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This might be my favorite misleading sign.

And you can find it at Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s where the kids and I were. We’d headed to the Mount Freemont Lookout.

The sign says that the Mt. Freemont Tr. is 1.3 miles away.

Which is correct. The trail to the lookout begins from this point in 1.3 miles. Which also means, Ya ain’t at the lookout in 1.3 miles. Ya gotta pick up your feet some more.

Which these two can handle. They just like their momma to be exact when they ask how much further until we’re there.

These are my hiking buddies today.

They sleep walked to the van at 6:30 this morning thinking they’d rather be anywhere than headed to a hike two hours away.

They may not realize it even on this trip, but things like the massive mountain in front of them and the wildflowers on the sides of the trail and the fat chipmunks on the rocks all seem more breathtaking without the back drop of hundreds of people bumping up the trail at the same time.

This is Frozen Lake. Hanging on to the last of its snow melt.

And just past the lake is the trail to the lookout.

Ah.  1.3 miles to go.

The trail starts with a squished view of Mount Rainier.

But then it climbs.

At which time our lungs point out that the mountain looks a bit more majestic from this vantage point.

Best to pause to take it all in.

And then it’s up again. And mostly through these rocky ridges where the rock is loose and clunky and sounds sometimes like broken glass.

Hardly any elevation gain to the lookout now, which isn’t quite a half mile away.

But the views behind us are ridiculous.

Here’s Mount Rainier with a little cloud hat.

A few more turns past these rocks…

And we’re at the stairs of the lookout.

Kinda pretty no matter which way you’re looking.

And if you can see ’em, those are goats.

It’s windy at the lookout. Gusts keep coming from the Rainier-side of the rock pile we’re sitting on.

But the view.

Makes you wonder if you couldn’t stay here all day.

At least until your stomach spoke up again.

The lookout is completely hidden behind and below the rock pile we were just on.

I can only imagine how many thousands of people have scrambled up here to eat their lunches.

Day made right here. The fact that he got to poke around in the snow and sneak some to sample on the way down the trail.

We get to pick our way back through the rock with an occasional glance from our feet to God’s incredible canvas.

Frozen Lake again.

From here we take the path less traveled back to Sunrise.

Almost there.

Made it.

Raven in her happy place.

And Silas in his.

Right here. In these rocks.

With all this water.

Might be mine, too.


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