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Day: September 4, 2022

Mount Rainier July 12-July -15, 2022

Mount Rainier July 12-July -15, 2022

Mount Rainier turned out to be one of the most memorable and jaw dropping places we visited, even among the National Parks, which are always outstanding. First there was the White River campground. We were coming in on a Tuesday mid-morning, so the first come, first serve National Park Campground wasn’t overly intimidating. In-fact we found several good contenders…but then-struck gold! We actually found a large campsite that backed up to just massive Douglas Firs with a whitewater stream running by, offering the best night’s sleep sounds and “evening campfire with glass of wine sounds” anyone could ask for.

We set off on a breathtaking hike right out of the campground up toward a basecamp for mountain climbers. We didn’t quite make it all the way, because the snow (yes, you read that right) the snow was too thick and icy to cross safely in our tennis shoes. We settled back at camp and had our usual gourmet fireside dinner. No one can accuse us of roughing it!

The next day we drove up to the Sunrise visitors center in some more rugged hiking boots. We still didn’t have ice traction or poles, but we figured we would try to go as far as we could safely. Wow! What an incredible day. There were definitively some sketchy moments of walking along narrow snow and ice filled passages next to a looong slide or drop down. But we had packed a lunch and were out for adventure. At one point, I took a rest while Adrian jogged to the next knob about ½ mile ahead and very much up. This set of balds looked out directly over the majestic Mt. Rainier and had views for miles. All at once there was a vibration and low rumbling sound that grew louder. A large cornice of ice broke off of a ridge near the peak of the mountain and came tumbling down. It was an avalanche! Adrian captured it on video. In his initial adrenaline rush he confused this very active volcano with its sister and can be heard describing an event on Mount Saint Helens. He says he really thought it was a volcanic eruption at first! After he recovered from the excitement, he joined me for lunch. It was the talk of all of the hikers passing through and just an awesome display of nature we felt very lucky to see and see safely.

Our time in Mount Rainier National Park was too short. But, we were off to Yellowstone with ear to ear grins.