Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day 5: To the top and back again

Bright and early, as usual, we headed back up to from our campsite up to the Paradise Inn. Like we had feared, it was still foggy on the fact probably even foggier than the evening before. The trail we had decided to head up on was called the "Skyline Trail" and my honest belief was that it would be very similar to our hike the day before, only longer. Kind of like a long walk through a garden. And since I hadn't seen much of the mountain because of the fog, it was all I knew.

On the first part of the trail, it was just as I had expected. Abundant wildflowers, deer, and no view of the mountain whatsoever. But we continued on. about an hr and a half or two hours into the hike, we came upon a man who was taking a break. I bid him a good day, and he mentioned that only 10 minutes before, he had seen the mountain.

This sparked renewed energy and enthusiasm in both Dearing and I. With a pep in our step, we continued on before Dearing stopped me, pointing to the sky, and said "is that it???"

Sure enough, a VAGUE...and I stress VAGUE, outline of what possibly could be a peak appeared in the sky. I knew that it had to be. At least now we could say that we'd seen Rainier.

The rest of the hike was AMAZING. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

This is how the hike started out

A rainbow visible

This is actually a lot more of Rainier than we saw when we saw it for the first time. And thats the same rainbow on the left

Ray of light

Rainier in all its glory. Crazy that it was still about 5,000ft up to the summit

Even cooler ray of light

Mt Adams in the distance

Vews of the Cascade Range

Group Photo

I know, it looks like we're 10 mins from the summit...

On the way up, we saw 3 groups of climbers coming up and some coming down. Rainier is no cake walk to climb. It's a necessity to have ropes, ice picks, and crampons (spikes to strap on your boots). I told Dearing that I was lucky that she was there, otherwise I may have tried to summit and killed myself. Heres a couple more pics from on the way down.

I honestly can't remember what animal that is poking its head up....

Successfully off the mountain, we stopped for lunch then packed up and left the wilderness. Next stop: Seaside, OR. We joked about going from 9,000 feet to sea level in one day.

Our journey took us along a scenic byway along the northern rim of Oregon into the town of Astoria, OR. Whats famous about this town is that it is where they filmed The Goonies. You could look at the homes and just picture Chunk doing the Truffle Shuffle outside one of them.

But we were tired of being in the car at this point, so we only passed through.

Finally arriving in Seaside, we found our way to the hostile that we had planned on staying at. Upon checking in, the guy, who came off as a huge jerk but later redeemed himself by giving a great tour and great ideas of things to do, mentioned a place called Cannon Beach that was only 15 mins down the road. It was, in his words, "Magical."

We headed down there that night for fear it would be too foggy the next morning, and I think magical is the only way to describe it. I left Dearing to have some alone time, and I ran along to get the best pics I could. In these pictures you may notice the rocks as the same ones from Goonies, specifically in the first car chase scene.

The hostile manager guy had informed us that in the evenings people regularly set up bonfires on the beach and have smores, and he recommended that we join one. Well, upon rejecting that idea, we strolled along the main drag in Cannon Beach, stopped at the grocer for some essentials (including a cider ale that was fabulous), we headed back to the hostile. We took our first showers in 48 hours, and ate dinner. I found some leftover hot dogs in the fridge and grilled them up with some baked beans on top. We chatted with the old fishermen who were in town from Seattle, then joined a bonfire in the back with a Portland man and sipped on our cider ale as we watched him try to control his bratty kids.

Growing weary, we headed back to our bunks and crashed for the evening.

Next up: Cruising the 101, random cheese factory, and Brock and Natasha!



Brown Sugar said...

dang jeremy...what do you want me to do?.....if i had stuff like this to write about, it would definately be on my blog. but if i must write something to keep my link on your blog, i will think of something. those pictures are really good, but it hurts me to read about this stuff cause i have been detached from nature way too long.

Brown Sugar said...

by the way, i made your little title bar graphic, which i believe to be a main reason for your blogs success. give me some slack . it sets the mood.

The Juice said...

adam i always give you credit for that. my dad asked about it the other day and i told him you did it, and i think he may need you to do something for him sometime...

jch said...

Meanwhile, I'm stuck in Brooklyn...sigh.

So how far were you from the summit (time and/or distance) in the picture with the caption, "I know, it looks like we're 10 minutes from the summit"? Was that as far as you could go without more equipment?

The Juice said...

up where we were there were signs that warned about whiteouts and ...death. we could have gone the 2 more miles up to high camp, but we got a good view where we were so we decided to turn around and head back. we could see the clouds creeping up and it was making us nervous.

laura g said...

i was thinking that EXACT thing - that it was good Dearing was along, else you would have tried to summit and killed yourself. i mean, SOMEONE has to be the voice of reason. awesome pictures, jeremiah. i may need one of those...

Sarasmatic said...

I love the picture of the big brown hump-rock on Cannon Beach. Looks like it should be a puzzle picture, or on a calendar...

Looks beautiful there. I have a good friend living in Seaside right now. Can't wait to get up there now and visit the area!