|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.
|From the National Park Service website:
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.
|I got a better view of the lake on my
way up to the peak.
|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!
|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