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Pat Impressed by the Waterfall Happy Father's Day, Day!!
Pat Posing in Front of Waterfall

Happy Father's Day, Dad!! So this is kinda silly, but I was trying to think of things that I could do for you to celebrate Father's Day on a tight budget. I thought that I would do a difficult hike and "dedicate" it to you. People do walks for causes, so why not do a hike for my Dad?

So today (Saturday, June 18th, 2005), I went to Mount Rainier National Park and climbed the Tolmie Peak Trail to the Tolmie Peak Lookout. The hike is 6.5 miles roundtrip, the peak is at 5,939 feet, with a 1,120 feet elevation gain during the hike itself.

Trail
Eunice Lake

Eunice Lake Signpost
From the National Park Service website: "In 1833, Dr. William Tolmie sailed from London to Fort Vancouver where he awaited assignment. After seeing 'The Mountain,' [Mount Rainier] he was captivated and subsequently made a visit to collect "herbs of which to make medicine." Research now shows that Tolmie actually ascended Hessong Rock."

There is a lake called Eunice Lake visible after 2.2 miles into the hike. Many of the guidebooks say that it is a good stopping point if you don't wish to go up the most strenuous part and see the Tolmie Peak Lookout.

I still wanted to go up to the peak, but it was after noon when I got to the lake, I had been hiking for over an hour and I was very tired. So I stopped for a some lunch. The clouds were blocking the beautiful views that the books tell you about of Mount Rainier, but I found a nice rock to sit and look at the lake. Now, I had heard about how Grey Jays live in the mountains and are very people-friendly, willing even to eat out of human hands. So when I got a visit from a couple winged friends, I thought I would try my hand at feeding them. They kept coming back for more.

Grey Jay
Grey Jay

I got a better view of the lake on my way up to the peak.
Eunice Lake from Above

The lookout is actually a fire lookout. During the season of fire threats in the heat of summer, workers with the park service live here. I imagine that when the clouds are gone it must be one of the best jobs in the state!

Pat at the Lookout
Inside the Lookout

These were the best shots I could get from the lookout. Here's my makeshift sign for you with the best view I could find from the top of the Tolmie Peak. As you can see, it was cold up there and windy too. I had to work to get there. It was a four hour hike. I got blisters on both heals and I'll probably be sore for a couple days, but it was worth it. It was a beautiful experience overall. That's my Father's Day hike for you! With Love, Pat

Happy Father's Day!
Happy Father's Day!

Mountains through the Trees
Mountains behind Pat

Pat in front of Rock Wall