Friday, August 30, 2013

A quick hike around Naches Peak at Mt. Rainier

Almost two years ago, I was on the PCT hiking Sobo (SouthBound)  at Chinook Pass.  I was looking at the meticulously reconstructed pedestrian log bridge over the highway when a woman came running down the trail needing assistance.

If Yessi and I have kids, I can only hope they will be as wonderful as the Lipinski Twins.
This woman later turned out to be Debbie, mother of two fabulous twins and two boys and friends with Davit S.  But at the time she was a hiker looking for help for an elderly man who stumbled off the trail at a very steep section and was trapped below and injured.

Yessi and Brad with the magnificent Mt. Rainier in the background.  It was not a clear day and lot's of haize, but somehow David was able to take this great photo.
I followed her and assisted her in helping the man up to the trail until emergency help arrived. We had a chance to talk and became instant friends.

A boo boo on her little toe.  Just goes to show that even a short hike warrants carrying the 10 essentials which should include a first aid kit with a little toe protector!  I had my knife and suggested amputation, but she opted for treatment from David.
This was an exciting first encounter and we have remained in touch. Debbie is one of my biggest hiking fans following my adventures on my blog.

The twins freestyle with Freestyle!

So last year when I was hiking the PCT in it's entirety, I again met Debbie at Chinook pass.  This time I was the one looking for help.

David, Debbie and the Twins along the Naches loop trail.
After hiking over 2000 miles from Mexico to get there, I was hungry and tired and she took me home to her fabulous family and offered me a shower, clean comfy bed and lots of food.

Yessi Ye on the PCT again, southbound this time.
We made an agreement to climb Naches Loop the following year.   The climb ended up not being as important as the outing, and instead, we opted for a larger hiking party including Yessi and I, Debbie and her two twins, and David.  We hiked the 5 miles around the peak rather than climbing the peak but had a truly wonderful day.

Yessi and David with Rainier in the background.
After the loop, we took a drive up to Sunrise, where David bought the entire crew Ice Cream and where we wondered around the old log lodges, read about glaciers, volcanoes and plants and animals in the ranger station.

Naches Loop Trail, compliments of Google maps 50 hikes around Mt. Rainier.
The reality is, one can't have a much better day than a hike with friends and family.  Even a short hike can provide opportunity for exercise, some adventure and climbing, plenty of time in the car to talk and build relationships, and views of wonders like Mr. Rainier that can inspire one for months to come.

It takes two photographers to capture those twins!
Naches Loop may be short and might not have a lot of verticle, but it is one of those short hikes that is so sweet.  Right off the highway, it has easy access, but within minutes you leave the road behind and feel as if you're miles from anything.

Doing some bouldering with the twins. 
Besides views of Rainier, there is a small lake along the way, steep forested hills, rocks, snow fields melting into streams, wildflowers, outstanding views of Mr. Rainier, and some meadows with ponds full of poly wogs.  A bit of everything in one wonderful little hike.

 David and Brad.  I feel very fortunate to have been introduced to David, who has been incredibly generous and supportive to me.  

One picture with the 5 of us, only possible with an iPhone!

Debbie, Yessi, Brad with Erica and Meagan up front.  Photo by David.

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