Snow in the middle of summer, who'd have thought? Not me. There are no words to describe Rainier. After you get passed the overly crowded parking the first of the "trail" is a steep sidewalk. Then it's up to you from there. How high do you want to go? What do you want to see? If you have some time then this is a great opportunity to learn to climb. I wanted a few classes teach people the basics of climbing and falling and saw a few parties ascending. But even if you chose not to go up, you will not be disappointed. Everywhere you look there are wildflowers in bloom, young sprouts reaching up to the sun and water rushing below the snowpack searching to find its way free. If you decide to try a handstand on a glacier like this Florida girl, let me tell you, it's hard to get a grip.
Although the mountain is the main attraction the drive getting up and down the mountain is just as scenic. Sadly, this was the most I was able to do on my trip. The next morning I got to find out there is not a clinic and medic in Packwood. And since it was a Sunday, the next closest one wasn't open either. So a full hour away I found a hospital that appeared to be abandoned. A few seconds after wandering the halls I finally find a doctor wrestling a copy machine. I ask if I can be admitted. "Well you'll have to go to the E.R." he says, "Luckily we don't have that many hunting accidents today." And so the journey continues. . .