There are a few things that I know about Mt Rainier: that it is high, near me, and pretty. So when we got up at 6 am last Monday, put five random layers in the car, some Cliff bars, and water, I didn’t know what to expect.
It takes a little over two hours to get out there. These two hours are hilarious, especially pre-4th, as you are driving through a giant
trailer park Indian Reservation that is selling more fireworks than Washington DC sets off. Those little stands are everywhere. Here’s a group of them:
Then you’re in the national park, and if you’re super cool, the first thing you see is this guy:
That’s right, within minutes. Animals. Wild life. Sweeet. The best part about Mt Rainier, as far as I could tell, is there sure is a lot of it that you can drive up. We were representing the east side. The base camp of our hike, Sunrise, was about 6000 elevation. That’s getting close to halfway already. We hiked backwards from everyone else to be super cool, and made good time as far as I was concerned, never having hiked a mountain before. Sure, the cripple and elderly were lapping us on the trails, but you just do your personal best, that’s what it’s all about.
Can you see that line in the middle of this picture here? That’s where we walked.
*dusts dirt of shoulders*
Seriously though, we also got to see a marmot, and a ton of chipmunks. And an unidentified bird.
The whole animals thing thrilled me, what did not was the steep sided cliffs with narrow snowy passages. Death March. But I made it here to type about it. It was actually hilarious the adrenaline I felt accomplishing relatively little, but we did get as high as you can without a Sherpa…