Mt. Rainer

August 19-21, 1988

Five Obsidians left S.E.H.S. parting lot Friday mid-morning and boogied up the road to Mt. Rainier National Park. Although this is a long drive for a weekend, we feel the rewarding scenes of this hike are well worth it (I think our fellow campers agreed!). We had to camp in the back country Friday night due to the fact that Summerland was full. (A big problem for those traveling far because there is no reservation system by phone or letter.) We must have camped in a popular deer area because it sounded like a stampede all night long, and I know that none of our group snorts like that...!

Saturday morning, Bob Foster, our alarm clock, whistled us out of bed. We finished hiking into Summerland and had a leisurely breakfast. After setting up camp, we began our six mile hike to Indian Bar. These camp sites are part of the Wonderland Trail which circles Mt. Rainier. Rich and I have done three-fourths of this trail and highly recommend it to everyone. Anyhow, amid swirling clouds and sunshine we trooped on. Panhandle Gap was partly fogged in which only added to the thrill of it all. Just patches of snow on this trip — though some years at this tine there is a great need for an ice ax. The weather cleared as we descended to the but at Indian Bar and Mt. Rainier raised its beautiful head. Bob pointed out a rare flower called “Elephant’s Head” which upon a closer look had tiny little bloom which looked like, you guessed it, elephants’ heads — trunk, tusks, and all. Imagine pink elephants! We then ate, slept, explored and generally whiled away for a few hours. We saw many herds of mountain goats on this trip. They are quite common in this area — especially around Goat Mountain (naturally). We got back to camp around 6:30 and quickly made dinner as it vas getting quite cold.

Sunday morning we slept late. After breakfast we watched through our binoculars many tease of climbers near the summit of Mt. Rainier. Most of them were descending and looked like tiny black ants on a white background. Down the trail we went and on back home. Thanks from leaders Jan and Rich Anselmo to great company … Bob Foster, Audrey Cummings and Kathy Perkins.

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