So we did a thing.
At the start of this journey, we had no idea that 3 months later we’d witness one of our country’s most beautiful features- Mount Rainier. Standing 14,411 feet above sea level, this beauty is home to around 26 glaciers (more than Glacier National Park).
An unnamed glacier-fed lake.
Utterly speechless at the mass of this rock, Collin, Olin, and I decided to go on a ranger led “Nature Hike” to learn more about Rainier’s history. A very kind ranger, Mariah, hiked us 1.5 miles to Glacier Overlook, where we could see Emmons Glacier feed into the White River. Along the way, we met some wonderful travelers. One man from the Czech Republic stated that he had dreamt of being here for 30 years and finally caught up with his dream to visit Mt. Rainier. Collin and I felt lucky to witness this and be here with him. His wife, a professor from Thailand, suggested some off-grid places to visit from her home country. Another lovely couple from Seattle shared stories with us of their personal findings while exploring around the West and Canada. It was truly a wonderful hike and a new approach at learning about the National Park.
Olin receiving her Junior Ranger badge from Ranger Mariah.
After reaching the vista and learning more glacier fun-facts from Mariah, we all parted our separate ways from the group. Collin and I decided to continue following the trail up the steep incline to First Burroughs Mountain. And boy, are we glad we did. The entire trail followed the ridge line with views of Mt. Rainier pulling you closer and closer to witness her height and bulk. Covered in glaciers, snow, and open rock face, she towered above us. We felt as small dots in the universe, ants to humans. Mt. Rainier reminded me of my size in this world. She is glorious.
We reached First Burroughs summit, after switching off Olin a few times to ease our sore backs that come with carrying a 30lb infant. We wouldn’t have it any other way, though. My calves ached, lungs felt as though they would burst and deflate. I felt at home. I felt honored to be in the presence of such astounding beauty.
The feeling I had standing up here is nearly indescribable. I turned to look at Mt. Rainier to take it all in. I skimmed her from East to West, and tears began streaming down my cheeks. It was uncontrollable and beautiful. I felt a breath of fresh air run over my entire body. Cold chills.
A Marmot & Mountain Goats
Our living room for the night.
“We could be heroes, if just for one day.”
There are nights we don’t know where we will sleep and days we wonder why we are even out here on the open road, looking, searching for a place to call home. Then we wake up and find ourselves going on an unplanned adventure in a National Forest and even for just a day, it all makes sense. Time spent on the mountain reminds me what it feels like to be alive.
Dogs & Diapers