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It’s the getting there that’ll rattle the teeth right out of your head. Fifteen miles of dust-eating behind a weekend’s worth of cars bouncing at ten mph on a wash-boarded gravel road gouged with pot holes. For the sake of a moment in nature. With everyone else.

It’ll seem ridiculous. Because it is ridiculous.

Until two hours into a hike with wilting children and most of a sunburn, God hands you Mount Rainier on a platter, and you wonder if you’ve ever seen anything so heart-pounding amazing.

 

It’s Mowich Lake where we begin.

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But it’s Tolmie Peak 3.2 miles away that we want to reach. With these ones.

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Now if you’re seven, and hiking is about being “first ” to wherever you’re going, you’ll likely take off down the trail.

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You might even wear a branch on your head for shade.

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But suppose you’re not seven. Nor in an unreasonable hurry.

Well then, it’s likely you’ll notice that God made a lot more than the mountain you can’t even see yet.

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Like this waterfall.

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Which must be experienced…

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By actually touching the thing. With half your clothes missing.

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You may even notice that life just got sweeter sweating on a log with your kid, hearing the roar of water pounding behind you.

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We could have ended our hike right here…

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As sometimes a waterfall  is destination enough…

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But we wrung these two out instead…

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And put our legs back onto the trail.

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Until we made it here. To Eunice Lake.

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Only it’s not so accessible in the middle of July.

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As it’s still covered in ice.

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So. We take inventory.

We’ve gone 2.2. miles. Which means that if we turn around now, we’ve still got 2.2. miles to huff back to the car.

No shame in that.

But a guy coming down from Tolmie Peak balances his iphone in our faces with a picture of Rainier on it from the top, and in this single act, convinces us that we, too, must see Rainier–like that–for ourselves. Today.

And so, we forge on. One slick tennis shoe after the other.

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Until Mount Rainier starts to open up through the trees…

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And the ice on Eunice Lake can be seen from above.

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Nobody’s in a hurry anymore.

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In fact, it’s not worth hurrying any of this…

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Especially when it’s as if God whispers, “lookey here!” with a spread of his hand.

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And we do. We look.

And then we drip the last of the snow we’ve been clutching onto the back of our neck and think, “who needs to make it to the top? This is beauty enough.”

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And it might be.

But sometimes something in you says, “Finish. Dig in. You got this.” Or maybe it’s your friend who says that.

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Which is why, even if we don’t feel like we’ve “got this,” we do, dig in, that is.

And we make it.

And we realize in finishing, that it is worth everything we gave to get there.

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Because a moment with God, our kids and Mount Rainier will be something that hovers in our memory long after we’ve scrubbed the dust from our bodies. Twice.

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Sigh.

It’s hard to leave.

Especially when you feel like you can tell God everything here.

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Your friend, too.

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But it’s time…

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For one last look around.

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Before the feet that brought us here…

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Lead us home.

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One Response to “Mowich Lake–Tolmie Peak Lookout–Mount Rainier”

  1. Carolyn Moore says:

    Jeanne, this was such a beautifully written adventure with photographic amazement. Thank you for sharing this. It made me go right to the wonder of God’s creation plus observing some of my favorite people in all the world.

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