What a day, from top to bottom. Got a "late start" but it didn't really matter. Our goal was Sunrise Visitor's Center at the top (opposite end) of the park. Thankfully, the weather was clear and we appreciated the grand majesty of Rainier ALL DAY.
After brunch, we decided to check out another nearby trail to see the Emmons Moraine up close. It looked pretty tame on the map but it turned out to be a beast of a trail. Uphill most of the way and at one point, we were walking on compacted glacier flour in the one-person-at-a-time small skinny trail, with a semi-sheer drop off on one side. Plus what looked like a solid wall for purchase for the unsteady was indeed dissolving under my fingertips.
From there, we headed back to Tipsoo Lake in hopes of getting a beautiful Rainier reflection in the water, but alas the steady cooling breeze that delighted us earlier on our hike cursed us at this stop. Instead we were rewarded with beautiful views of the mountain and wildflowers and many, many bug bites.
Being later in the day than planned and this author was getting a bit worn out, we skipped the Grove of the Patriarchs (in Ohanapecosh) and headed straight back to Paradise to hike the Nisqually Vista Trail Loop, in order to see the Nisqually Glacier "up close". A fairly tame loop and a close up deer sighting plus a fascinating view of the glacier made it totally worth it!
We then headed back to Paradise Inn for a luxurious dinner of chicken parmesan (me) and ribeye steak (L). We came back to camp and enjoyed a rip-roaring campfire before retiring for the night.
You can find the rest of the 60-odd Rainier Day 2 photos here.
You can find all the photos from the trip here.
More to come soon - I had the first three days pre-written, so I'll slow down eventually.