Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Day Hike...For Me!!!

Since the 4th of July landed on a Saturday Michael got the Friday before off as a holiday. We decided to take advantage of that and the fact that we still have our National Park Pass until the end of the we headed up to Mount Rainier for a fun family hike. 

The drive in was great...we did get stopped for a bit at the gate into the park. 

The kids were all smiles and so far it had been a great trip. We did have the occasional "Are we there yet?" questions, but overall it was going well. 

We went to Mt Rainier last year just prior to Disneyland trip and it was a good test run so we would know what worked and what didn't. This year is similar since we are going on another car trip soon so it was a good reminder for us. 

For example we have to remember to bring a blanket for Owen...he gets so cold even if the air conditioner is off. 

This cute girl started out with a 'tude from the get go! 

I was a little short tempered as well...not a good set up for a great day! 

The weather was perfect...we got a great view of Mt. Adams on the way up. It's like Mt Rainier's twin.

Gorgeous peak at the mountain. Of course when I told the kids we were going to hike on the mountain they naturally assume we will be driving right up the top and they wanted to bring their snow boots! 

So gorgeous! 

The meadows were just full of wildflowers! 

Pulling into Sunrise! I was worried that it might be super busy due to the holiday weekend, but when we got there it wasn't bad at all. 

This was when the trip took a huge turn for the worse. First Michael got attached by bugs the moment he stepped out of the van, Ella had to go potty, but refused to use the glorified port o potties, Zeke was crying his head off because heaven forbid he had to walk the 100 yards to the picnic table. 

We finally sat down at the picnic table and started to enjoy our lunch. Things went well for a bit. 

The boys went off to explore and then came back after a bit...they were already hot and tired! 

Jackson said his tummy hurt, but he didn't have to go to the bathroom. That's when Owen said he wanted to go home! That's when I looked at him and said, "Do not say that to me again or I'm gonna be very angry!" That's when right on cue Zeke piped up and said, "I wanna go home!" With everything that had happened I was done. I just walked away. Now of course looking back I should have just laughed it off, but that didn't happen and I don't have a Dalorean to go back in time to fix my attitude. After walking up the trailhead to see if I could find a sign for the trail I wanted to take I came back to the table and said, "Fine...let's just go home!" Of course there were a few other choice words that were spoken, but that was the gist.

I just took off headed for the van, but made a detour to go into the center that was there. Then I found a map and was still trying to figure out where the trailhead was. I saw that Michael was stopped at the bathroom so Jack could go....that was his tummy issues afterall. Then I met them at the van. The kids jumped in the van all happy to be leaving and that's when I got even more mad...we had driven all the way for crying out loud I came to hike and that's just what I was going to do! I told them that and I told them to have fun sitting the van the whole time and then I grabbed my water, a map and took off leaving Michael with the kids. Of course there were a few more choice words spoken during that altercation as well. 

I decided to head back to the map and take the trail that started from there. It was more of a service road really. At first I was just blowing off steam....I was going fast! I was angry and I knew I need to exercise to get those happy endorphin working for me. I did make sure that I had bars on my phone since I was going off all by myself and I told myself if I had been on a trail for 5 minutes without seeing another person I would turn around. The mountain was so busy though that I was just fine! 

After following the service road a bit I came to a fork in the road and was able to get on the actual trail that led to Shadow Lake. It was a great little hike and the kids would have been able to do it no problem....although probably not as quickly as I did! 

The lake was beautiful and the bugs were buzzing everywhere. 

This picture captures why I think they call it Shadow Lake....breathtaking!

Of course while I was there I saw a mom, dad and their two boys and I started to cry. This was supposed to be a fun family day and it had been ruined! I was mad at myself and also being was a mess!

I only stayed at Shadow Lake for around 2 minutes and then headed out. I had looked at the map and seen there was another lake near by...Frozen Lake, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go that far. Once I got to the turnoff for it I decided I still needed help from happy endorphins so off I went. 

At the beginning of my hike I stopped a couple ladies and asked them if I was going the right way. They mentioned Frozen Lake and how the climb was up, but it was gorgeous.

This is the path that I had just come from...

And this is the path I needed to take. It was steep...those walking sticks would have come in handy that's for sure. 

I made it all the way to the top...huffing and puffing and I sat down for a couple minutes to take in the view. 

I actually did make it up to some snow. I knew the kids would be upset they missed this! It was a bit more of a hike to get to the actual lake, but it was worth it. 

Frozen Lake was indeed a bit frozen. I sat down again for around 2 minutes took a few pictures and then headed out. 

Panoramic Views are the best! 

I decided to take another route back to Sunrise...I hate backtracking! This hike was a much slower grade and the kids could have probably made it this way. The only part that freaked me out a bit was this huge rock wall. It was higher than me and it was holding all the other rocks up and if there was an earthquake it would have just come down on top of me. Freaky! 

Once I got closer to Sunrise I was able to look down and see the trails I had hiked in on. 

I was even able to see Shadow Lake again! 

Then as I got even closer there was a break in the mountain so I could actually see north. The sky was so clear I could actually see Mount Baker WAY out there. 

On the last little bit I got some great views of the mountain and the meadows. 

I really couldn't have asked for better weather. It was so beautiful, but at the same time it wasn't scorching hot! 

By the time Sunrise was in view my anger was gone. I was excited that I had accomplished that by myself, but sad at the same time knowing that it would have been nice spending that time together as a family. When I got back to the van the kids were just fine, Michael wasn't mad at me in the least....I know that most husbands would have probably have just left and gone home, but he is such an amazing man. I make sure to apologize to each of the kids individually and ask for their forgiveness. Their gracious forgiving attitudes astound me! Such a wonderful reminder of how God treats us. We can throw fits, say things we don't mean, storm away from Him in anger and after we've walked it off, breathed some fresh air and realized our wrongs...He's right there waiting with open arms ready to forgive again and again! 


Melody said...

Almost every trip we take to Mt. Rainier ends in tons of drama much like yours. We've stopped going. Hoping that when the kids are older it will actually be fun. Keep offering yourself grace. Summer is so hard having to be "on" all the time...I've been blowing up a lot this past week, and really I just need a big fat break!!