(See even more photos in our FaceBook album.)
Current Location: on the road…. Back in the Central Time Zone
It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.
~ John Muir
This week’s adventure finds us currently on the road, somewhere past the vast nothingness of Nebraska and Kansas. Sorry N&K, but after almost a year spent in the grand majesty of the west, you are a teeny-bit boring. Two weeks ago (Monday the 8th) we left Jackie in Bremerton and headed south to Mount Rainier National Park for a second visit. We lucked into a permit for the Wonderland Trail on our first try! After being prepared to try for at least three days we really felt blessed. So we nabbed a spot in the campground and finalized our packing for the next morning’s adventure.
- 96.4 miles hiked
- 10 days on the Wonderland Trail
- 22,786 feet of overall elevation gain (and loss)
Other than walking through a cloud and feeling the mist from that, we somehow managed to visit the mountain for 10 perfect, sunny days. Coupled with our quick permit, we really couldn’t have dreamed of a better visit.
10 days of adventure make for a bit of a story. We’ve actually broken it into two parts and put it up on Adventure-Some as blog posts for easier reading, and so that we could include more pictures.
Before leaving the park, Ashley earned her Mt. Rainier National Park Junior Ranger badge. 😀
Lessons Learned (or relearned):
- We love long-distance hiking and are eager for more (watch out John Muir Trail, we’re coming for you next year!).
- Berries (of all varieties) are a delightful treat while on the trail
- Bears are so exciting to spot while on the trail, especially when they’re safely far away in a tree
A few of our favorite moments from the trail:
- When Ashley no longer heard Matthew’s footsteps behind her, she turned to check on him, only to catch him looking up innocently from 200 feet away with a cheek bulging full of berries. He looked just like a mischevious squirrel making away with an unexpected bounty 😀
- Conversation on the 5th day:
Matthew: “I can carry the toiletries bag.”
Ashley: “That’s ok, I’ve got it.”
Matthew: “No, I’ll carry it.”
Ashley: “No really, I’ve got it.”
Ashley: “I’VE GOT IT!”
Matthew: “Fine! You stubborn old goat!” 😀
- Ashley sticks her feet in the North Puyallup River for 1 second before pulling them out and exclaiming “It’s so cold it hurts!” Matthew replies “Well, yeah, I can see where it’s ice right up there!” What a know-it-all.
- One section of trail crossed Dick Creek. It was about 10 steep feet down the bank. There was a rope conveniently tied to a tree above the trail that could be used for assistance. Ashley grabbed the rope and laboriously lowered herself down the bank, swaying dangerously side to side and almost falling over in the process. Matthew then casually walked down the bank, using a little zig-zag route and a few stones as steps. Of course, he then gave her a “you took the hard way” smirk.
We jumped from one method of travel to a drastically different one. As soon as we finished up the trail it was time to start migrating east. The RV has been eating up the miles while on the interstate. It’s a different mode of travel than we’re used to but that makes for a nice change of pace. We’ve been able to visit some new states for the first time in months. Our map is slowly filling in! (As an aside, we’ve visited more than half of the contiguous Parks- 28, and all three in Washington at least twice. Though we’re currently at less than half of the states, at only 18.)
The sooner we get back to Kentucky, the more time we have to visit with family before heading to Michigan for our next adventure and Lisa’s wedding! Time for visits with family and friends in addition to the process of moving into the car.
Matthew & Ashley
P.S. – If you’re looking for even more reading – check out the most recent post on Adventure-Some –http://adventure-some.com/personal/grocery-shopping-convenience/ – a bit of coincidental trivia, this post was pre-scheduled and went live while we were staying in a WalMart parking lot for the night. 😀