Mount Rainier National Park, WA (Reworked for Adventure Pickle 08.12.21/ Original Entry 08.13.18)— With each step, my calves ache and my lungs feel as though they will burst. Inhaling deeply, but there is not enough air to suffice. My heart is racing, and at times I feel like quitting. I am dizzy and angry from the climb. And, I feel alive. But this isn't about me, it's about her- the mountain.
A little over 50 miles from Seattle, Rainier is an active stratovolcano located in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest. Standing 14,411 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is home to around 26 glaciers (more than Glacier National Park). Emmons Glacier, seen in the picture above, has the largest surface area of any glacier in the contiguous United States at a whopping 4.3 square miles.
First Burroughs Summit
At the summit of First Burroughs, I cry at the sight of Mt. Rainier in all her glory. I am smitten by her glaciers and captivated in her story. I skim her from East to West, and tears begin to stream down my cheeks. With my daughter on my back, we take in the beauty of the vast object in front of us, a million times our size at least. I can't catch my breath but not so much from the climb anymore. It was her, the mountain. Standing tall and confidently ahead of us, she stole my breath and I gave her my heart.
Marmots and mountain goats appear from shadows in the distance. Mount Rainier is not for the faint of heart. She dominates the surrounding forest in the national park and will leave a mark on your existence.
Van Life Diaries
There are nights I don’t know where we will sleep and days I wonder why we are even out here on the open road— looking, searching, living. Then one day, I wake up to coffee and chats with my daughter in the parking lot of Mount Rainier National Park and even if just for a day, it all makes sense.
Traveler. Writer. Mom.