This is how happened Rochelle and I left Seattle at around 1:30pm for the 2 and change hour drive to Mowich and got,we got change into running clothes and got running within 10 min of getting to Mowich Lake.
It was a late start which meant I would be running into the night with the days getting shorter and the sun going down by 7:30.I had a small pack on me with two water bottles and a steripen to filter water and 7 cliffbars, for hydration and food.for clothing I had a t-shirt and a light windbreaker and my map, and a flashlight,
I saw the first Wonderland Hikers at the top of Ipsut pass, a quick and cordial hello , they told me they were hiking the whole loop also in 9 t- 10 days, further down the pass I saw another couple in a similar odyssey .
as I got closer to the Carbon river, I crossed two ladies going the opposite direction, I said hi and they also told me the were doing the whole loop, a few hundred meters later I also crossed two runners that looked very serious and it turned out they were trying to do the whole loop in one day,I learned this after talking to another runner Chad I met going up to Summerland ,he told me he was crewing for those two runner but they had to pull the plug on their assault at WT at mowich.
after crossing the carbon river I ran into the naked hiker, we exchange hellos and he gave me direction on the trail at the top where wonderland meets with Northern Loop trail, by the carbon river suspension bridge I ran into another couple also going the opposite direction counter clockwise, i was going clock wise.
The carbon glacier is on the north side of MT Rainer and at the same time is the lowest glacier in the lower 48 coming all they way down to 2300 feet
NIght fell I pulled my flashlight and kept going trough the night it was nice and quite and not too bad to navigate other than when going trough sunrise and Berkley Park because the terrain is rocky and alpine so its easy to loose the trail here.
After dropping me off and running the first couple of miles with me Rochelle was to drive to White River campground get a site set up the tent and wait for my to get there, she got to White river and on the outside it said CAMPGROUND FULL. but after talking to the ranger she manage to get a site and set up camp over there, White river is one of only three drive in campground that touches Wonderland the other two are Mowich and Cougar Rock, the only other drive in campground in Rainier is Ohanapecosh but is not on the WT.
She left a post it notes with the site number she was at, where WT trail comes into the campground so I can find where we were staying the night.it was great seeing this and even better when I saw the car and the tent because it was already 10:30 at night when I arrived.
more to come
The Wonderland Trail is a 93 mile long trail that circumnavigates MT Rainier I ran this past weekend starting on Friday at 4:15 pm.
Day 1 -Friday 9/11 4:15 p.m from Mowich Lake to White River Campground.
Distance on day one was around 25 miles
Day 2 -Saturday starting at around 10:30 a.m from White River Campground to Cougar Rock campground
Distance on Day 2 was about 33 miles , I got into the campground at around 7:30 and was in pretty bad shape, I was not feeling to good.
On day two I started from the white river campground and Rochelle was to meet about 5 miles up the road the the trail head for Summerland at Fryingpan Creek to run the first 8 miles of the day to Panhandle Gap pass Summerland , this is one of those iconic sections of WT and it was a great that we got to do this section together, coming into Summerland is where we ran into the Chad the runner that was crewing for the two runner I had seen the previous day going up Ipsut Pass, after getting to Panhandle Gap she went back down for the 8 mile run back to the car and I kept going on the trail to Cougar Rock Campground , still a good 22+ miles ahead.
Many more hikers along the way tackling the whole loop in 8 to 11 days, I fucking loved that everybody was out there for the same reasons kicking ass and enjoying WT their own way at their own time.
coming into Box Canyon from Indian bar there is a long section where I didn’t get water and started suffering a bit until I made it to Nickel creek and filled up my bottles there, there was park ranger thereChirs who i talked to quite a bit and he told me there were three runner up ahead of me at bout 5 min, he asked me if i was with them , I said was not and i never saw them down the road.I sort of lost the trail going over box canyon and it took me about 15 min to pick it up agai.
DAy 3 -Sunday Starting at around 9:30 a.m from Cougar Rock Campground to Mowich Lake
Distance on day three was about 38 miles got into Mowich at round 8:15pm
running around MT Rainier became a dream of mine since I moved to Seattle,one sees this beautiful mountain almost everyday from every place in the city and it just calls you to come to her.This year 2015 marks the 100 year anniversary of the construction of the trail, tough when it was first build it was about 130 miles and it didn’t come as close to the mountain as it does today.The rail stays mostly above 5000 feet and it is constantly up and down. here are some pictures I took along the way.