Catherine was good enough to let me go camping in Mt. Rainier on very little notice this weekend - which meant she had to watch the kids (thank you, Catherine!!!).
I planned a quick trip up to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground on the western slope of Mt. Rainier. It involved a lot of climbing, almost 3000 feet of vertical in two long climbs. When I got there, the improved campgrounds were already reserved, but I was able to snag some off-trail "accommodations". Basically I had to climb up to Indian Henry's, then walk another mile up to Mirror Lake, and then another mile past that to a nice little place between Copper Mountain and Pyramid Mountain.
Totally worth it!
I set up my camp a decent ways off the trail, and after the last climbing party passed on their way back down about 3 pm, I didn't see another soul in that valley. It wasn't exactly silent though, as the glaciers on Mt. Rainier were on the move. I could hear the cracking and popping of the glaciers, as well as the waterfalls streaming off the mountain.
After setting up camp, I walked the mile or so back to mirror lakes where I made my dinner and set up my camera to wait for sunset. I had a couple of hours to wait there, and saw a couple of people passing through, but basically had the place to myself. Once the sun started to set, I got to see an amazing show of colors.
I hustled back to my campsite before it was completely dark, and settled in for a very lonely, very remote night in the deep backwoods of Rainier. Sunday morning I awoke quite early and walked around my little valley looking for some nice photos. I don't know that I succeeded, but the photo below is nice enough. My campsite was in the far left, probably about a quarter mile or so just out of frame.
I hit the trail at 8 sharp, and got back to my car at about 11:45, somewhere between 8 and 9 miles, what felt like all down hill. It was good to get home, and now both kids want to go camping with me. I'll find something a bit more tame!
Have a wonderful day everybody. Cheers,