On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted with a force exceeding 27,000 bombs. The excitement/dread/anticipation of the predicted eruption had consumed our kid minds. Now, nearly forty years later, we are finally visiting the site of the most significant geologic event of the 20th century, and tangibly experiencing the wonders of our childhood fascination.
On our Naches Peak loop hike, we will walk through beautiful subalpine meadows dotted with evergreens and waves of autumn color. We will gaze at glacial ponds and lakes. We will get a taste of the Pacific Crest Trail. And last but certainly not least, we will take in more stunning views of “that mountain” we’ve fallen so hard for.
One mile on the Pacific Crest Trail
Mount Rainier National Park (Naches Peak Loop)
From Second Burroughs we see a trail winding down through a tundra meadow, up and over another peak. What’s this? We can get even higher and closer to Mt. Rainier?
We head down the mystery trail with these words in mind: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” — T.S. Elliot
Atop 3rd Burroughs Peak
Mount Rainier National Park
“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen.” – René Daumal
Are you really there Mount Rainier?
Always hiding, hiding behind the weather you make.
Will you show yourself today?
Rain breaks for the morning. Sailboats race in Lake Union; they look tiny next to Seattle’s sprawling skyline. The size of the city still surprises me, and on our long walk today we will cover a mere fraction of it.
A trip to Northern Washington would not be complete without visiting the San Juan Islands. The ferry ride from Anacortes to Friday Harbor makes for a reasonably priced day trip, and in this case the journey may be even better than the destination.
Arguably the prettiest coastal state park in the country, Deception Pass earned a non-negotiable spot in our itinerary, but for a purely emotional reason: This was one of my late father’s favorite places.