My best friend (Chrissy, duh!) and I have been planning a Wonderland Trail circuit on Mount Rainier in Washington for this summer.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Mount Rainier is a beautiful volcano that is easily viewed and is a general landmark in and around Seattle, Washington. The Wonderland Trail is a trail that spans 93 miles around Mount Rainier. 93 MILES. Not only is it nice and long, but the elevation changes you will experience on this beautiful 93 miles adds up to a hefty 22,000 feet of elevation gain. So, its not only crazy long but its also stupid steep.
I’ve been meaning to sit down and blog about everything it’s taken to get this going, but for whatever reason my writing has fallen by the wayside. Today I decided to stop myself on my way to the gym and make a quick entry, because this whole adventure that is slowly but steadily taking form has me ALL SORTS OF EXCITED.
We are more than 3 months out from starting, but have been planning and dreaming of this trip since late last year.
My husband and I are coming from NE Ohio, living in thick oxygen rich air at about 900 feet above sea level. We are active thirty somethings with a lifestyle that keeps us moving, but we also love to hike. However – The last few years of our lives have been totally dictated by our careers and children with their sports and homework and social gatherings which has left us with less and less time to get out and enjoy nature.
In that aspect, I consider us going from couch to mountain.
My best friend Chrissy on the other hand lives in Washington State, and gets to view the mountain we plan to dominate just about everyday. Hows THAT for motivation?
Here’s what we’ve accomplished thus far;
- The Trail book. Chrissy was kind enough to bring me the official trail guide for Christmas. It has been a huge tool in not only figuring out how to plan such an adventurous trip, but has also given me a ton of inspiration and wanderlust. Thanks, Chrissy 😉 Said book states the following on a 7 day trip: “Only attempt a 7 day schedule if you are a superhuman hiker or if you like to defy the Beast of Ultimate Challenge by looking deep into its pitiless eyes.” Hmm. OK.
- We chose our 7 day itinerary.
- We gained a general idea for the dates of travel while keeping the moon phases in mind. I learned the hard way (… again, just last summer) that the moon phase MUST be taken into consideration for optimal night sky viewing. Us east coasters should really be planning everything around the moon, as there aren’t many places left around here that afford us the simple luxury of seeing the milky way in all of its beautiful glory. I saw it for the very first time at 29 years old, in Utah of all places. UTAH!
- Applying for the permit. We won’t know until the end of May at the latest whether we’ve been approved or not. If we didn’t win a permit, the only other option is to show up the morning of our trip and hope we can score a walk in permit.
- Joining the gym and officially beginning training for the single most strenuous vacation of our lives. It’s been 2 months and I think it’s becoming a habit at this point, which is just great.
Have you bagged the Wonderland Trail? If so, I’d love to hear your story! Leave a comment to share your story with me below!
I’d really love to hear from my fellow flat lander folk as well… If you’ve gone from East Coast to West Coast for a major hike, how did you get in shape and train your lungs? What helpful insight do you have to share?
Trail book credit: