Feed on

It’s been five weeks since Labor Day weekend. Five weeks since my boy and I drove together on Highway 410, veered into Mount Rainier National Park at the White River entrance and rolled through the A-D loops at the White River Campground looking for the best spot to land our tent.

We’d be surviving one night alone–just us–before Troy and Raven joined us.

Which meant we had time to wander across log bridges and work our way over the rocks.

We could say “sure” when someone volunteered to take our picture.

And we could twist our feet ninety degrees, so the same person could take it again with the mountain behind us.

We could glance down at the glacier water–so tremendous and loud that if I shouted Silas’s name, he couldn’t hear me.

Looks like a casual day at the beach. But I bet he’s numb up to his knees.

We walked a bit. But not far.

Just far enough to find a few fungi…

And this tiny seat.

What he’s really come for is the baked potato.

And the fire.

Maybe just the fire.

This is morning hair. Probably the result of going to bed at 8:30 p.m. when the sun went down and staring at the tent ceiling until 11:30 p.m.

But look who made it!

At which time Husband asked if there wasn’t a better campsite in another loop.

Right. More on that…

Totally amazing clear days.

Back at the river. And we found ourselves a confluence.

Ice water meeting glacier water. Pick your torture.

Must find a rock to stand on. Nerves in legs crying.

What you don’t see are his wheels turning. “How can I dam this thing up?”

Rock movers.

And after three days…professional rock movers.

Our new campsite in the D loop.

Nevermind the details.

We can at least smile about the food in our laps.

Lose themselves in a book–what these two would do all day.

But. How about a hike.

We’re headed up the Glacier Basin Trail to where it tees at the Emmons Moraine Trail.

Nobody tired yet.

What we’ve noticed is that if you’re looking for a hike that offers some of the best of God’s creation–waterfalls, the mountain practically on a platter, river crossings, this is the one you want to be on.

How can you tire of this view?

This magnificence.

Water, mountain, trees. Repeat.

We’re going to follow the Emmons Moraine Trail.

Which leads us through the rocks…

Across the river…

And up the hill.

On the ridge we can see this unnamed lake (at least on the trailhead map) created by glacier melt.

View from the ridge.

And from the other direction.

Back down the gravel switch backs.

At which time Silas pushed and pulled on his tooth a bunch and then pointed to where he thought it popped out.

And Raven found it.

More beauty on the way back.

A little river dancing while we wait for Silas to catch up.

Carrying the tired bro back to the campsite.

Morning light.

The main attraction.

Making his own moss fuse.

Babysitting his fuse.

Another hike.

Outside the main entrances to Mount Rainier National Park and accessed from Highway 410 is…

The heavily trafficked Naches Peak Loop.

They say that if you walk the trail clockwise, the view of Mt. Rainier is the most spectacular.

The trail, though, is littered with people. People with dogs. People carrying kids. Old people. People out of shape. People right in front of you. Right behind you. All types.

It seems we’re all after one thing.

This view.

The blueberry jackpot is a bonus.

Seems they’re everywhere.

Which is why we seem to be standing in the same spot.

Somebody can’t pass these up.

We’re headed to that lake for a moment.

If we’ll ever get out of the blueberry bushes.

Frogs and even salamanders…

Act as if they like to be held.

And then…right around the corner is this.

Suck-in-your-breath amazing.

Nothing shabby about the blue sky or the dipping views of the mountain on the way back.

We’ve just got to remember to look up every once in a while.

It’s Sunday.

Remember the Glacier Basin Trail? We’re on it again.

We’re headed to the end this time–3.1 miles to Glacier Basin camp.

Sometimes we need a little encouragement.

Sometimes we need a lot.

They kind of look like stair steps here.

Mmm. So pretty.

Last time we crossed the river just ahead.

This time we’ll pass the Emmons Moraine Trail junction.

Further ahead, the trail is covered in water.

And this is the stream running across it.

Beginning to see the mountain again.

I love that she can smile.

Two seconds before this. Not so much.

The last 7/10 of a mile are steep.

Kind of like walking in place at times.

But we keep putting one foot ahead of the other and eventually we make it.

And if we can make it that far, we can make it a little further to check out the “toilets.”

These are the composting toilets. Two of ’em. Which means you ain’t got to do your business alone.

Quite a few folks camping. Kind of feels like we’re walking through their living room as we pass by on the trail.

This may be the end of the maintained trail, but nobody stops here.

It’s like we’re so close to the mountain that we can no longer see the mountain.

All of us. Still intact.

If we can slide down this grade, we can sit on the rocks in the riverbed.

They clearly come in all sizes.

Looking for the flattest rock to sit on and eat a cheese stick.

Making plans to hike further and touch that snow.

But trying to get across the water first.

Which was not a problem for the gazelles here.

But it’s the last picture in this sequence, as I faltered into the drink and took my phone with me.

On Monday, the smoke from the wildfires began to hide more and more of the mountain.

Remember that glacier-melt lake we could see from the ridge on the Emmons Moraine Trail?

This is it.

The water is clear. And yet we can’t see past these rocks in front of us.

And why not swim.

Because you never know when they’ll be another opportunity to take a dip in ice cubes.

Doing my hair a favor.

End of a long weekend.



One Response to “Camping at White River Campground–Mount Rainier”

  1. Jackie says:

    Wonderful Jeanne. Like reading a little book. We are all right there with all of you taking that hike all together. Whew! I’m exhausted. Great hike.

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