hiking to Mildred Point (Van Trump Park on the south side of Mount Rainier)

This is shortly before I arrived at Mildred Point, a very high-up, meadowy vista on the south side of Mt. Rainier. It’s a relatively easy hike from the Comet Falls trailhead. This view of the Tatoosh Range in the distance is anticlimactic, believe it or not (the real reward is in the other direction, toward Mt. Rainier)! You can see Eagle Peak at the end of the ridge (and the saddle I hiked to a couple weekends ago). You can also spy Mt. Adams. And Mt. St. Helens (being spotlighted by a beam of early morning light). Mt. Hood is here somewhere, too. But it’s not jumping out at me. Late summer like this with a lot of its snowy mantle melted off, it may appear as a dark, nondescript horn.

Here’s the Tatoosh Range in b/w from below Mildred Point. In the right hand of the frame, the first obvious saddle on the ridge is where I hiked to the second weekend of September.

And an unfamiliar-to-me view of Mt. Rainier from Mildred Point. I used a super wide angle lens for this picture, so the dramatic perspective is stunted. Those shadows hide an immense drop-off. It’s a heckuva long way down to the moraine. See the distant patch of green meadow to the right? That’s basically where I called it quits in my quest to travel cross-country toward Mt. Rainier. It’s do-able and I could have continued if I was so inclined, but I wasn’t terribly motivated. It’s steep, slippery meadow that is hard on your ankles.

I had in mind a more dramatic, thoughtfully-written and illustrated blog of Mildred Point tonight (I got a lot of neat pictures from this hike), but I’m worn out from the day. Adam and I had lots of fun.

  • We read a lot. Adam learned in detail about how train steam engines work. We read about car factory assembly lines. Tonight he was grilling me about the different functions of assembly line robots, how transponders work and how people are still important for things like stitching up seats. Seriously, haha.
  • Listened to The Beatles a lot. Adam has been singing Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. And tonight he referred to me as Jude when we were pretending to be Roughnecks on an oil rig.
  • Adam found a big, really cool Ertl tank truck at the Ballard Goodwill on $1.29 Monday. I found a 1998 still-in-the-box bad guy action figure from Texas Chainsaw Massacre (i hid it from Adam); also, we got a rusty Radio Flyer wagon with wood slats for $3, we’re going to make it into a planter box
  • Grocery shopped.
  • Worked on a thousand piece puzzle (the first and last time I’m ever doing so, that sucker is getting bronzed and framed when we’re done with it…….that is, if Diana doesn’t banish it from the dining room table tomorrow night).
  • Wished Grandma Shukis a happy 63rd birthday.
  • Went for a long bike ride before dinner and bath time.
  • I told Adam a long story tonight about how I used to make snow tunnels behind Grandpa and Grandma Donat’s trailer in the winter-time. I told him Aunt Tonni could corroborate. He was very intrigued.

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