Friday 08.27.11: Mount Rainier National Park
This day was technically a rest day, really the only day on this tour I spent without at least a little bicycling. I spent it hiking instead which actually tired me out just as much I think. It was a beautiful day, warm but comfortable enough inside the forests. As per tradition I won’t go into too much detail (plus hikes are sort of hard to describe anyway) but will put up a few more extra pictures.
I basically did three hikes: the Silver Falls loop which I have to take to get to any of the other trails, the Grove of the Patriarchs which is a popular short hike with a parking lot and everything (including the water source I previously had to use) and then a section of the Cowlitz Divide trail.
The Grove, being an easy and popular destination was not really my kind of hiking: too crowded, too worn down and sort of park-lite. There was impressive trees here and it was quick enough so worth it, but not my favorite bit of the park.I checked out a couple trails that I could easily get too and most of them were too long. At least for their destination, obviously I could just hike up a ways on any trail. But it’s nice to have a destination so I ended up hiking a section of the Cowlitz Divide trail.
This trail had several destinations all about 2.5 miles apart. It turned out to be uphill the entire time I was on it.
I saw no people for most of the time I was on my way up until I finally ran into a couple of guys and their kids who were heading up to the Ollalie Creek Campsite for an overnighter. This turned out to be as far as I’d go, as I was feeling pretty beat by the time I reached the creek.
It was nice and cool at the creek, so I rested there, ate my lunch then headed back down. On my way down I ran into a lot more people most of whom asked me how far it was to the creek. A rather shocking number of these people were carrying nothing, not even water.
After these hikes, which totaled up to 10-11 miles I was really wiped out and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening resting and wandering around closer to the campground. A good day though with some really nice and varied hikes.