|Female Skiers in Norway, 1890s *|
In 1899 President William McKinley signed a bill authorizing the creation of Mount Rainier National Park, the nation's fifth national park. The park encompasses all of Mount Rainier, a large active stratovolcano that is the highest mountain of the Cascade Range and the highest mountain in the state of Washington.
|Mount Rainer National Park **|
|Paradise Inn, about 1933 ***|
Visitors flocked to the Paradise Inn! Almost immediately bungalow tents were built to house additional guests, and three years later (1920) an annex was constructed with an additional 100 rooms (58 of which had their own private bathroom!).
|Paradise Inn reception desk, about 1933 ***|
The Paradise Inn installed a ski tow rope in 1936. So how did skiers get to the top before the tow rope? They had to walk! While anyone could do cross-country skiing, only the extremely athletic were able to walk to the top, ski down, then walk back up to the top repeatedly. After the first skier tow rope was installed in Quebec in 1933, resorts everywhere started using tow ropes and interest in downhill skiing increased.
The Paradise Inn has had it's ups and downs but continues to operate today. Downhill skiing is no longer allowed because it is damaging to the vegetation beneath the snow, but cross-country skiing is encouraged - and said to be the best way to experience the lush beauty of Mount Rainier under the new-fallen snow!
Is it possible to design socks that are as pretty as the Paradise Valley of Mount Rainier? Well, we sure tried! Check out our Paradise Meadow socks that combine the green of the valley, the blue of the sky, the white of the clouds and the purple of the blossoming wildflowers.
Happy Knitting . . . Scout
* Women skiers in Norway in the 1890s. Note that they are shown with a single pole, the most ancient method of skiing. Prehistoric petroglyphs (drawings carved into rock) show figures on skis with a single pole, not two poles as we ski today. For more on ancient skiing click here.
** Stunning photo of Mount Rainier with wildflowers in full bloom, taken by Judi Kubes and posted on the U.S. Department of the Interior's Facebook page. The photo was entered in their Share the Experience photo contest.
*** Paradise Inn photos are from a collection in the Library of Congress, most taken around 1933.