How I Ended up Sporting a Set of Raccoon Eyes and Earned the Right to Call Myself a Bonafide Redneck - Camp Muir
First of all, I must admit it was anything but easy. It took an elevation gain of over 4600 feet in 4 miles, my digital camera 'going swimming' in Pebble Creek, navigating the Muir snowfield through a whiteout, aching knee joints, sore feet, an altitude sickness related headache followed by mild nausea, and a general feeling of overwhelming joy of being close to the summit of the 'noblest' mountain in the PNW. In other words, it took hiking up to Mt Rainier's Camp Muir.
The boundless beauty of the PNW keeps me amazed. I have been to Mt Rainier's Carbon River Glacier area numerous times, but only recently hiked to Summit Lake (just outside of the park's boundary).
Yesterday, we visited Lake 22, a wonderland just off the Mountain Loop Highway, only 10 miles north of Granite Falls. The twisty and often rocky trail took us through old growth mountain rainforest, with several gorgeous waterfalls in close proximity to the numerous switchbacks we had to climb up to reach the lake.
Last Sunday we decided to check out Lake Valhalla, located near the Steven's Pass area and along the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). The weather did not look all that promising when we left in the morning. It even sprinkled slightly on the way to Steven's Pass, but instead of being caught in the rain, we were hiking in sunshine a great deal of the time.