Little did I know that come winter, I’d visit Mt.Rainier to snowshoe and sled with my friends. While I was awed by the first glimpse of this dormant volcano (that stands tall at 14,411 feet as opposed to 16,000 feet earlier, as a result of the ‘mudflow’, a cataclysmic event several thousand years ago) from Alki beach park in Seattle, being there in person, surrounded by snow peaks, and to snowshoe and sled was an experience that left me speechless!
Having picked up hiking shoes, poles and snowshoes from REI, and layers of warm clothing, we were all set for a 2.5 hour drive to Rainier. We stopped at the Longmire Administration building (at the National Park Inn), to figure which trail to tread. We zeroed in on the ‘Nisqually Trail‘ and started to snowshoe. The Nisqually Vista Trail (at paradise) is a 1.2 mile loop that begins in the west end of the lower parking lot and leads through the wildflower meadows to views of the Nisqually Glacier. Once done with snowshoeing, it was time to sled on the Snow Play Area.
Off we sled, with our plastic sleds and toboggans. Meandering through the snow was fun, though initially rather scary and nerve-wrecking. The initial few times we slid along the snow path and slowly learnt to take partial control over the sled. Sledding was undoubtedly, an experience I am glad I did not miss due to initial fear and apprehension.
Amidst all this fun, to lie there seeing only snow in every single direction, was spellbinding, breathtaking and serene for the least.
The view of downtown Seattle from Kerry Park, the drive along Lake Samamish were equally beautiful, not to forget Microsoft’s headquarters at Redmond, Pike Place Market, and the various pieces of glass art by artists like Chihuly at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma.
I can’t thank my stars enough for the clear, sunny weather and my friends who took time out and made this enriching experience possible!