise Camp and looks wisely at the thermometers every afternoons, states that the maximum temperature on the Glorious Fourth was two degrees higher than on the Fifth, fifty-seven and fifty-five being the figures. This phenomenon finds at least a partial explanation in the fact that the thermometers are shaded from the sun in a latticed shelter and record the temperature of the air, while it is the sun's direct heat that warms us, and the absence thereof that sends us shivering to the warmth of Paradise Inn.
By. S. B. Jones-Ranger-Nat.
Just before reaching Panorama Point on the Skyline Trail one passes close to an island of rock peeping through the snow. This rock island is singularly devoid of flowers; a few sedges, some heather, little more. It bears, however, some of the finest glacial striae or scratches one could hope to see. These glacial markings are long grooves, like the path to Heaven, straight and narrow. They are a fraction of an inch in depth. There are scores of them, all parallel, down the surface of the rock. Such scratches are perfect proof that the glaciers of Mount Rainier must have at one time covered it. Small boulders carried by the moving ice of the glacier gouged out the shallow grooves. Doubtless similar boulders are gouging similar grooves on the bed of the present Nisqually Glacier.
Glacial striae are found not only on Mount Rainier, and not only in mountains, but in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, and New England. They are also found in England and Scandinavia. Their existence is one of the proofs that northern North America and Europe were once completely covered with enormous glaciers, like the great ice sheet that covers Greenland today.
By. S. B. Jones--Ranger Nat.
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