4:30am…the alarm clock went off to ensure we could get our final 3 miles in before Wednesday when Fitz turns 1.
The goal was to leave the house by 5am, 5:05 and we were rolling out of our neighborhood on wet pavement and under the drizzly skies from the clouds above. We cruised through Enumclaw, Carbonado, and Wilkeson in no time, before turning right up the Mowich Lake Road. Driving these 15 odd miles of forest road in a bank of fog and drizzle made for white knuckled driving conditions. We were the first car at the trail head, arriving just as daylight broke.
The trail was damp, which was a very welcome sight. Our last few forays into the wilderness have been dusty as all get out! We made great time as we ascended to Eunice Lake, arriving in just over an hour with 0.9 miles to go before reaching our final destination of the Tolmie Peak fire lookout. Cassie and I had attempted this peak years ago, 8 to be exact, just after we got married. We turned around at the lake however as a mid hike pit stop lead to a swarm of mosquitoes attacking which had us running back to civilization!
Hiking up to the top provided continuous views opening up under the morning sun, along with the occasional pile of bear scat full of berries to keep us on our toes and heads on a swivel. As we neared the top, the views exploded! We were completely above the clouds, it looked as though we were floating in an ocean, with tiny island peaks surrounding us, the biggest of all being Mountain Rainier.
On top, it was time to celebrate! The camera clicked away, celebrating our achievement and milestone. We sat on top for close to half an hour, enjoying the quiet and solitude of a peak within Mountain Rainier all to ourselves, the reward of starting early! With the near 360 degree view, we were graced with a perfect perch to glass the surrounding meadows for wildlife which capped off our trip as a black bear stumbled on to an open hillside. This would be Cassie’s first bear sighting while hiking, and also a first for Fitz (although he could have cared less).
We set out with a goal to hike 100 miles before Fitz turned 1. We achieved our goal (103 miles total), and most importantly created memories that will last with us forever. Someday he might read these blog posts and even possibly remember some small minor detail. Nobody (including us) knows what adventure is next. Maybe Fitz will be the youngest to summit Mount Rainier? Whatever it is, we will be out exploring and adventuring as often as we can to ensure Fitz grows up with the ability, will, and drive to set out on his own adventures and reach any goal he sets out to accomplish.
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