Welcome back, friends. Sunday August 15 We stayed the night indoors 🙂 at Chelsey’s apt and headed out to Mt Ranier with her in tow the next day.
The Cougar Rock campground is a nice, big, well maintained campground. We found Our site easily and exploded the car into a functioning camp-home 🙂 a trip to the store for smore makings, firewood and beer completed the first day.
Day 2 was 6 hiking miles longer. We departed on a 3 mile section of the wonderland trail from Our campground that led to Narada Falls. The hike was full of surprise creeks, waterfalls and flowers with something new to see around every turn. It was a peaceful walk with few particularly uphill parts and not many people. I found another log across water, and another opportunity to fall into a river 🙂 what is it about the thought of walking across a log over water that excites me so much? I dunno either, but it does.
We drove up to Christine Falls and to the top of the falls We walked to earlier. It was cool to see the falls from the bottom and the top. By the end of the day, We we’re sufficiently exhausted 🙂 We had seen some beautiful sights, and had another day of hiking to look forward to the next day. Before going to bed, We made smore’s and watched the fire…it was nice. Chelsey suggested We tell ghost stories too-I guess smore’s, fires and stories are “standard” when camping? We don’t know any, and ironically she didn’t either, so that was that.
Upon awakening, I realized that my legs HATED me because of the previous days activity. The show must go on, even if unwillingly. We got to the trailhead of the skyline trail and the very beginning, the first frickin leg, is practically straight. up. I’m serious. Up. It didn’t take 3 minutes of that bullshit for me to say “y’all go on without me. I quit.”
While I was serious, Cali wasn’t havin that and I was ordered onward. For about 15-20 minutes, I was grumpier than grumpy, and after that I was too amazed by my surroundings to be upset. Totally worth the pain…like wearing really cute shoes that are too small-it feels like pretty. ❤
When We began the hike, We were surrounded by wildflowers:
marmots, lush grass and people…also the sporadic snow patch appeared the higher up We got. There are many cheater loops that spur off the skyline trail and take you back to the bottom, so the higher We got,the less people toughed it out. The higher We got, the more snow We saw as well. Portions of the trail were still covered by snow in fact. Were it not for the muddy tracks of those before Us that day, and the occasional neon orange flag- We might have been lost!
Not many that started the trail went that far, mostly only the people who were summiting Mt Ranier (elevation 14,410ft) or staying at Camp Muir (elevation 10,188ft). To get to either, you have to cross the Muir Snowfield, which is a year-round snow covered hike to the camp. We hiked to the edge of the snowfield (which is about 7,200ft in elevation) from the visitor center (which was about 2,000ft below!) It was very rewarding to get there and look around and up to the top, seeing Mt Ranier closer up than most people ever will. It was almost sad to turn down the offshoot trail back to the bottom as a few B.As went onward to the camp. We could only imagine camping in the snow at the top.
On the way down, We were able to observe people training to summit the peak. This means We came upon a group of folks on a snow covered cliff practicing falling down a mountain and saving themselves with the gear they have on them.
To say it freaked me out seeing people falling down a snow covered mountainside is an understatement. We had to watch for a while…it was pretty awesome.
We also came upon a snow hole thing where the snow melt runoff had carved a tunnel through some snow which hadn’t collpased. This showed how deep the snow is when its NOT the end of summer. Of course We had to investigate 🙂
The sights and the trail changed many times throughout the hike due to elevation and location on the mountain.
We saw a snowfied, meadows, waterfalls, and entire sections of sharp rocks all around Us. We saw a few animals and interesting people. We didn’t die, but when We got to the END of Our hike We almost wished We had. As We neared the completion of the Skyline Trail adventure, the trail, once again, turned damn near straight.up. 😦 I was over it by then. We all 3 were.
Back at camp, We attempted to drink some everclear and apricots that had been in the fridge at her place for about 2 weeks. It was gross. Very. I don’t suggest it 😦
The weather report, according to the park, expected rain on Our 3rd day/night and We were camping in a flood zone. We kept Our eyes on the sky and decided to leave when it never did lighten up for the morning sun. We packed up camp and drove to other parts of the park for some shorter hikes at higher elevations and also found a random bar that had free wifi! Lucky Us. That meant We got to SKYPE with the ever fabulous LVD Two Bit Saloon…stop by if you’re ever in the area. Its…interesting.
We went back to Seattle and showered and got dressed. If We weren’t camping, We should go somewhere, right? Yes. Coincidentally, that was also the day that my Sammy would be arriving in Washington to visit with his friend Tara until it was time for Us to kidnap him to the woods of the Cascades. I contacted Tara and informed her of where We would be that night and she agreed to bring him there so We could surprise him 🙂 funny story…when Sam and Tara drove past the club to park and go inside, Cali was outside smoking a cigarette. Sam, being the observant guy that he is, saw Cali-or THOUGHT he did. Turns out, he did. He walks up to, and therefor surprised, Cali. Sam and Cali walked in together, ruining my surprise 😦 lol it was a fun night though. 🙂
The next 2 days were spent at the Seattle house watching movies, blogging, cooking and relaxing before Our next adventure with Sam.
Stay tuned-its amost time for me to fall down the mountain in case you missed it the first time.