The Weather Doesn't Like It When You Make Plans. || Mount Rainier National Park
I didn't realize how truly I addicted I was to the outdoors until I found myself one night, buying a plane ticket for a week later, to get an extra day in the Seattle area before Colton, Clare and I shot a wedding. And I'm not just talking about the city of Seattle: I'm talking that infamous photo you see on every Washington State license plate. MOUNT RAINIER. It occurred to me; HOW have I always lived in Washington, and been to Seattle so many times, and still haven't seen this glacially carved wonder in person? After our trip to Glacier National Park this summer, I caught the mountain bug, and it isn't going away any time soon. So, with complications of work schedules and driving arrangements, I made the somewhat irrational decision to jump on a plane, and take on Rainier, even if it meant a crazy work schedule, and zero sleep.
The plane ride was nothing short of incredible. I booked my flight for sunset, and it was 100% worth it. I got to SeaTac, and the adventures began.
However, Colton and I had been checking the weather meticulously after I booked my ticket. A week out, it was showing partly cloudy. That would be fine, maybe mountain visibility wouldn't be 100%, but we'd get some nice overcast lighting and hopefully some fog. I was down for that. As the day got closer though, the weather was getting worse and worse. The day before, we were looking at 30 degrees and snow showers. ALL. DAY. Thankfully, we didn't get that unfortunate. (Although snow in September would have been rad.) But, as we left Bremerton Friday morning, things weren't looking too promising. The sun attempted to peek out of the clouds, but was quickly overtaken by fog and rain. The further up the the mountain we climbed, the worse the weather got. We reached Paradise, one of the highest points accessible by road, and it was so foggy that even seeing the road ahead was difficult.
This is not what I got on a plane for.
We felt helpless; did I really fly over, and then drive 2 hours away to get stuck in a cloud? There was no way I was leaving without at least getting some sort of satisfaction from the whole thing. So, begrudgingly, we decided to hike the Bench and Snow Lakes trail anyways. 1.2 miles in, and 1.2 miles out. Not too bad. However, we made it to Bench Lake, and were already drenched. There was no more dry surfaces to wipe my gear on and things were starting to get a little sketchy. My hands were freezing and soaked and I found no relief in wiping them on my soaked jeans. We never made it all the way to Snow Lake, and decided to admit defeat and leave. It was a hard thing to cope with.
We did find some redemption the next day, after finishing up with our wedding fairly early. We were able to book it up the mountain and return to the same trail, where we saw a cloud shrouded Rainier, and at least that was something. (We also saw some other, more thrilling things, but I guess you'll just have to watch the vlog to find out what those were!) At the end of the day, the views were still incredible, and I regret nothing. Being in the mountains with your best friends is always an adventure that is worth the trouble.
So, here's some photos from our crazy mountain weekend. And, I made a vlog! So don't forget to check that out as well, after photos!