Word of the Day: earworm
Notable / Highlight of the Day: I hiked another mountain! I’m sure most of you aren’t surprised, but it hasn’t really occurred to me to keep track of the mountains I’ve climbed since for me it is more about exploring the parks.
I’m working on my list of things I want to come back and do at every park including the things I’ve learned about from people once I’ve left a spot. So, I hope everyone is ready to join me on an adventure or two!
I started my day by driving aross the park to the Grove of the Patriarchs to surround myself with 1000 year old trees. It’s a super-easy stroll through some incredible trees. I also brought along my tripod and took some hilarious-bored looking shots of myself. Maybe I’m developing resting bitch face?
From there I drove back through the park to hike Bald Eagle Mountain. I stopped a couple times along the way to see a few sights. I felt terrible for everyone moving east through the park that day as there was a cycling rally touring the main park road and snaggling traffic on top of all the road construction. But, I was thankful I had gotten up so early.
I parked at Longmire and headed over to the trailhead. The trailhead started at a decent incline and then never flattened out. It was a strenuous uphill, but beautiful woods and a few stunning, wildflower-filled meadows.
It was odd, on the way up I had only passed one group, so I thought I was by myself. The entire hike I couldn’t get this snippet of a song out of my head, so instead of thinking, I hummed it over and over. I saw a couple timid marmots, who scurried out of my way. When I was getting close to the top, I heard someone yell and assumed there were rock climbers near by. The last 1/2 mile was the steepest climb. I think I must have gained 1000 feet in elevation over that last bit.
As I approached the summit, I heard more noise and realised it was it was just me and 40 teenagers on the mountain. There was a camp group full of all that high school awkwardness I don’t miss. There was so much yelling and so many group shots I wanted to find a quiet spot as fast as I could. I had planned on eating lunch at the top but there was no way I could enjoy myself in that maelstrom.
And honestly, who was I to tell these kids to quiet down? If this was going to be one of their most memorable experiences with nature, or give them a passion for being outside, I didn’t want to take that away. We were the only ones on the trail. They weren’t hurting anyone and they all seemed to be having as good a time as you can at that age and there were no adults to police their behavior.
I headed back down the trail and bumped into a couple kids who were trying to get a head start. I let them know where I saw the marmots and trotted back down to civilization.
I stopped in the giftshop and found a really pretty bowl that I wanted to grab as a gift. I tiredly waited in line for 10 impatient minutes. When it was finally my turn the clerk asked for my ID, which I realized was sitting in the car. She wasn’t willing to compare it to any of the other cards in my wallet. As I had no interest in going back into that store I left without it. It turns out I was pretty tired and grumpy after all that hiking – but was so excited to come back to a bed and a shower.
I headed back to Whitakers where I had a room to myself for the night. The place just feels like a woodsy vacation. I spent some quality time in the hot tub with a few guides and an elderly couple chattig about trips and then headed off to bed.
Current Location: Mt Rainier.
Cost of Coffee: $2
Miles Traveled: 75
Miles Walked: 10-11
Dollars Spent Today: $115 – $95 on a hotel room, $5 on breakfast, $15 on dinner
Total Dollars Spent: $3,951
People Met: the fun group of tour guides at the hotel