Mt. Rainier Part III 

I just can’t get enough of this! The mountain was shrouded in mist this morning creating a different kind of enchantment. Lake and I went back up to the Skyline Trail via the Golden Gate Trail this time. We were just going to head up to Myrtle Falls after breakfast, 

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but the mountains beckoned and we just kept going. The vaccinium huckleberry leaves painting a brilliant red mountainside. 

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We saw two black bears! A mama and her cub. My favorite! They entirely made my day. And waterfall after waterfall after waterfall!

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For this jaunty excursion I had my running shoes on and no backpack or water. Shhh… but like I said, we were just going up to the falls that are a third of a mile away. To get a breath of fresh air. We went quick and light, stopping often for photograph opportunities, and to take in full enjoyment with all of our senses. The feeling of the Freedom of the Hills was with me strongly. Lake loved it too!

Happy Hiker!

Mt. Rainier Part II

Our first full day up in Paradise we hiked the entire High Skyline Trail… up to the snow! It’s an ambitious five and a half mile loop with an impressive 1700′ elevation gain. The panoramic views! So much mountain today! And such blue sky… to compliment an intensely bright sun! We really gave ourselves over to it and went all in.  

Ach! I’m melting!
Panorama Point: Southbound views for miles!

Mt. Rainier, classic and iconic: our high point for this year!
Hiking back down
One final rest stop!

Mt. Rainier Part I

Arriving in Paradise, gateway to The Mountain

We just came back from our now annual trek to Mt. Rainier. We can confirm for you that it is beautiful and relaxing and completely out of all connectivity range. Pay phone only. It was nice to be unplugged for a bit. 

While National Park Service is celebrating its 100 year anniversary, we are celebrating our one year anniversary. Since you have to start somewhere, it’s just as well to start where you are! 

We had been to Paradise Inn around the tail end of September last year and the enthralling memories stayed with us vividly throughout the entire year. It’s magical because the Inn is preparing to close for the season, and many of the summertime visitors have returned home. It gets quiet. Meanwhile the mountain is fully engaged in this incredible show of autumnal magnificence. 

We decided to go back this autumn and continue the tradition. It’s actually a tradition started by the Ayres Grandparents; Michael has fond memories of staying in Cougar Rock Campground with his parents and sister and spending time reading and playing in the great room of Paradise Inn where their grandparents had taken their lodgings. 

We skipped the campground step and went straight for the charming rooms. Last year we had twin beds, with the shared bathroom down the hall. It’s something special! This year we stuck with the shared bathroom down the hall, (it gives it an authentic climbers’ bunkhouse feel) but we opted for a double bed. We also brought the Instant Pot for hot meals cooked in the room and eaten downstairs and Lake brought his own auxiliary sleeping unit. 

Check, Check, Check… Will he still fit for one final basket-based excursion?

We had a great time using the Inn as our base camp, with Lake along for the holiday!

The breathtakingly vaulted ceiling of the great room at Paradise Inn.

We ensured there was ample time to enjoy relaxing and reading by the fire.

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