For many years, Rainier has been a bit of a tease, tempting me from afar with her beauty on the rare crisp cloudless days of fall and winter then hiding behind a dense veil of cloud in the summer when I make the drive down to hike on her shoulder. This summer Lady Rainier broke the spell, and for two glorious days spent camping and hiking with the most wonderful group of Alpine Trails Book Club ladies for our Weekend in Paradise I basked in the mountain’s glory.Read More
This week had some ups and downs. In the middle of the week, our kitty wound up spending a few days at the emergency vet with a bladder blockage. He's doing great now, but we had a stressful (and expensive) couple of days that almost led to me cancelling plans for a weekend camping at Mt Rainier for the Alpine Trails Book Club adventure. Thankfully Andy convinced me that a weekend away was just what I needed, and I'm so grateful he did. Instead of sulking at home, I spent a weekend in Paradise in the company of the most wonderful group of women. It's amazing to me that the combination of books and hiking seems to draw in such a diverse group of like-minded people. Over the weekend, I discovered many other passions I share with some or all of the ladies, and while discussing tea over breakfast, one woman mentioned she packs china teacups with her on hikes to up her backcountry tea drinking experience - something I'm totally going to copy! Somehow, we also managed to squeeze in three hikes over the course of our two days in the park, all of which were spectacular in their own unique way. I'll write more about the weekend soon, but it's certainly safe to say that Andy was right - the weekend was the perfect cure for several stressful days spent worrying about a sick pet!Read More
More weeks like this, please! We've had endless sunshine recently, but thankfully the temperatures have mostly stayed comfortable. Before Andy's sister and her family headed back to California, we spent a long evening on the patio of a nearby restaurant, sipping cocktails and eventually settling in around their fire pit after the sun went down. It was the perfect way to spend an evening - if only we could have more of them! I don't know about everyone else in the Seattle area, but on clear summer days, Mt. Rainier calls to me off in the distance. After so many cloudless days, I could no longer resist the call, and on a sunny Saturday morning this week, we joined the Alpine Trails Book Club for a phenomenal hike on the mountain. Seeing our neighboring volcano from a distance was nothing compared to hiking in the park itself, with clear up-close views of the glacier covered behemoth.Read More
In the past, I haven't had much luck with the weather when hiking in Mt Rainier National Park, always finding the summit of Rainier shrouded in clouds for the duration of my trip. On one particularly memorable trip, Andy and I were practically chased off the mountain by an unexpected summer lightning storm. Needless to say, when we left home to clear skies, with a cloudless view of Rainier in the distance, I was hopeful my luck had finally changed. Maybe the mountain would reveal herself for the Alpine Trails Book Club! When our group hit the trail from Sunrise at 9 AM it was under a cloudless sky, but soon drifts of cloud began to gather around the summit, partially obscuring our view of the mountain. Even with the mountain hidden by clouds, the bloom-scented alpine meadows and panorama of surrounding peaks made this spectacular hike a new favorite of mine.Read More
One of my favorite reasons to hike in late spring and early summer, other than the typically cooler temperatures, is the abundance of wildflowers. I've known for years that some of the widest variety of wildflowers in the state are found in and around Mt Rainier National Park, but I've never made it during the brief time they're in bloom.
This year, I was determined to make it. When I started seeing reports of wildflowers on Mt Rainier, I had to go. I've got a busy month, with very few free weekends, but I was able to make it for a short hike to the Tipsoo Lake - Naches Peak loop trail.Read More