Chapter 5~ Rain on Rainier Had Me Crying Like a Baby

Episode 2– The following is a prelude to 14 Days of Wonderland video is on the very popular Summerland Trail on the Wonderland system.  You can skip to the video by clicking Episode 2 here or read and click at the bottom of this page.

Still boasting the ziplock plastic bags in her shoes, Lisa contemplates returning them to Carrie. Upon summiting to camp it is found the camp had recently been ransacked by a bear. Runtime 6:40

Day 2

If the first day had us lost day two on the Wonderland Trail of fourteen had me calling it quits because of the rain. We slogged up the trail in mud, crossed lovely Deer Creek well rested and spirits high for the start of our next day’s adventure. Strapping our trusty rain covers over our backpacks, we were set for our first full day.

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Lisa up at the crack of dawn

Washington has numerous ways of describing rain. There is drizzle, downpours, washouts, spitting rain, rain that hits puddles and rains up, icy rain, summer rain, fog, mist, overcast, and showers. Most of us do not own an umbrella and we can spot a tourist or newcomer when they pull one out. I would say we are a hardy lot when it comes to the rain and actually many of us, really love the smell a light drizzle conjures from the earth. Many times on the westside of the state we do not see the sun for weeks and one summer I counted 41 continual days of rain.

The mountains of the Pacific Northwest, can be dangerous any time of year. The rain can suck the life out of you even in August. People walk off the side of snowfields into glaciers each year, and people get hypothermic and die of the elements. I was scared I was going to be a statistic on day two.

The beautiful scenery in the fog and drizzle had me a bit euphoric at first. After years of day hiking and an occasional overnighter, I knew all the signs and had a lot of experience. Just before we set out that morning, I sprinted up the hill to my car to dispose of a celebratory empty wine bottle. I had to run the empty back up to the car before setting out so I was very warm running amok. In my skort with exposed legs, I felt pretty comfortable in just a long sleeve shirt layer and an old pair of ankle gaiters, especially when carrying a heavy pack that weighed between 32-45 pounds, it actually felt quite refreshing being underdressed.

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By the time lunchtime rolled around my body was completely drenched and I simply hightailed it to camp to change out of my wet things while the others in my party stayed at gorgeous Owyhigh (OH-Y-HIGH) Lakes for their lunch.

That’s when things took a turn, I opened my bag, everything was wet. My rain hood had leaked and the contents of my bag was soaked. I quickly grabbed my emergency blanket, a rain poncho and made the mistake of sitting.

When Carrie showed up from the other direction, my friends Shannon and Sheli were attempting to push as much hot liquid and hot tea down me as they could as I was wrapped like a burrito. I wanted to go home. I truly thought I should go home. I could not get my body temperature up. Carrie’s arrival though was like a happy trail angel that had been sent with a magic bag. She kept pulling out clothes and I kept putting them on. She rubbed my hands together, gave me her gloves, hand warmers, toe warmers and by the time I had changed, had all my wet items hanging from the trees to dry.

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Later on that evening, with ziplocks in my soaked boots, I clambered up Tamanos Mountain for a Fireball happy hour. I would like to say at the top we had a gorgeous view of Rainier but what the heck, more rain.

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gallon ziplocks are part of the 10 essentials
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Trees work as great drying racks

Tomorrow is a new day and we settled in for the night, two bugs snug in a rug.

Episode 2– 14 Days of Wonderland video is on the very popular Summerland Trail on the Wonderland system. 

Still boasting the ziplock plastic bags in her shoes, Lisa contemplates returning them to Carrie. Upon summiting to camp it is found the camp had recently been ransacked by a bear. Runtime 6:40