Archive for November, 2007

15 Years Ago…

Friday, November 30th, 2007

I’m taking just a moment (and I really only have a moment) to wish my son Tyler a very Happy Birthday. I’ve set up a projector in our apartment and hooked up the Xbox 360 to it (talk about big screen), rented some games, bought a cake, and cleared the living room out for 6 teenage boys to take over.

Tyler

I am, of course, secretly remembering his birth so long ago, reminiscing in my head all the years since, and concluding….damn, my son is awesome.

Narada Falls to Longmire – Mt. Rainier NP

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

date hiked: August 14, 2007
distance: 4.5 miles
highest elevation: unknown
elevation loss: 2044 feet
time: 1 hour 39 minutes

Narada Falls

In November 2006, two days of steady rain in the northwest caused flooding that closed Mt. Rainier National Park for six months. Campgrounds, trails, and roads were washed away. The damage was most evident on this hike from Narada Falls to Longmire Historic District.

Narada Falls is a beautiful cascading falls just off the road in the park. It is a very popular attraction, as it is so easily accessible. Below the falls, a trail connects to the Wonderland Trail (the 93 mile trail that circles Rainier). This section of Wonderland travels downhill along the Paradise River. There are two other waterfalls along the trail, Madcap Falls and Carter Falls.

About 3 miles into the hike you enter the Nisqually River Valley. A bridge takes you across the Nisqually River. After crossing the river, you enter a forest. It was here along the Nisqually where the trail disappeared. Flood damage signs were posted and trail workers were rerouting the trail. I climbed trees, followed flags, and made my way to Longmire.

Longmire Historic District is the site where James Longmire built a Medical Springs in 1888. The Park Headquarters was established there in 1899. Currently, there is a museum, hotel, ranger station, and exhibits there.

After finishing the hike, I returned to the campground and took Tyler to the Nisqually River crossing. The picture says it all.

Nisqually River crossing

Skyline Trail – Alta Vista Summit – Mt. Rainier NP

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

date hiked: August 13, 2007
distance: 5.2 miles
highest elevation: approx. 6400 feet
elevation gain: 1400 feet
time: 2 hours

mt rainier

I’m so far behind on posting. I haven’t stopped hiking though. I’m going to try to catch up…yet again.

After returning from Alaska, I stayed home for about a week then went camping and hiking for four days in Mt. Rainier National Park. Immediately after setting up camp in Cougar Rock campground, Tyler and I headed up to the Skyline Trail. The trail is mostly paved and amazingly populated. You feel so close to the mountain from here. It has that reach-out-and-touch-it feeling. Tyler and I spent a lot of time talking about mountain climbing. Mountaineers access the summit from this trail so we would see them with all of their gear heading out or having already reached the top, heading in.

On the way back in we came across a group of hoary marmots.

Hoary Marmots