Mount Rainier Hike (Skyline) and Wildberry

There are threats of shutting everything down in Washington again as COVID cases go up. We are all for taking precautions but not for shutting down outdoor activities.

We left Saturday morning for Mount Rainier from Seattle last weekend.

We stopped for donuts at Legendary Donuts and cherries in Elby on the side of the road (they entice you in for a $2 basket but you’re not going to drive away without a $7 bucket, plus basket of blueberries, and regret not buying the peaches, just saying).

We got stuck in over an hour of traffic entering the park. I actually got out of the car, checked in the hotel on the side of the road, and walked back to my car with plenty of time and key in hand (I couldn’t remember what time they would close but didn’t want to risk it).

We made it a whole ten feet with us all walking at Paradise before Kaden (age 1) stopped walking in a straight line and Kaya (age 3) had a total meltdown that she wanted to be carried. We put Kaden in the backpack carrier and coaxed Kaya up (after she completed her eruption… because drum roll please, we’re at a volcano…). Thankfully we brought plenty of snacks and water for her.

We meant to find one of the easy loops but… there was no map and the line to talk to the one Ranger behind a glass was long so, we just started walking. After all, you can see the mountain so you just head straight for it, right?

Skyline Trail is aptly named. Later we found out it has a difficulty level that’s not easy… but Kaya did great! I believe we got to Glacier Vista, not getting to the actual turnaround for the loop, but we did pretty darn good in my opinion for meaning to embark on an easy trail.

The whole way we talked to Kaya about what we were seeing, which of course was more enjoyable for the adults too. We pretended we were climbing the whole mountain, and took video to send to Kaya’s cousin.

We saw lots of animals along the way, including many Marmots, two deer, a ptarmigan, and many chipmunks.

We just kept climbing up, enticed by the next ledge we couldn’t see over.

It was nice being higher, especially since then you could just leave your mask off versus flipping it back and forth over the ear as you walked past people.

For instance, when more crowded hiking consisted of high elevation with excursion heavy breathing in the heat in a mask.
Followed by relief once past people (the one ear mask look is similar to the one shoulder backpack look I grew up perhaps?).

Eventually we figured we’d gone up far enough (no that wasn’t the sound of an earthquake, just our grumbling stomachs) so we turned around and headed back down.

We did stop to smell the flowers on the way down, and play in the snow.

Kaya even had enough energy to run around playing freeze tag with me. She refused a hand most of the way up and most of the way down so she fell a few times (she was concerned about her pants until I told her we had more in the car). Pony made it too. My little mountain goat was so proud of herself as we got back to the car.

We took our rumbling tummies to eat in a restaurant for the first time since the beginning of March (now at the end of July) at Wildberry Restaurant for some overpriced but tasty food (Authentic Sherpa-Himalayan Cuisine of Tibet & Nepal for us, grilled cheese for the kids).

It took until the end of the meal to get this picture and her forced smiles looks even more forced because it took most of the meal to convince her he wasn’t a stuffed person… for a kid whose just getting used to the concept of life and death and some preserved animals etc. I can see her point.

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