There is something about going to sleep the night before a day of hiking that makes me feel like a kid before a holiday. Clear skies, rays of sunshine, smell of pine trees and the promise of a mid-hike swim – there’s nothing that makes me appreciate the Pacific Northwest more than a day in the mountains.
I’ve only been to Mount Rainier once – so I jumped at the chance to try a new hike in the area. We set out to tackle Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap, a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail that promised “spotty” mountain views and a good swim. However, GPS gave out before setting foot on the trail. The Pacific Crest Trail goes north to south – so we had a 50% chance of heading out in the right direction (with no signs). We picked what honestly looked like a better route and headed out. One mile in we finally asked a fellow hiker if were were on the right track. We weren’t. So we kept on trekking on what was now the Naches Peak Loop. Determined to get a swim in, we also detoured to Dewey Lake. All in all – it was a fantastic mistake. The lake was refreshing and the views were truly outstanding.
There’s something about mighty Mount Rainier. I never tire of mountain views from Seattle and I am always astounded every time I see her up close.
I’m back on a summer hiking kick and can’t wait for the weekends that follow.