Mt. Rainier

sits in the Cascade range in Washington State, and is a truly beautiful mountain. In September of 1996 John, an old high school friend of mine, and I hiked up into the Golden Lakes area on the western side of the mountain. John had been up there as a kid, but that was a very, very, long time ago, and things had changed. The road he remembered driving up had been closed for a few centuries or so, and had reverted to wilderness, which was just fine. We both, being as OLD as we are, felt we could use a good walk, so we put on our packs and started walking. It turned into a longer walk than we thought because of John's deteriorating memory and forgetfulness in leaving the map at home, so it took us a couple of days to cover the first 20 miles to a small campground at the Golden Lakes, but we didn't get started until mid afternoon, so it was only really a day and a half. Anyway, it was a good walk, and the views of the mountains were just great. The weather couldn't have been better - great hiking temperature, but warm, and clear and just awesome scenery. The view from there was to the west, which looked out towards Tacoma and Seattle and we could see the lights from there at night, and could also see in the far distance the peaks from the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula. We also looked down upon a bunch of small lakes, and one seemed worth looking at closely, so we hiked down there, only about 5 miles each way, and John did a little fishing and caught a little fish, of which he was extremely proud. All the time we had the peak of Mt. Rainier towering above us, trying to tell us something. That afternoon after we returned from the lake I studied the mountain and tried to divulge it's secrets. I listened to the wind, tasted the air, became one with the earth, and felt the mountain in all it's majesty and intricacy. The glaciers that loomed above us seemed close enough to touch. Well, the message was not something that needed all this meditation and introspection, it was clearly obvious. The mountain was covered in snow and ice. That should have been a good hint. It was the tail end of September, and we were having some really great days, but alas, they couldn't last, and they didn't. That night it started raining, and we saw the last clear days of the season. When we got up the next morning there was no doubt that we HAD to get off that mountain ASAP, so we started early and started walking, and had covered the entire 20 miles back to the car by a half hour after sunset. It was a good hike, a great place to see, and be, and for a couple of old broken down farts, we did okay. In fact we've talked about doing it again. I guess our mind really is the first thing to go, but I'm not sure anymore, if I ever was. It's hard to remember all that stuff.

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1995 - 2020
by Michael Dunn

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Boulder Creek

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Last updated on May 18, 2020