This is the one. This hike.
Where…if you’re into beauty with every step your tennis shoe takes, and if catching glimpses of a waterfall on the switchbacks motivates you to keep climbing the rocky stairs, then getting on the trail to Comet Falls in Mount Rainier National Park is where you want to be.
On any day.
On Friday, the chance of rain here was 20%. Which when translated, was 100%.
But rain, when you’re headed to a waterfall, isn’t the deterrent that rain and cloud cover are when you’re headed to the top of a peak to see Mt. Rainier.
The destination here is just as incredible. Soaking wet. Or dry.
It’s 59 degrees as we begin. And we’ve got all sorts of clothes hanging on or off us.
Here just minutes in, is the bridge that looks down to Christine Falls. If we squint in the direction Husband is looking, we can see the people on the road below looking up at us.
Lots of hikers on this trail today. Even some who make it possible for us to all be in the same frame.
As we continue, it’s green. And rocky. And, ahem, darn good exercise.
Only after a few minutes of that, ain’t nobody wanting a sweatshirt anywhere but around his waist.
At some points, the way is a bit steeper. But the path is worn. And nobody says you have to sprint the thing.
The switchbacks and wet rocks finally bring us to this crossing.
This isn’t Comet Falls…yet.
But try to tell these two.
Or rather, this one, who clearly will not be hiking back with dry shoes.
This. Is Comet Falls.
Three hundred and twenty feet high.
It’s just 200 feet beyond the bridge we just crossed. And 1.8 miles from the trailhead.
The trail continues to Van Trump Park, which is another mile in.
We’re just headed a few more switchbacks in. Because looking at the waterfall from here is like staring at a wall calendar.
Much like this could be looking for Waldo.
Now bout this time, all the clothing comes back on. Because what isn’t making us stronger, is certainly making us wetter.
Good thing we’re smiling in this one.
Now, if the backs of our pants weren’t dripping and if our fingertips weren’t red and barely bending, we’d have stayed a little longer.
But it’s time to follow this one back.
And gasp at how this one grew older in just two hours.
Doing our job now to lighten the back pack.
And wash our shoes a second time.
Then it isn’t long before we’re hearing the traffic from below…
And we’re turning our back a final time on the trailhead sign and reminiscing already about one amazing rainy day.