I woke up early, excited for my last day on the trail and a chance to actually see the landscape. My plan was to head up past Summerland to Indian Bar and back. About 20 miles, and then hop in my car and start the drive home.
|sunrise creeping up on me|
|Last time I had been unable to see even one sliver of this mountain, what a treat|
|The view got even better during the last few switchbacks to Sunrise|
|The view from sunrise, the trail heads up to the left|
|I kept having to turn around just to stare at Rainier|
I almost liked it all more in the mist, it felt a little more dramatic and special up there when the blue peeked through and then disappeared so quickly. But its pretty darn spectacular in full sunlight. Even saw some white dots that some hikers with binoculars assured me were mountain goats.
I may have liked the previous section a bit more in the mist but the minute I crested the ridge and saw what spread out before me I was giddy with all the sun and mountains. I simply had no clue.
|Heading down to Indian Bar, this is one of the view points that had been 100% obscured my first visit|
|I love that little shelter, it sure came at a good time on my trip|
|looking down from the long trek up to the bathroom|
|One last look as I left the valley behind and climbed back towards Summerland|
|and yes, this is slightly different b/c my legs were more tired and the angle of the sun had changed....|
The views were amazing but I was getting tired heading down that mountain. A long day of sun and a week without a break had me looking forward to possibly a motel room not just the back of my car and nice long shower. Maybe two or three miles from the finish I realized I had dropped my sunglasses. I think most people would have just left them, I mean I've had those sunglasses for almost 2 years and all I knew was that I had dropped them somewhere past a bridge maybe 2 miles back. But being tired and not thinking that clearly I very stubbornly turned around and headed back up the mountain. I passed at least 8 people on their way down, none of whom had seen the glasses. I walked for 30 minutes, feeling defeated and beat down I turned around and crossing a creek two minutes later I saw them. Yay for success, boo for an extra 2 miles because I can't keep track of my belongings. I was more than ready for a night off when I got to my car. Snacking the whole way I hit the road with dreams of motel rooms and showers.
|stuck in roadwork I got a few more great glimpses before I was out of the park|