Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Stop in Paradise

Glacier Vista on Mt. Rainier

We woke up bright and early in Seattle yesterday, made a quick stop at the greatest store for snacks on either coast (Trader Joe's) and headed south. A few hours later, we caught our first glimpse of the peak of Mt. Rainier (pronounced ruh-NEER), and it was incredible.

We stopped into the ranger station to pick out a good hike and get our camping permit. We decided to hike the Skyline Trail, a mountainous trail heading straight up the side of Rainier. Based on the recommendation of two Rainier pros (thanks Pam and T.L.!), we drove to Paradise (literally, the name of the area where the trail starts), and got moving. The first half-mile of the trail was a grueling uphill hike - the air was thin, it was hot outside, and we were quickly worn down, but we pressed on. After a while, we started seeing snow (SNOW?!) on the sides of the path, and before we knew it, we were hiking in shorts and t-shirts through a snow-covered meadow at the foot of the mountain.

The trails just started melting out a few weeks ago, so we trudged through a lot of this.

Wearing shorts and a t-shirt and hiking through snowfields is a strange and exhilarating feeling.

Your faithful adventurer, Adam.

The beautiful Mt. Rainier, and the even more beautiful Emily.

Between the rolling snow-covered hills and the occasional wildflower meadow, it made for a breathtaking sight.

Heading down the mountain was a much easier trek than heading up. Feeling refreshed, we headed over to Box Canyon to hike up to our campsite at Nickel Creek. That refreshed feeling was quickly replaced by exhaustion when we realized the hike to Nickel Creek was almost a mile out, and almost straight up. When we made it up, we knew it was all worth it - our site was deep in the woods overlooking the creek, with no one else in sight.


The sound of the running water was relaxing enough to lull us both to sleep, and despite the fact that the weather dipped into the 40's, we slept great!

The hike down from Nickel Creek this morning was a breeze (compared to the hike up, at least), and we were on our way to Portland!

Oregon bound!

1 comment:

  1. inspire us...we definitely want to follow your footsteps...:)
    Everything you show and write about is great...!
    Keep enjoying yourselves...we dream of doing either one of your trips some day...:)
    Take care and keep posting...