“I’ll tell you what…
When the sun beats down on Mount Rainier like it did yesterday, there ain’t a prettier place to be.
This. Is Paradise.
And minus the mosquito bites down my left arm, it feels that way too.
It’s just the two of us this time. Buzzing around in the van.
Burping peanut butter and jam sandwiches in the parking lot and strapping the back packs on for a little anniversary hike. Because…
Because TWELVE years deserves somethin’ special.
We’re headed up Pinnacle Peak Trail.
Which by mileage alone doesn’t impress.
However, my quivering legs have their own story.
The climb is steep.
But it’s worth every pant and huff it takes to get to the top.
Around a couple of corners, there’s water to cross.
And at our ankles, wildflowers sprinting to bloom.
And well, there’s this.
Which is beauty enough…but because the trail keeps going…
So do we.
About this time two gentlemen passed us. Both deep in hearing aids.
I was sucking a lung, so mostly nodded at their enthusiasm.
This was their favorite hike they said. They were beaming from the experience. “Be sure you head up Plummer’s Peak,” one said. We nodded some more. We weren’t sure what lay ahead. But we’d consider their advice. Then the same gentleman shouted, “if we can do it, you can do it.”
As we parted, the third guy in the group–maybe a grandson our age–whispered behind his hand. “He’s eighty-nine…and the other guy…eighty-six.”
Which was the kind of encouragement I needed.
If a couple of octogenarians can scramble up this thing, then so can I.
“He was 89,” I told myself.
And then it came.
The end of the trail.
Which beheld this.
Mt. Adams one way.
And Mt. Rainier the other.
It’s the kind of sandwich I want to be in.
But now for Plummer’s Peak.
Which means leaving the sign at the saddle here and following the tracks of others who have grabbed at rocks, ducked under trees, and stamped across snow to gape at Rainier from 6,370′.
There is no definite path.
Just up. However you can.
At which time I kept thinking…
He did this…and he’s 89.
Here’s our view from the top.
Which I just want to breathe in…
Here’s one last glimpse of Adams on our way back.
And here’s the snow field we rode down on our rear ends.
One of us bleating like a distressed lamb.
If ever there was God’s glory on display in Washington, it was on this sixty-eight degree day in August on the Pinnacle Peak Trail.
It’s the place I’d want to be for any anniversary.
And the place I aspire to be when I’m…