Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tolmie Peak Hike

It is raining outside today. Hard.

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, it seems like the seasons have really changed on us. We have about six months of rain to look forward to.

In anticipation of the coming winter, I (Jeff) decided to sneak out for one more little outdoors adventure with Joshua and Benjamin for the day last Saturday. I was looking for a little day hike to somewhere cool, with great views that would also be a little challenging for the boys. Something for them to remember.

I decided to take them hiking in Mt. Rainier National Park up to the old Tolmie Peak fire lookout. It is a fun hike that I have done before.

We started early in the morning and drove up the 17 miles of dirt road from Carbanado up to Lake Mowich where we caught the trailhead. The hike is about 7½ miles round trip from where we parked and gains I think somewhere around 1,000 ft. of elevation.

Little Benjamin at three years old did very well keeping up where we could but did ride my shoulders for parts where the trail got a little rough or where we were doing some pretty good climbing. Having our backpack of gear on and Benjamin on my shoulders gave me plenty of chance to huff and puff myself.

The trail was great even though it turned out to be quite cold up on the mountain. We at times were hiking in snow flurries which was a lot of fun for the boys. They tried to catch snowflakes on their tongues.

The weather never really broke for us so Mt. Rainier remained hidden in the clouds. We didn’t quite get the views that you can sometimes see on this hike...

...but there were still plenty of beutiful things (fall colors etc.) to be seen.

We rested at Eunice Lake for some water and snacks before the final climb to the lookout on top of the peak.

We only stayed on the top long enough to catch our breath and take a few pictures. If you know Ben at all (very energetic) you will know that it is a stressful time to watch over him standing on a peak surrounded by sheer cliffs.

When we got back to the van, before heading home we stopped to eat once more. There we were mobbed by Gray Jays (aka Camp Robbers) waiting for us to drop or be careless with any food. They would come right up to the boys and take crackers right out of their hands or even mouths.

The birds were actually easily the highlight of the day for Benjamin.

Within minutes of heading back out in the van, Ben was fast asleep which is always a sign of a good day.


Judy Walsh said...

That is a great hike years ago Jack took the kids up there. I opted out for the mall. Cute pictures!

Jennifer said...

That looks like a lot of guys are so adventurous and you have a very good looking family!