8/14/2010 08:53:00 AM

Day 80 and 81 (July 25 and 26, 2010)– A Couple of very long Days

In order for me to go on my backpacking trip. I had to work a couple of long work days such as a breakfast, brunch, dinner. That was a fun day. Other than that, I am excited about the chance to use my brand new backpack. Sorry, Dad, I went to REI to pick out the backpack I wanted to get for my birthday in October and got talked into an internal frame backpack. Yes, I got my birthday present from my parents very early, but it has gotten some use right off the bat.

8/08/2010 05:07:00 PM

Day 79 (July 24, 2010)– Amazing Shift Switching

So apparently, my manager didn’t get my time off request form, so he didn’t give me the days off I needed to go backpacking. Which really sucked, but I was able though about 6 different switches get the days off anyways. Which means the trip is on and I will get to hike the north section of Wonderland.

8/08/2010 02:02:00 PM

Day 77 and 28 (July 22 and 23, 2010)– Work

Nothing new going on just work and hopeing I get the days off I need next week to go backpacking.

8/08/2010 12:57:00 PM

Day 76 (July 21, 2010)– Comet Falls

I had the afternoon off today, so I decided to hike to Comet Falls. Comet Fall is suppose to be the best waterfall in the entire park. I went hiking with two of my friends, Kelly and Steven.

We drove down to Comet Falls trailhead and started up the trail. About 0.3 miles up the trail we cross over Christine Falls. Christine Falls is a little waterfall that can be seen from the road so lots of tourists stop there.

From there we headed uphill for 1.3 mile to the falls. The falls just appeared out of the woods, and were amazing.

From Comet, we hiked up closer to the base and then up to the top of the falls. Where we say two Mountain Goats on the next ridge.

8/08/2010 06:22:00 AM

Day 75 (July 20, 2010)– John’s Last Day on the Mountain

Today was John’s last day. It was sad to see him go, and was a fresh reminder that I would be leaving the mountain in a couple of week. It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over and I will be saying goodbye to many of my new friends.

8/08/2010 03:21:00 AM

Day 74 (July 19, 2010)– The Great Ovi Arrives

Basically since I have arrived, I have heard all about Ovi. Ovi is from Romania and has worked at Mount Rainier for 3 years (I think). I was working with him for about a two hours and I totally understand why everyone kept going on about him.

8/06/2010 07:27:00 PM

Day 73 (July 18, 2010)– John’s Last Day of Work

A couple a weeks ago, I did a post about hiking with one of the Singaporean’s Jonathan. Well today is his last day on the mountain. It is a sad day for me. He is my favorite dishwasher and always made going back into the kitchen interesting. But alas, John is going to take a quick tour of the U.S. and then head back to Singapore for school.

8/06/2010 06:24:00 PM

Day 72 (July 17, 2010)– Three-quarters of the way to Camp Muir

Since I had today off as well, I know it seems like I never work but I actually do on occasion. I usually work my hiking in around work schedule. Basically if I have free time, I am probably hiking.

So the goal for today was to hike to Camp Muir. Camp Muir is named after the naturalist John Muir. John Muir founded the Sierra Club and was a conservation supporter. John Muir visited Mount Rainer and my favorite story about him comes from this visit. His plan had been to just hike up a part way up the mountain, but in a letter to his wife he tells his wife pushing upwards and the next thing he know he is standing on the summit.

Camp Muir is a camp where climbers typically spend the night at before summiting the mountain. Camp Muir is about a 4.1 mile hike from Paradise. 4.1 miles seems like an easy enough hike, but it’s not. It is a grueling 4.1 mile hike with about 4,900 feet of elevation gain. Plus add in the sun beating up and down on you. Up on you, what am I talking about? SNOW! On the mountain you risk sunburn not just from the sun but its reflection off the snow so it is easy to burn your chin, underside of your arms, inside your shorts.

I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a grueling hike, but my hiking partner didn’t quite understand all this. It took us longer than I expected to make it to Panoramic Point, which is only 1.7 miles from the trailhead. The view was fantastic. It was a clear day so we could see(from right to left) Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. Mt. Hood is in the  middle-left and is very hard to see in the picture but it is there.
From Panoramic, we continued up the mountain. After about another hour of climbing we made Pebble Creek with is about half way there. We took a short break and then started working our way up the Muir Snowfield.

About half way up the snow field my hiking partner sits down and state “I refuse to go any further.” Needless to say I was disappointed but not surprised. She wasn’t in shape for climbing to Muir and was getting pretty sun burnt. So we turned around and headed back to Paradise.

As we were heading down, I decided that despite wearing shorts, I wanted to glissade down part of the snowfield. For those who don’t know glissading is a fancy name for sliding down on your but.

8/06/2010 11:16:00 AM

Day 71 (July 16, 2010)– Dungeness Crab for Dinner

I had today off, so I went into Puyallup with a couple of my friends for the day. I couple of weeks ago, while at Pike’s Place, I decided that I wanted a Dungeness Crab.

I walk into the grocery store to pick up my crab and the women behind the counter weights the crab and tells me it is kind of expensive as I start an internal debate. She thinks my debate is over whether to get it. My response is “it’s not a debate over whether to get one; it’s whether to get TWO.” I decided that since I was on the west coast and seldom ever get the chance to have Dungeness crab that I would splurge on two. So I had a great feast instead of the EDR mystery meat.

8/05/2010 11:16:00 PM

Day 70 (July 15, 2010)– Round Pass Finally And Lake George

You know the saying Third time’s the charm, well for me and Round Pass, the third time was the charm in making it there. The hike was fairly easy only 3.8 miles mostly uphill but a gentle uphill. It was a great feeling making it up to Round Pass finally. The main reason I wanted to make it to Round Pass so bad was to see the Marine Monument.
The Monument is to the 32 Marines that were killed in airplane crash on the mountain on December 10, 1946. The Marines are still entombed in the Tahoma Glacier located on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

After seeing the monument, I decided to hike the extra mile to Lake George. It was a steep climb, though the forest. Though on the way, I spotted this cool flower called Bear Grass.

Once on top of the ridge, I was climbing, Lake George just appeared out of the trees.

8/02/2010 06:23:00 PM

Day 69 (July 14, 2010)– Snow Lake, and a Scary Realization

Between work Breakfast shift and Dinner shift, I went hiking with one of the guys to Snow and Bench Lake. This was a short but good hike. So we drove out to the trailhead and started up this 1.6 mile trail. It was a fairly easy hike. It was uphill but not very steep. We passed though valleys of Avalanche Lilies (I will explain why they are called this in my next post, but they are a really cool flower). We passed by Bench Lake

After Bench Lake, we started to hit some snow but it was no big deal. After the snow, we made it to Snow Lake and it was amazing. We followed the trail to the point where they no longer maintain trail. Abe, the guy I was hiking with, asked me if I wanted to go around snow lake and me being me said sure. So we bushwhacked our way around the lake. About half-way around, it started to get really sketchy. At this point, I realized that if anything was to happen to me or Abe, I would NEVER be able to find another hiking partner on Mount Rainier.

Thankfully despite, a few close calls and falling though the snow once for Abe, and twice for me, we made it around Snow Lake and back to the trail.

8/01/2010 11:00:00 PM

Day 68 (July 13, 2010)– Work

Nothing new to report other than work. Though, the resident Paradise foxes now have names: Choclate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, and Vanilla Cake. One of the cooks was hungry for cake and the foxes wondered by. So she named them after cake.

8/01/2010 10:00:00 PM

Day 67 (July 12, 2010)– Ross’s Last Day

Today is a very sad day, it is Ross’s last day on the mountain. He is heading home to get the surgery on his ankle. He seems to have accepted the fact that he is leaving, but it is still a hard pill to swallow for most of us that one accident can ruin the entire rest of our summer.

8/01/2010 08:00:00 PM

Day 65 and 66 (July 10 and 11, 2010)– Work and Alumni Network

The past two days have been nothing interesting other than work, though I do love the UF alumni network they are everywhere. It seems like; I meet a fellow Gator, or see another Gator Shirt every other day at least. It is a great feeling to know how large the alumni family is and that no matter where I go there will always be fellow Gators.

8/01/2010 07:00:00 PM

Day 64 (July 9, 2010)– Hospital Visit and Serving

Once at the hospital, Ross is immediately admitted with top priority, and we get the full story about what happened. Ross was about 50 feet from the top of the ridge that we were supposed to be hiking to when he slipped and slid about 18 feet down and over a couple of small rock ledges. He then spent like 2 hours sitting then before starting to hike back. He hike back over 4 miles The ranger that found him, had gotten about 15 mins. from the trailhead when he meet Ross limping his way back.

At the hospital, we got to see the full extent of his injuries. He was bandaged up fairly bad. At that point, we left to get some sleep. After about 5 hours at the hospital, Ross is ready to go and we start back towards Mount Rainier. Ross has a broken ankle that needs surgery, 3 stitches in his elbow, and 3 stitches in his leg.

After we left the hospital, we drove back to the mountain. It sucked because most people asked us how are trip went and it was like “do I really have to tell everyone about what happened.”

At work, I got some good news, due to some scheduling changes they need me to serve dinner so I got to server rather than bus and make some real money.

8/01/2010 06:30:00 PM

Day 63 (July 8, 2010)– Tragedy in North Cascades

After making a quick stop in town, we headed up to our trailhead and started our hike. The hike was suppose to be a 4.5 mile hike with 3,200 feet of elevation gain. After about a 1.5 miles, Ross decided that Nadine and I’s pace was too slow so he went ahead and we would meet him at the ridge overlooking Hidden Lake. As we hike up, we crossed over several small creeks (remember this it is important later). After a couple of hour of hike, Nadine and I reached the point where the trail turned from trail to snow. After attempting to follow the snow path, we realized we had lost the trail and Ross’s foot prints.

Since we couldn’t go anywhere and the view was spectacular from where we were, we spent the next two hours sitting and enjoying the view waiting for Ross to realize that we were not going to meet him at the top and to hike back down.

Mount Baker

After two hours we started to get hungry so we headed down and figured Ross would catch us on the way down. As we hiked down those small creeks were now raging creek and some were difficult to cross. But alas he hadn’t by the time we got to the trailhead. I hadn’t been concerned when we started down, but once we reached the trailhead, I was getting a little more concerned about Ross, but it was possible he had lost track of time and had gotten distracted. I figured he would be down in the next hour. Another hour plus passed and still no Ross at this point the sun is going down and I am in full panic mode. Nadine and I head back up the trail and still can’t see him at this point we have about an hour and a half of daylight left so we go for help.

Since we didn’t have a cell phone, we used the local gas stations phone to call 911 and report him missing. The 911 operator does asks the usual question and tell us to wait at the gas station we are at to meet with the Sheriff’s deputy when he arrives. As we are waiting the lady at the gas station suggest going over to the Ranger Command Center and seeing if that will help. So I go to the Command Center and Nadine stays at the gas station.

At the Command Center, I go over the same info with the Ranger and Controller there. The Ranger wants to go out to the trailhead and hike up and see if he can find Ross, but the problem is that the trail starts outside the National Park so he had to get PERMISSION to go search for Ross. At that moment, I really wanted to tell them, I didn’t care about jurisdiction, I just wanted Ross found. Finally, the Ranger got permission to head up to the trailhead and they sent me back to the gas station to meet up with Nadine. We spent another hour waiting on the deputy to show up. Once he did he gave us the talk about how Ross wouldn’t freeze to death tonight and that most of the missing person either walk out by themselves or are found stuck in a dry creek bed in the morning by search and rescue. He told us that search and rescue would start looking at 4:00 am.

The deputy sent us back to our camp site “to get a good night’s sleep.” Like that was going to really happen. We decide to swing by the trailhead and check one last time and then go to our campsite. As we were heading up to the trailhead we meet the ranger coming down. Thankfully he had found Ross. Nadine hops out of my car and goes to open the Ranger door to give Ross a hug. At that point, I am torn between giving Ross an hug or hitting him. I opt for the hug when Nadine gets the door open and I see his arm has been bandaged up.

We head back to the campsite where the rangers give Ross a once over while Nadine and I pack up the tents so we can head to the hospital. The closest good hospital is over two hours away so we head there.

7/31/2010 06:00:00 PM

Day 62 (July 7, 2010)– North Cascades National Park

The plan had been to leave around 8:15 this morning but the trail lunches were not ready on time so we left a little later than planned. Around 11:30 we found a sports bar to watch the soccer game at until the waitress ID us and realized 2 of the 3 of us were under 21. So we got direction to a Mexican Restaurant and ate and watched the game there. I was rooting for Germany, but they played like crap and deserved to lose to Spain. From the restaurant we drove the rest of the way to North Cascades and Ross Lake. Once in the Recreation Area, we stopped at the visitor center and got trail conditions and then drove though the park along the river to Diablo and Ross Lake. At Ross Lake, we hiked down to the dam.

The dam was cool, but we couldn’t go swimming like Ross wanted too. After that we drove to our camp site which was about an hour away from the lake, but close to our trailhead. The camp site we picked was close to the river and toilet but the campground didn’t have running water which meant we would need go into town and get some water before our hike tomorrow.

We bought some fire wood and made a fire and had dinner and roasted marshmallows, and then went to bed. Though we brought two two-person tents, however Ross decided to sleep outside while Nadine and I were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes so we slept in one of the tents.

7/31/2010 12:00:00 PM

Day 60 and 61 (July 5 and 6, 2010)– Work and Trip Planning

For now there is nothing to do but work and plan my next adventure. For this week’s days off, I am planning a trip to North Cascades National Park with two of my friends. The current plan is to leave Wed. morning, and stop somewhere at 11:30 to watch the Germany Spain Soccer game and then drive up to the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and have some fun there. Then camp at Marble Creek Campground and the next day hike up to Hidden Lake.

7/31/2010 10:00:00 AM

Day 59 (July 4, 2010)– Happy 4th of July and NO Fireworks

Well this is the first 4th of July that I haven’t been home for that I truly missed not being home. I missed going shopping for fireworks at Bimbo’s on July 3rd with my dad. I missed shooting firecrackers and the cannon’s off with my dad in the morning. Yes, my dad does have a cannon. It is not a full size one just a mini one, but my dad made it himself. And it’s fun to shoot off.
Another bad thing about this 4th of July is that the weather is awful up here. It is cold and cloudy.

7/30/2010 07:10:00 PM

Day 58 (July 3, 2010)– Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad! I am not sure how old he is but he is somewhere between 50 and 60. Basically he is older than dirt, but I love him anyways. I did actually have time to call and talk to him.

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday Dear Daddy

Happy Birthday to You.

7/30/2010 04:29:00 PM

Day 56 and 57 (July 1 and 2, 2010)– Work and Cold Weather

Coming back from Olympic to Mount Rainier was a big shock. The temperature had dropped about 20 degree and whiteouts were occurring again. In case you can’t figure out what a whiteout is it is when a fog bank rolls in and you are luck If you can see 5 feet in front of you. So basically the only thing to do was work and hang out in the lodge.

7/30/2010 06:21:00 AM

Olympic National Park – Mora and Hoh Rain Forest

My day started early. I was at the beach at 7:30 am to hike the mile plus out to Hole in the Wall Beach to be ready for low tide at roughly 9:00 am. Hiking in sand is much harder then one would think. As much as I hate hiking in snow, I think I hate hiking in sand more.

I wasn’t exactly sure how to tell when I had arrived at Hole in the Wall Beach, but it was fairly obvious when I got there.

From there I explored the many tide pools. The starfish and anemones were really cool.

After the tide started to come back up I headed up to the Hoh Rain Forest. This was a really cool place even if it did look very similar to Mount Rainier without the Mountain and slightly different plants. I hiked the two tourist trail: Hall of Mosses and Spruce Nature Trail. Both trails gave me a good overview of the rainforest and its ecosystem. Though I did have to put up with annoying tourists.

7/30/2010 12:28:00 AM

A Rant on Twilight

I know this is a blog about my summer adventure, but really feel the need to go on a slight rant about the obsession people have with these books. For those of you who don’t pay attention to book’s setting you might have missed that Twilight is set in the area around Olympic National Park. This means that my trip to Olympic also included a visit to many of the places found in Twilight. My first encounter with the Twilight obsessed was driving to Mora. I was driving along towards Mora, which happens to be near La Push. As I was turning towards Mora, there was a sign one of the stores labeling the Cullen treaty line. My first thought was really people. I wondered if people did stop and take a picture. As I was checking my map to see which road I turned on to, a tour bus pulled up and a large group of people got out and started taking pictures with the sign. I am no kidding about any of this. The next disturbing thing was that the tour bus was a specific Twilight tour bus.

My next issue with Twilight was the town of Forks. My real question for the people of Forks is did they have an industry outside of Twilight. I made one stop in the town for gas, and as I was driving though it seemed like every store window had Twilight something in it. It was really sad.

Sorry for the rant, but I felt that it was necessary to share how obsessed some people are.

7/25/2010 04:26:00 PM

Day 54 (June 29, 2010)– Olympic National Park – Hurricane Ridge, Crescent Lake, Sol Duc

Olympic National Park is amazing. I have a book on the National Parks of the United States, and it outlines ways to visit the park if you only have a few days. Today I was driving the Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent and Sol Duc path. I woke up this morning and I had picked a pretty cool place to sleep. From the campground, I drove up to Hurricane Ridge in hope in seeing Mount Olympic.

But alas, the mountain was clouded over. From Hurricane I drove toward Sol Duc. On the way I stopped Crescent Lake. Crescent Lake has a cool Indian story attached to it. The legend states the Mount Storm King, angered at the fighting between the Quileute and Clallam Indians, threw a boulder, killing the combatants and splitting the lake in two.

At Crecent Lake, I hiked to Marymere Falls.

After that hike, I drove up to Sol Duc and hiked a 6 mile loop called Lover’s Lane. This loop is named Lover’s Lane because if you are there at the right time you can see salmon mating. I was visiting at the wrong time. This trail also passes Sol Duc Falls.

My original park plan had me camping in the Hoh Rain Forest and then going to the beach in the afternoon. But low tide was in the morning, so I camped at Mora Campground, and ate dinner by the beach and watched the sunset. It was suppose to be a clear day, and I was hoping to see the green flash but no, and the I was hoping for a nice sunset but alas I go neither.

7/22/2010 06:45:00 PM

Day 53 (June 28, 2010)– Server Leaving and MAST Class

Ok, so this morning my plans were completely turned upside down. One of the servers quit this morning. This means that we no longer have to many bussers, so I don’t need to take the MAST class. I am not sure how one server quitting means we no longer have too many bussers, but apparently it does. My plan to go to Olympic hasn’t changed; I just no longer need to rush out after work and drive.

Well later in the day, Wes (my boss’s boss) wants to serve whenever possible so he told me to take the class. So my original plan was back on. I left work and drove to the class and made it with about 3 mins. to spare.

In the course of the 3 hour MAST class, I can summarize it in the following three points.
  1. Do not serve visibly drunk people.
  2. Check I.D.s (Do not serve minors)
  3. People are not responsible for their actions while drinking.
After the class I drove to Olympic National Park, where I was planning on camping in the Heart O'the Hills.  But I got there are midnight so I just slept in my car.

7/22/2010 05:45:00 PM

Day 52 (June 27, 2010)– Job Offer

Due to the increased number of bussers, Kyle our manager is going to be forced to cut the number of hours we each get a week. However, the other hotel on the mountain is in desperate need of servers. So Kyle came to me with a job offer. I could stay working at Paradise and have my hours cut or I could go work at Longmire and have a serving position. This is a great oppurtiuty, but there is a catch. I need a MAST (Mandatory Alcohol Server Training) card. That is not a big deal it’s a three hour class. The problem lies in the fact that I am going to Olympic National Park on Tuesday and Wednesday, and closest class to the mountain is on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. which kills the going to Olympic plan. So I asked for some time to think and decided to see if there were any other classes offered on Monday and were on my way to Olympic. I was in luck and there was so I am planning on taking the job at Longmire.

7/20/2010 02:36:00 AM

Day 50, and 51 (June 25 and 26, 2010)– Work and Soccer

The last two days have been work and soccer. I really haven’t done anything else, at this point I am torn between hiking, and watching soccer. I know it would seem logical to most people to not watch the world cup and go hiking but it the WORLD CUP and only happens every four years. In addition, there is the fact that I have hiked everything that is snow free in the park.

7/17/2010 10:19:00 AM

Day 49 (June 24, 2010)– The Dumbest Question I have been asked by a Tourist

Yesterday, on my hike I took a fully packed backpack so I could practice for my Wonderland Hikes. I was feeling lazy when I got back yesterday, so I waited until after work today to bring my pack up. I was bringing my pack up when a tourist stopped and asked me if I had just gotten back from climbing the mountain. This might not seem like a dumb question seeing as I was carrying a pack, but it was due to the clothing I was wearing. Drum roll please, I was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt, a pair of shorts and flip-flops. I really wanted to say “yes I climb the mountain in shorts and flip-flops” but alas I did not. Though I really wanted to.

7/17/2010 06:05:00 AM

Day 48 (June 23, 2010)–A Great Victory, and More Hiking

Today was the day, the U.S. verses Ghana game. This game determined whether the U.S. moved on to the next round of the world cup. It was a very stressful game because the U.S. could only guarantee they moved on by winning this game, they could move on with a tie as long as certain things happened. It took the U.S. over 90 minutes to win, but Landon Donavan scored and the U.S. moved on in there group and also won the group.

After the soccer game, I decided to go hiking up West Side Road and attempt to make it to round pass for the second time. I made it about a mile up the trail when I spotted this unmarked trail and decided to hike up this trail. I hike about a half mile up it and then realized that if I got lost no one would be able to find me due to being lost in an area I was not planning to hike. At this point, it was getting late and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it up to Round Pass so I headed back to my car.

7/17/2010 02:05:00 AM

Day 47 (June 22, 2010)– 6.5 Miles More Miles Down

     Another section of Wonderland down, I had been wanting to hike from Narada Falls to Box Canyon for a while, but there had been some flood damage so I couldn’t do a couple of weeks ago. This hike was 8.9 miles including 2.4 miles that I had already done but it was a lot of fun.

     This hike needed to be a two car shuttle hike so I found another person to hike with who had a drivers license and borrowed Bree’s car. We dropped the cars off and started out hike. The hike immediately got interesting when the patches of snow went from nothing to 5 feet high and we had to climb up and down them. Once we got up the incline, the trail evened out but we lost the trail completely so I had to get out my compass and navigate that way. Once we found the road we were golden. From there we hiked by the still frozen reflection lakes. From there we followed the road since the trail was under snow and we couldn’t find it. When we found the trail again, we could see about 10 yards of it and then attempted to follow it though we lost it shortly after finding it again. This made the rest of the trek downhill very interesting. Basically, we hike downhill thought the branches, trees, and brier bushes until we found the road and the next part of our trail.

     Once we found the trail again the going was easy. We hike past Martha Falls. I was hoping to see a bear near there. A couple of sightings have occurred there. But alas no joy on that endeavor.

     From Martha, we marched on. From there I rapidly realized why, I was told not to hike this trail earlier. At several places there were visible signs of landslides.
     From there we crossed over to Maple Creek Camp to the section of Wonderland I had already hiked. This section was just like the last time just without the snake. Though we did get a really cool sighting that I don’t have pictures of which was two elk and a calf.

7/12/2010 06:22:00 PM

Day 46 (June 21, 2010)– An Annoying Early Morning

So this morning I got up at 4:30 to watch the Portugal – North Korea game. I got down to the TV room only to find out the ESPN was showing tennis rather than my soccer game on the channel for soccer and the TV couldn’t get a sign on the channel suppose to be showing tennis. Since I couldn’t watch my soccer game I went back to be until it was time for the breakfast shift to start a 6:30 a.m. After breakfast, I went down to watch the Spain-Honduras game. I was pulling for the underdog Honduras team because I wanted to see France, Italy, and Spain get out of the world cup. Alas, Spain lived to see another game.

I tried to avoid finding out the score of the Portugal – North Korea game until I could watch the rerun but alas, that was not possible but I was really excited about the score. 7-0 in favor of Portugal.

7/10/2010 05:42:00 PM

Day 45 (June 20, 2010)– Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all. Needless to say, we were expecting a big day on the mountain and a really busing brunch, but that wasn’t the case. Brunch was beyond slow and I got cut early which really sucked. I hate not being able to do anything and then getting cut because I still couldn’t do anything because I worked dinner as well. Even though I got cut I did get to come back and eat brunch. Brunch is my favorite meal of the week. Dinner was about the same as brunch but they didn’t have as many bussers on so I didn’t get cut this time.

7/10/2010 12:41:00 PM

Day 44 (June 19, 2010)– More Work

Today was a exclusively work day, due to working an Lunch/Dinner shift and bad weather. I didn’t watch soccer because I felt there was no good reason to watch the games today; nobody I cared about was playing.

7/10/2010 10:26:00 AM

Day 43 (June 18, 2010)– Very Early Morning

I am a very dedicated soccer fan. I got up at 4:00 a.m. in the morning to watch a soccer game. I know this is nuts, but it was Germany playing Serbia (which the reefing was awful). I mean come one 7 yellow cards the first half and two to Klosa so he gets thrown out. It was RIDUCULUS. After the 4:30 soccer game, I took a nap and then got up to watch the U.S. - Slovakia game.

That was a stressful game. The U.S. was down 2-0 at half time and slowly came back 2-2. But yet again bad reefing screwed the U.S. over, the U.S. put in a late goal that the ref called back for some unknown reason. He called in a U.S. foul or offside, but the footage show no U.S. player off side and at least 3 Slovakia fouls (and possibly a red card). One of the Slovakia players has there arms around Michal Bradley and is holding him back, personally I would have shown at least a yellow card for that, and maybe a red.

Other than that work was good, though my boss found it funny I was getting World Cup updates from the porter.

7/09/2010 06:00:00 PM

Day 42 (June 17, 2010)– Work, and simply work

So today was a really long day, I worked 12.5 hours. A normal day up here is between 3.5 and 9 unless it’s a Sunday then its 10. Why you might ask, one of my co-workers wanted to go to Seattle, so I picked up there shift. I liked working the extra hours.

7/09/2010 05:30:00 PM

Day 41 (June 16, 2010)– Snow in June and even more World Cup

Another day off with miserable weather, I think today was the most annoying morning I since I have been here. We got an inch of snow sometime during the night. This was really suspiring seeing as its JUNE. So I didn’t work until lunch so I got to watch the Spain vs. Switzerland game where Spain lost. Hopefully they will get eliminated in the group stages.

7/09/2010 05:19:00 PM

Seattle, Again, and Yes I am an Engineering Nerd

I decide that since today was miserable weather on the mountain, that I would go to Seattle and be a tourist for the day. So I left after the morning soccer games, I got in my car and the low tire pressure light was on again. (I don’t know if I mention that the low pressure light was on in Yellowstone but it was) I stopped at Ashford and filled the tire and was going to get it looked at later. It was a very uneventful three hour drive to Seattle, though I did make a pit stop to see the location of an engineering bridge disaster. I am sure most my engineering and science oriented friends can guess what bridge disaster I am referring to. Yep, it’s the Tacoma Narrows or “Galloping Gertie.” Here is the original footage of the bridge collapse.

I drove across the new bridge and then on to Seattle. Once in Seattle, I visited Pike’s Place Market and did some browsing/shopping. I spent most of the morning exploring the market and surround area.

From there, I tried to find a Honda dealership to get my tire looked at, but my GPS couldn’t get me to one that actually existed so I gave up. I was going to eat dinner on the Space Needle, but when most the menu is over $50.00, I decided not to. But I did go up the Space Needle.

From the Space Needle, I headed back to the mountain. Though driving up the mountain was an interesting experience due to the white out conditions and only being able to see a foot in front of my car.

6/28/2010 08:35:00 PM

Day 39 (June 14, 2010)– Another Pay Day

     Today was pay day again. I was really surprised by how much I made busing. Originally, I had decided no to climb the mountain due to cost, but now I am thinking it might be possible if my tips stay the same or go up. But they still haven’t fixed my room and board costs.

     This time I skipped my manager and went to their manger, Wes. Wes had me call a few people and get the run around and then he got the run around, so he got his boss involved and hopefully it will get fixed, but we will see how long it takes.

6/27/2010 07:17:00 PM

Day 38 (June 13, 2010)– The Dreaded Brunch

     Today was the first of the Paradise Inn Dining Room Brunches. It was very chaotic, because I got there late due to some miss communication on what time to be there but it wasn’t my fault. Once Brunch started we got really busy, and about the time I got the table turned the table was re-sat. After Brunch was over and all the people left, they let the dining room staff eats the remaining food.

     Oh, my God, the food is amazing. More or less the desserts are amazing. Tarts, cakes, and strawberries. I will try to get some pictures next week, but I might be too busy.

6/26/2010 07:10:00 PM

Day 37 (June 12, 2010)– More World Cup and shift switching

Last night one of my co-workers asked to trade shifts with me and I agreed as long as we could trade shifts today and I could watch the U.S. game. I was really disappointed the U.S. tied, but hey we tied England. Though, getting to what the game also meant getting up a 6:00 AM to work the breakfast shift. But hey, I got to watch the game.

6/26/2010 06:29:00 PM

Day 36 (June 11, 2010)– World Cup

     Today is the big day the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The first game is South Africa verses Mexico and guess what I have to work so I missed the first game of the world cup but I did get to see France tie Uruguay. It was a good game, though the game times really suck out here on the west coast: 4:30 AM, 7:00 AM, and 11:30 AM. I don’t mind the 7 and 11:30 but that 4:30 is killer. Right now, I have to walk down to the boys dorm to watch the games, its about a 10 minute walk and really sucks when its raining, snowing, windblowing or just in general.

Yet again, I don't not halve off to watch the U.S. play England tomorrow which really sucks.

6/25/2010 09:28:00 PM

Day 35 (June 10, 2010)– The Turks Arrive

     So today, the Turkish arrived. Basically they are a group of like 15 guys and 6 girls who are from Turkey. Two of them work in the dining room and a couple more have yet to arrive. There are five in the dining room. The three guys work on the floor, and two of the girls are hostess. For the most part, they all speak really good Enlgish. Sometimes their English is a little hard to understand, but we work though it.

The guys are named:

  • Berkay - the Turkish Godfather, he has been working at Paradise Inn for 5 years and has recruited about half the Turks
  • Metin - my new best friend, not sure how this came about but he calls me his best friend
  • Arda – started as a dish washer but got promoted to busser and his English is the hardest to understand

    The girls are named Esme and Irma. Both are nice and Esme is teaching me Turkish along with Berkay, and Metin.

6/20/2010 08:38:00 PM

Day 34 (June 9, 2010)– Mount Saint Helen’s Trip

Earlier in this blog, I mentioned that it was the 30th anniversary of the Mount Saint Helen’s eruption. Well today, I went to visit Mount Saint Helen’s. I went with 3 of my friends: John, Libby and Nadine. We had to take this long out of the way route due to the short route was closed. So we drove up to the Johnson Observatory.

We timed out trip just perfectly. We got to one of the overlooks just in time for the mountain to come out from the fog bank.

The area around the Johnson Observatory and the overlook was very interesting; despite being 30 years later much of the land around the mountain is still dead. All that remains of the lush forest that once lived there are the tree stumps from where the trees were ripped off during the eruption.

We had planned on going hiking but the wind was blowing like 10 miles per hour, it was raining, and it was like 40 degrees out and we were wimps. So we spent a couple of hour exploring the Observatory

6/19/2010 07:33:00 PM

Day 34 (June 8, 2010)– More Wonderland and two repeat trails

     Today, I went hiking with one of the Singaporeans, Jonathan. I call him John for short. I think he is my favorite of the Singaporeans. I decided that we were going to hike a short section of Wonderland that I knew the trail conditions on were not bad. By short I mean 2.4 miles. We started out at Box Canyon. Box Canyon is a canyon carved by a glacier and has a glacier stream running through it. One of the interesting things about this canyon is the rocks have been polished by the glacier.

     The plan was to hike from Box Canyon to Maple Creek Camp and further if the trail condtions where ok (the rangers said they weren’t but we were going to see). So we started our hike, and about a half mile into it we saw two black-tailed deer. They ran away to fast for me to get there pictures. They were not the most intresting thing we saw. The next animals we saw were two elk. They were out of photo range. But still not the most amazing sight, well really it was a surprise seeing as I almost stepped on it. Now what did I almost step on you might ask. A snake, yes a snake.

     I was talking to John when I took a step and as I was taking my next step I noticed this snake in my path so I jumped backwards. My first thought was “I almost stepped on a snake and is it poisonous” and my next thought was “wow, this is cool.” (I was pretty sure upon looking at the snake he wasn’t poisonous but I checked with a ranger when I got back and found out he is a common _____________) Past the snake, we continued to follow the trail to the Maple Creek Camp Site. At the site we ate lunch and then followed the trail a bit further. However, we meet a slight problem. The problem came in the form of a rather large creek. I would be just fine wading it with my water proof boots, but John was wearing tennis shoes. So we decided not to cross the stream.

     We turned around and headed back the way we came, sort of. Just after the bridge we passed on the way to the campsite the trail forks and heads to a river view point. We decided to take a different route back to my car. Part of this route involved hiking up the road, but that was so much fun because we could stop and enjoy the scenery that most people drive right by.

     After we got back to my car, we had plenty of time so I took John out to hike Grove of the Patriarchs and to Silver Falls. Though this time I took the short .3 mile trail out to Silver Falls rather than the 2 mile loop.

6/18/2010 09:26:00 PM

Day 32 and 33 (June 6 and 7, 2010) – Work and Planning

     Today, I worked the Lunch and Dinner shift so I didn’t have time to do anything fun, but I did start planning my days off. The plan was to hike another section of Wonderland that was about 8 miles but half the section is under snow and the other half is flooded out so I am just going to wing it tomorrow.

6/14/2010 06:11:00 PM

Day 31 (June 5, 2010)– Tragedy on the Mountain Confirmed

     Today, it has been confirmed that one person is still missing and is presumed dead. It has been a sobering experience for many of us. We all know the risks, but was a sobering experience. It was a reminder of the risks we experience living and working on the side of Mount Rainier. It has been confirmed that 7 people were buried and the 6 that were dug out were on a rope line so they were found together. The seventh person is still missing and at this point the park service has called of the rescue effort due to dangerous conditions. They are waiting until the conditions get less dangerous and even then they might not find the body until the snow melts.

6/13/2010 06:08:00 PM

Day 30 (June 4, 2010)– Hiking Problems

     Nothing new to report on the avalanche.

     Today I just worked a breakfast shift. This meant that I had the whole day to myself. It was rainy and cold so I wimped out on hiking. Though that was only part of the reason, I have now hiked every trail that is completely or mostly snow free. The rangers at the Jackson Visitor Center know who I am and the one guy has learned the trails I regularly ask about and no longer has to look up the trail conditions of the trails I really want to hike. Since I couldn’t and wouldn’t go hiking, I went to Longmire and used the net for a couple of hour and then hung out with the Singaporeans for the rest of the day.

6/13/2010 05:48:00 PM

Day 29 (June 3, 2010)– West Side Road Hiking and Tragedy on the Mountain

     Today I worked the Breakfast and Dinner shift which means I have a long break in the middle. The weather today was amazing perfectly clear from 6:00 a.m. to mid evening. I could see the mountain for the first time in like a week, so I had to go hiking. I decide that I was going to hike as far as I could up the West Side Road of the Park. You might as why I was hiking a section of roadway, well Mount Rainier has a problem of the glacier feed creeks flooding and ruining the roadway. Currently two of the parks roadways are closed due to flooding damage, West Side and Carbon River. Both of these closers create a problem for hiking the Wonderland Trail (but I will go into that at a later date). So the only way to get up the see the West Side Road is to hike up it. I had about 4 hours to hike and 45 minute drive each way. I wasn’t going to have time to hike the entire road (its 12 miles long but I could do part of it). I started up the road and the first thing I came to was the word “bear” and an arrow drawn on the trail so I had to spend a couple of minutes looking for the bear. No, I didn’t see it. I continued up the road and for the first quarter mile was wondering why the road was closed it looked pretty good to me but then again I grew up driving up and down a gravel driveway. After a quarter mile, I understood why the road was closed. The river had created a couple of gullies that most vehicles would not be able to cross though those with high ground clearance could make it.
      The next part of the trail was all up hill. About three quarters of the way to my goal, I realized that it was 2:00 p.m. and I had to be at work at 4:30 if I wanted time to eat before shift. So I turned around and headed back (I didn’t want to but I am here to work). I made it to work on time and with time it eat before shift, but just barely. On the hike, I had noticed a helicopter flying around the top of Mount Rainier. While I was eating I found out the cause of the helicopter, it was an avalanche on Ingram Glacier (I know my mother has posted that I was ok and not involved in the avalanche). The early counts had 11 groups on the mountain at the time of the avalanche. Later in the day, we found out that most the parties had made it down ok. Including one commercial group that turned back shortly before the avalanche. At night fall, the rumor had 6 buried and dug out, and 1 still missing.

6/12/2010 08:46:00 PM

Day 28 (June 2, 2010)– Puyallup Shopping Trip

For my second day off I decide to go to the nearest town with actual shopping. The towns around Mount Rainier are like very small (people from Lenoir City think half the size of Loudon without the fast food or tick tock). The closest town is called Puyallup. It is about the size of Lenoir City. I had a list of items I needed.

  •  Granola Bars 
  • New work shoes
  • Insoles
  • Large jar of Nutella (for Bree) 
  • A day off the mountain
     So I picked up all my items at Wal-Mart (for the Florida folks, I really miss shopping at Publix) and for my day of the mountain I spent the day downloading stuff off the internet at a local café I found.


6/11/2010 05:45:00 PM

Day 27 (June 1, 2010)– Sliver Falls and Grove of the Patriarch

     After much debate with myself and a ranger’s recommendations, I decided to hike two trails, Silver Falls and Grove of the Patriarchs. They are connected by a 1 mile long trail so I was going to combine them into one hike, however on my way out to the trailhead I got a little distracted. I got about 2 minutes down the road from Paradise when I spotted a fox lying on top of an embankment by the road. I figured I would take a few minutes and take some pictures. I ended up spending an hour and a half watching this fox. Ok so most of you are saying it’s just a fox. You were right until I noticed something pocking its head out from a small crevice at the base of the embankment. This changed the course of my day.

     Yes, that is a kit (baby fox). This is the reason I got distracted. The kit kept sticking his head out of the hole like he was going to come out, so I decided to wait for him to come out. As I was being quite and waiting for him to come out, I was keeping an eye on the mom. Out of the cornor of my eye, I see mom get pounced by this black thing. It was a second kit. The first one still hadn’t come out of his hole, so I was watching the kit run around. Then all of a sudden a the second kit is tackled by a third. This sight kept getting better. As the second and third kits were playing, I noticed a fourth kit watching. I continued to watch and was thinking, this is a lucky sight and since I know where the den is, I can easily come back. About this time the first kit, decides to join the other three. They four of them start running around and playing. I couldn’t believe it, I just started holding the button down on the camera to get as many pictures as possible of them.

     After an hour and half of watching them, the mom decided that I much have some food and decided to approach me. At this point I left. From there I drove out to my trailhead on the eastern side of the park.

     I started on the Silver Falls Trail. The trail first goes past a hot spring. From there the trail follows a large creek or small river. After about a mile, Silver Falls appeared. Silver Falls gets its name from the color of the water. The falls is fed by an active glacier so the water is white in color.

     It was getting late in the day so I decided to hike straight back to my car rather than hiking the additional 3 miles to the Grove of the Patriarchs. After I made it to my car, I drove to the Grove of the Patriarchs. I know this is cheating but it was getting late and I didn’t want to be hiking at dusk in cougar country alone.

     When I got to the Grove of the Patriarchs, I decided that I would hike the 1.1 mile loop. The loop follows a crystal clear stream. This spring is feed by an inactive glacier so it doesn’t have the white material that other streams are plagued with. After a short walk, the trail crosses a suspension bridge to a large island.

After the bridge, I entered the Grove of the Patriarchs. Grove of the Patriarchs is a stand of tree that is over 1000 years old. These trees were over 150 feet tall and an diameter of 5 feet. It was very impressive.

On my way back, I ran into some of the other employees from Singapore. They were amazed I was hiking by myself, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We talked for a bit and then I went back to my car and headed back to Paradise.

6/08/2010 06:55:00 PM

Day 26 –Pay Day and Day Off Planning

     Today I got my first pay check. This was great other than they messed up, on charging me room and board. I am working on getting it straightened out but we will see how long it takes. I have the next two days off, so most of my time is spent trying to figure out what and where I want to hike.

     My current plan without taking to the rangers about trail conditions is to drive down to the east side of the park and hike the section of Wonderland Trail that runs from Box Canyon to Narada Fall then up to Paradise and then find someone to drive me back to my car, or if that is not possible hike to Pinnacle Peak (which is in the Tatoosh Range and then go to the top of the Tatoosh).

     After talking to the rangers both trails were ruled out. Wonderland due to flood washout and Pinnacle due to avalanche risk. So I am still kind of up in the air about my first day off. The second day I am going to Pullayup and get some new work shoes.

6/07/2010 06:56:00 PM

Day 24 and 25– Busy as a Bee

Since this weekend is a holiday weekend the hotel was at about 80% capacity which was really good considering the weather (snow and foggy). I was working both lunch and dinner shifts so that meant we were really busy, no sooner did I get a table cleared and re-set would it be filled again. This meant I was always moving and having something to do. Despite being busy, it was more fun than the days where we had no one.

In case you haven't noticed or figured it out most these posts are about a week behind due to no internet in Paradise (they still tell us its coming but I am not holding my breath)

6/06/2010 05:53:00 PM

Day 23 – Rainy Day Fun

I had off until 5 p.m. and was going to go hiking, but that didn’t work out due to the rain and snow. So I hung out in the Paradise Inn Lobby and read my book, knitted, and played cards with a couple of people who were off. Dinner service was really busy though.

I do realize that I haven't posted a daily picture of Mount Rainier take just after midnight while it was clear for a hour.

6/05/2010 05:50:00 PM

Day 22 – Paradise to Longmire

     Today was an interesting day. I was scheduled to work both lunch and dinner today, but after lunch. The assistant manager Kyle told me I was getting to close to overtime so he gave me dinner off. I talking to the new busser, Anna, and she was looking for someone to hike with and somewhere to hike.

     Since I now had all this free time, we decide to go hiking. The next step was to pick a trail. One of the trails runs from Paradise to Longmire and the bottom half of the trail is part of Wonderland, so it was high on my must hike list. I suggested it and we went over to the Jackson Visitor Center (JVC), to talk to the rangers about the trail conditions. She told us that we definitely need snowshoes if we didn’t want to posthole the first half of the trail. (Potholing is taking a step and sinking knee deep or more into the snow) So Anna and I borrowed snowshoes from the JVC and went on our way down the mountain for a 5 mile trek. The trail could really be divided into three sections: Above Canyon Road, Below Canyon Road, and Wonderland.

     The above canyon road section was a little tricky due to the fresh snow and the inexperience using snowshoes on both mine and Anna’s part. We followed this creek down. The creek was really intresting because it was flowing though a 5 foot canyon of snow.

     We made it too canyon road, and stopped to take picture of us on top of the snow bank before starting the Below Canyon Road section.

     There was only one problem. We couldn’t find the trail head for the next leg of our journey. The Above section had been marked with poles but not the below. Since the creek had gotten bigger, we didn’t want to just wing it down the mountain because knowing my luck we would end up on the wrong side of the creek. So we hiked down the road, instead of the trail to the Narada Fall, which was the starting point for the section of Wonderland we were going to hike.

    We made it to Narada, and started down the mountain. As we got below the falls, we had some gorgeous views if the falls. Since this trail is less traveled finding the trail at points was hard and sometimes we came to forks in the foot prints we were fallowing and had to pick a direction. We both decided that bridges were a good sign we were going the right way. On the other hand some bridges presented a challenge on how to cross them. The snow was 5 feet deep in places and was melting of the bridges so sometimes we had a 5 foot vertical drop to get down to the bridges. On those, we walked down to the creek and rock hopped across it was safer. On another bridge, we walked across the snow so we were about 10 feet up from the creek bed.

     From the bridge the snow started to disappear, which was really nice. The trail then passed through one of the large glacier fed stream bed (I wish I had pictures but we were in a hurry because we were running out of time to make a shuttle back up the mountain). The last section of the trail was though the a grove of old growth forest, but this wasn’t my favorite part. Anna and I were chatting away when we came across a Black-Tailed Dear about 15 feet away from us. This was cool, but my favorite part was the deer tracks we came across. First we saw the deer tracks, the deer was simply walking down the trail, and a little while later there were cougar tracks on top of the deer. As we continued to walk we could watch the tracks spread out as the cougar chased the deer. No, we did not see the cougar, though I wish we had.

With a 1 minute to spare we made it to Longmire and out shuttle back up the mountain.

Here are the rest of the pictures from this hike, click here

Wonderland Progress

6/04/2010 05:34:00 PM

Wonderland Trail

Wonderland Trail is a 93 mile trail that circles Mount Rainier. Most people thru hike the trail in anywhere from 24 hours to 2 weeks. Most people take between 8 – 10 days. Now, I know some of you are saying no one can hike 93 mile in 24 hours. You are right but some did run 93 miles in 24 hours.

My main goal for the summer is to hike all of Wonderland Trail. I am not going to thru hike it, I am going to break it up into one day sections or an overnight whenever possible. One section of the trail, I will have to take days off work in order to hike because of glacier flooding washing a road out. This is my big goal for the summer. Here is a map of Wonderland Trail. The trail is in yellow and I will highlight the sections I have hiked in other colors

6/03/2010 05:28:00 PM

Day 20 – Rampart Ridge

     Today was my first day off since my arrival. I decided that I was going to go hiking. I decided to hike a loop called Rampart Ridge. Rampart Ridge is a 5 mile trail. I though 5 miles isn’t that long of a trail. Yea, I was wrong. In the first .5 miles of the trail was part of a small trail called Trail of Shadows.

     Trail of Shadows is a easy trail that runs though some mineral spring and the resort built by the Longmire family. The history in the trail was fairly interesting. My favorite part was the spring that the resort claimed could heal any illness and the sign next to the spring read “DO NOT DRINK – the water can make you sick.” That is really ironic.

     From there the trail goes upward 1,200 feet over the next mile. It was a fairly hard climb for me because I am still not fully adjusted to the change in elevation. The weather had been fairly iffy to begin with and as I reached the top of the ridge it started to rain. So the view from the top of the ridge was kind of sucky. Though I could tell on a clear day it would be amazing. But the forest on the way up was so lush and green.

     From the view point the trail heads down the other side of the ridge and connects with the, drum roll please, Wonderland Trail (for those that don’t know what Wonderland is, I will be going a separate post on it in a few days). The small part of Wonderland I did hike (1.4 miles) was all downhill so it was fun.

To see all my pictures from this hike click here.

6/02/2010 05:09:00 PM

Day 19 – Seattle Fun

     As I mentioned last time, my roommate (Bree) and I had plans to go to Seattle. We got a late start due to me having to work, but they let me leave early so we were on the road by 10:40 a.m. Today was both a great and sucky day to go to Seattle. The weather was amazing today it was like 50 degree and clear, and the best part was NO SNOW or RAIN. I got to see the top of the mountain for the first time in a couple of days. The drive to Seattle was pretty uneventful, other than not always being sure we were going the right direction. I was an idiot and brought my G.P.S. but not the charger. But we got to Seattle and found the R.E.I store. For those that don’t know R.E.I. is a huge outdoor equipment supplier.

     Bree need new hiking boots and a backpack since she is going to summit (climb to the top) Mount Rainier. I am slightly jealous because I will not get a chance to do it this year due to the cost. I had been thinking about getting a hiking bladder and day pack and since the one I wanted was on sale I got it. I also picked up a pair of hiking pants.

     After R.E.I., we stopped a coffee shop. We kind of had to, its Seattle, the home of coffee cafés. I upload the last bunch of blog post while she finished up an essay for one of her summer classes. From there, we drove by the Space Needle. We were going to do some more of the touristy things but ran out of time.

     We were going to have dinner with her brother and best friend. On the way there we had to stop at Bree’s favorite bakery “Wheatless in Seattle.” Bree is allergic to gluten and as the name suggest the bakery is a gluten free bakery. It made some wonderful chocolate cupcakes.

     From there we drove to the University of Washington campus to pick up Bree best friend, Gavin. Gavin is studying aerospace engineering. So basically, we discussed different aspect of our 3 different colleges, and Gavin telling me various stories about Bree, and place I had to visit next time I am in Seattle. Bree’s brother made us a good dinner, and we hung out for a bit and then went back to the mountain.

     Here is the daily Mount Rainier Picture.