This morning we all woke up really early, hopped in the vans, and headed towards the visitor center in Paradise on Mt. Rainier. After a half hour we stopped at trail called the Grove of the Patriarchs. It was very low impact but extremely scenic hike. The trees were huge and very old. It took 19 scouts to wrap around the largest one.
After the short hike we continued our drive up the mountain. The road was very thin, steep, and windy. At times I was very nervous the van would tip on a curve and fall down the cliff. Once we made it up we went into the visitor’s center for a video and some lunch. Melissa then lead us to the lodge and gave us our hiking options. I chose to hike the full skyline trail – a 4 hour hike. Kevin, who was slightly less enthused, chose the shorter hike to the glacier vista.
I had no problem hiking up. My little brother’s friend Brian managed to keep up with me while the others fell behind. Towards the top was a panoramic viewpoint. Pinnacle Peak, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood all were visible. I watched the rest of our group hike up the trail to catch up with us. That’s when we realized Pat W. and James L had mistakenly taken the wrong trail and we had to go look for them. I spotted them far down the mountainside so we continued on our way down.
We hiked through patches of snow, rocks, fields, and large waterfalls. Once we made it back down everybody got an ice cream cone from the lodge and then waited in a hour long line to use one of the only two showers in the park.
Meanwhile, a thick cloud came up the mountainside. We slowly drove back down to the campsite for dinner. That night we had a very well run campfire. During which we presented our two tour leaders with Troop 3 t-shirts. Then it was time to sleep.