WHY MOUNT RAINIER
Since moving to the west coast, the hubs and I have been constantly adding more and more places to visit to our bucket list. With so many amazing places within driving distance or just a short flight away, the list is quickly growing. Mount Rainier has been on our list for quite some time, but it’s been easy to put off for later- until recently! One of my closest friends invited us to attend her wedding in September in Issaquah, Washington, just 30 minutes outside of Seattle and within 2 hours of Mount Rainier. Sounds like fate to me!
My husband and I left bright and early on Thursday morning and landed at SeaTac by 11:00am. After acquiring a rental car and making a pit stop for lunch, we were on our way to Mount Rainier National Park. The drive to the park was beautiful. Since we live in California, it had been quite some time since either of us had seen so much green! We got our first sights of the mountain only 5 minutes from the airport. The weather was incredibly clear and our jaws literally dropped every time we turned a corner and had a peak at the snow covered summit.
Around 3:00pm we were able to check into our room at the Paradise Inn located in the Paradise region of the park. We grabbed a quick snack from the cafe and went out to explore. We took it easy with a short and easy hike close to the visitor center, and spent most of our time taking about a zillion pictures of the mountain.
We closed the night with a nice dinner in the Inn’s dining room and hit the sack early.
A RAINY DAY HIKE
I woke the next morning to the sound of pouring rain and felt a ping of disappointment. Today was the day we had planned to do the 5.5 mile Skyline Loop trail. After a bit we threw on our hiking and rain gear and headed to the cafe for breakfast and coffee. We were hoping that the rain would slow or come to a stop, but there was no end in site.
Once we saw a few other groups set out on the trails, we began our rainy adventure. For the first 20 minutes we were dry under our rain gear, but it was not long until our shoes and pants began to soak through. The wind began to pick up and the rain was pelting our faces. It was about 45 degrees outside and at one point the rain hitting my face was so painful that I thought it was actually ice. About two miles in we reached a point where we had to cross a waterfall, meanwhile the wind was nearly blowing us off the mountain. At this point, we debated for a half second whether or not to turn back… but quickly decided to push forward.
As we got further into the hike we were gradually gaining speed, we were cold and were dreaming of the warm clothes and hot tea we had waiting for us back at the inn. Though we were completely soaked through by the time we finished the hike, we agreed that it was totally worth it. I especially enjoy this picture of the two of us near the end of hike, can you tell how cold we were?!
After changing into something warm, having lunch, and some hot tea, our 24 hours at Mount Rainier came to a close. We were off to the Seattle area, where we had an amazing time celebrating my dear friend and her new hubby. I am beyond happy and feel blessed that we were able make the trip to Washington and spend this special time with friends. Life’s an adventure, grab it by the reins and make the most of all experiences, rain or shine.