back to rainier

yesterday i thought that i’d lost a memory card from my camera. today i found it in the car and felt absent-minded instead of really annoyed. and then very glad that i get to share these photos with you.

we went on one final camping trip of the summer last weekend (which makes it sound like we’ve been on many; this was our second). we camped one night in mt. rainier national park.  the original plan was to spend two nights there, but we’ve had so many nights away from home this month and, therefore, so many nights of poor sleep thanks to our darling daughter, that i put my foot down and requested just one night away/of bad sleep.  well, the sleep was bad, but the trip was great.  and the stars, when i got up to pee at 1am after telling josephine a long story about dorothy and friends going camping (tin man sleeps in a sleeping bag made of tin foil) so that she would go back to sleep…the stars made the sleeplessness worth it. they were brilliant.

camp toilet:

camp library:

camp art room:

campground sunset view:

the main reason we went back to rainier after having been in the area less than a month before was to do one of our favorite hikes in the state.  we’ve done it twice and not since josephine’s been born.  it’s a hike along the wonderland trail; the path that circumnavigates the base of mt rainier.  and it’s a hike to a place called summerland.  how can you go wrong, really, with hiking the wonderland trail to summerland?  you can’t.

the 8.5 miles of trail felt… well, like 8.5 miles of trail feels at fairly high elevation.  the final destination, summerland, is at nearly 6,000 feet. josephine hiked for the first hour (!) and we played lots of rhyming games to distract her from the work she was doing.  once she was in the backpack, she and ned moved ahead of me on the trail for a bit. as i puffed my way along, i thought about cheryl strayed, the woman who wrote wild.  she hiked the pacific crest trail, starting out with a pack that was so heavy she literally couldn’t lift it.  it gave me perspective.   i was gratified when ned, too, was gasping for breath after the final set of switchbacks. granted, he was carrying josephine and i was carrying a water bottle and some pita bread (in a pack josephine could have lifted). but still.  the dust and sweat and slightly swimmy altitude-head is worth it when you get to the meadow. a pristine stream runs through the meadow, its banks lined with wildflowers. the sky was bright and open and there was that mountain, towering over it all, looking so close and so climbable.


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