Wonderland Trail | Day 1

Snoozed a 6:15 alarm at the Quality Inn in Auburn. Finally got up at 6:35 to take a shower. The plan was to be at Walmart in Bonney Lake when they open at 7. We needed to pick up a fuel canister there (as you can’t fly with one). One of us (I won’t name names, but it was Alex) also forgot to pack a USB-A to lightning cable, so we had to pick that up, too. 

In reality, we got to Walmart at 8. (We stopped at Cafe 19 for crepes and coffee.) I wanna say, the pick up experience at Walmart was incredible. You walk up to this huge, imposing tower in the middle of the store. As it’s eye sees you walking up, this dark glass slides up and exposes a screen that prompts you to scan your pickup barcode in your email. I had forgotten my phone in the car, I had to sheepishly walk away from the pick up tower/robot and fetch my phone. Once I scanned my phone, the robotic arm in the tinted glass tower went up to get my fuel canister (in a Walmart plastic bag) and gently set it down where I could grab it. SO COOL!

Next stop was Longmire. We’re stashing a resupply there that we can grab on the 5th day of our trip. We were cruising along (catching up on Pod Save America) but our ETA kept increasing, which made no sense. Then he hit the long line of cars getting into Mt Rainier NP. We finally got to Longmire at 10.

Then the long (but beautifulll) drive from Longmire to White River campground (where we start). We drove by where we’ll be camping the night before last — Maple Creek. I wonder what it’ll feel like when we’re there.

We thought the first line to get into the park at Longmire was bad... To drive to White River from Longmire, you have to exit the park and enter again. It must’ve been the time of the day (a couple of hours later), but it was a literal parking lot. The only time we were moving was when cars were turning around to go back. We thought that we’d be hiking by noon. But it’s 12:14 and we’re still outside the entrance to the park.

We finally got to the trailhead and started hiking at 2:02. Oof. We are camping at Mystic Lake, 12.4 miles away. 2:02 is SO late to start hiking. We cruised up to Sunrise. Both of us I think had kind of nervous energy and didn’t really mind the climb. 

Only saw 4 people total until Sunrise. Sunrise area was a different story. Sooooo many people. It was a little annoying to keep having to step off the trail to be 6 feet away when they pass. Holy shit, the views though. It was such a nice and sunny day. And Mt. Rainier was sooooo huge. It reminded me of hiking around Mt. Adams on the PCT. The new lens and camera that Alex rented came in really handy.

Sunrise to Sourdough Ridge was really crowded with day hikers. Can’t blame them, that stretch is incredible. I don’t know if it’s coronavirus related, or just a normal Saturday, but i definitely wasn’t expecting that. Our permit got checked around there. 

After the trail went down below tree line, we barely saw other people. I loved, loved, loved that stretch. Even though there were no views of Mt. Rainier, I loved all the wildflowers, ferns, and general greenery.

Alex spotted a hiking pole left behind, but we didn’t grab it because we weren’t sure which way the person would be going.

From there, we just cruised up to Mystic Lake. We were at our campsite at 7:40. It was so quick. I think we were quicker on uphills than downhills today just because we kept getting distracted chatting, taking photos.

I started boiling water for our freeze dried dinner right away. Then we set up the tent, blew up the sleeping pads, changed, got water, and by then the lasagna was done. Yummmm. It’s almost as good as I remember.

Tea and 1/3 of our box of Oreos for dessert. I’m really full! We brushed our teeth and hung up the food in Alex’s sleeping pad pump sack. It was pretty tricky to hang it up! I was having a hard time which made me laugh which made it even harder. In our sleeping bags at 9:20.

All our devices are still pretty charged. Only charging my watch.