Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout

Adam, his mom and I had a splendid day at Mt. Rainier hiking a short segment of the Wonderland Trail (and then branching off) to Eunice Lake and Tolmie Peak. Ever since he was born, Adam has had a big framed picture of Eunice Lake on his bedroom wall. I found it a long time ago in a U-District secondhand shop that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not a very good picture, upon closer inspection it’s surprisingly grainy and fuzzy, but it’s like having a big bay window that looks out onto the parkland of Rainier. I’ve had the idea to tack our own Eunice Lake pictures all the way around the frame. This was Adam’s second trip to Tolmie Peak, so we’ve got plenty of pictures to do that now! It was Diana’s first time to Eunice Lake and Tolmie Peak.

It was a slow but charming pace to the lake basin. Adam really enjoyed himself on this walk. There was mystery behind every big tree root and rocky outcropping. He finally allowed me to put him in the backpack carrier for the final steep switchbacks to Eunice Lake.  As enticing as the lake was then and there, we made the decision to continue to the fire lookout first, so we staggered up the final several hundred feet. There was lots and lots of Bear Grass on the way to the top. And speaking of the lookout, the fat chipmunks who live there kept us on our toes. They are pushy little ruffians.

The lookout was breathtaking, but I’ll admit the highlight of the hike was the pretty sparkling lake at the base of Tolmie Peak’s cliffs! Adam went skinny-dipping and warmed himself on the little “island” in the shallow round cove at the west end of the lake. Diana and I took off our boots and waded over with him. We saw a humongous tadpole, the biggest I’ve ever seen.

I carried Adam all the way back to the trailhead at Mowich Lake. En route we came up with a happy ending for the scary ghost train story he and I made up on our way to Eunice Lake.

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