A “Grand” birthday adventure

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After a week of living in a construction zone, Nick and I decided we needed a day off. So, on Sunday, he went cyclocross racing and I joined a group of folks on an attempt to climb up to the Fremont Lookout via Grand Park. I’d never been to this part of Mount Rainier National Park and was simply blown away. Grand Park is an enormous (think 2 miles in each direction) flat meadow, surrounded by fragrant pine trees. It took us a full hour to walk across it on our way to the slopes below the lookout. I can only imagine what this place must be like in July when it’s covered in wildflowers. If the sky had been clear, we would have had a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier and Little Tahoma as well. As it was, we had to settle for peek-a-boo views of the lookout and serious discussions of animal tracks in the snow.

We tried, but were eventually unsuccessful at reaching the lookout. In summer, you can walk there from Sunrise on a well-maintained trail. When the road to Sunrise is closed, though, this back-door route seemed like a good idea. It would have been, too, if we’d had a little more daylight and a storm wasn’t rolling in. We turned around about 1000′ below the summit. Sigh! Another day…

Big thanks to David for leading a great trip and to the others for great conversation.

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