Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mountain Time

Considering how much Kevin and I both love to hike it is amazing we both don't get out there more and do it.  We decided that Saturday was going to be no more of that and we headed out for some day hiking at Mr. Rainier.  We had an 8-mile hike with moderate elevation gain planned and headed out the door for our drive to the mountain.  However, our plans took a detour when I realized that I had forgotten my hiking boots.  Clad only in sandals we decided to see what I could comfortably do without a) blistering myself too badly, b) twisting an ankle or c) beating my toes up on the rocks.

We could not have asked for nicer weather.  It was sunny and perfect temperatures up there.  The air smelled so fresh and piney.  It was absolutely perfect. 

We headed out on a three-mile loop trail and then, since the feet were doing great, decided to go a little further up to the Fremont Lookout. 
The trail behind me is the Fremont Lookout Trail.

See that little dot on the left bump?  That is the lookout.

We had a mountain goat sighting way down in the valley (yay!) and saw loads of beautiful alpine wild flowers. 

We also got eaten alive by mosquitoes.  Scratch that (ha! see what I did there?), I got eaten alive by mosquitoes.  Kevin has developed some weird mosquito immunity (he claims it was from six months hiking the Appalachian Trail) and even though they were swarming all over him he had no bites.  I had 20.  And this was before I put on the mosquito repelling shirt.  There was still loads of snow up there for this late in the season and the little blood suckers love to hang around the snowmelt line.

Kevin at the lookout, oblivious to the bugs.

When I mentioned loads of snow I wasn't kidding.  The trails were mostly clear but there were sections that had long stretches of snow.  Long stretches that went rather steeply downhill.  I was none to pleased about being in snow in my sandals and about having to navigate an icy downhill in shoes with very little tread.  Also, not being the most graceful critter I was worried about falling on my ass.  So instead we decided to do a little sitting glissade down one section.  Wet backside and frozen hands were worth not trying to walk down the slippery slope.

The hike ended up being about six miles round-trip so not that far from the original plan.  We are so lucky to have this beautiful place essentially in our backyard.  So gorgeous.  We have made plans to get out there at least once more this year for a more substantial hike.  I guarantee that I won't forget my boots next time.

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