I am writing 10 posts about my 10 favorite hikes, here is more information.
Trail: Skyline Trail
Ranking: number 1
Where: Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State
When: August 2007
Cost: I don’t remember having to pay. In fact, I feel like the park was “off season” that day. We didn’t see very many people. I don’t remember there being anyone in the office.
Who: My friends Jim and Nina, from hikes #10 and #7 and my friend Dave from hike #2.
The year was 2007. I had driven across country and stopped in Glacier National Park (you can read about the drive and Glacier here). After that, I headed west again. My friends Jim and Nina had moved to Tacoma, where Jim was stationed in the Army. My friend Dave had moved in with them, and it was great seeing everyone in one spot. Dave had taken me around Seattle, and on another day we all drove out to the ocean – which was not as nearby as one might think!
On my last day there, things were not looking really good for a hike at Rainier. My friends were sleeping in. It was (surprise!) raining then misty then raining then misty, all wrapped up in a cloud of fog. My throat was getting that raw feeling I get right before I get sick.
Jim asked me, what do you want to do today? I pouted, I wanted to go to Rainier. He said hmmmmm, want Quizno’s for lunch? As if any talk of Rainier was out of the question.
But after we all had lunch Jim said, “Karen wants to see Rainier, and I think we should all go.” Yay!! We piled into a car with our gear and off we went – in the pouring rain.
The cold, cold, cold pouring rain.
Have you ever had a day though, where everything just comes together? It stopped raining when we arrived at the trail head for Skyline trail, but we were completely fogged in. My friends hike faster than me uphill, and I couldn’t get warmed up enough to get going. We were hiking through snow fields. And dammit, the batteries in my camera were dying.
|This was part of a bench near the trail.|
So you are probably wondering why is this my number one hike?
1 I was with good friends and we were all in good moods, having good conversation – the kind that caused deep belly laughs.
2 What happened on the way down – I think mother nature was looking out for us. Suddenly, and very quickly, the fog dissipated! It turned to little wisps of fog all around us, then dissapread completely. We could see down into the valley for miles. With that, and with the fields of wild flowers with drizzly water on them, Dave and I were in photography heaven. Of course I had to take my batteries out, shake them and cross my fingers I would get more life out of them, but it worked!! I have never been in a more beautiful spot in my life. Best hike ever.
3. On the way home we stopped at a cabin shaped coffee house/restaurant. I hesitate to call it a full restaurant, because they mostly sold drinks, but there was food too. I ordered a hot carmel cider. I’m not sure what loveliness they put in there, but I was instantly cured of my sore throat.
4. And to seal the deal: