July 23, 2021
We broke down camp early and drove to the Sunrise (northeast) area of Rainier National Park. Along with the Paradise, this is another popular area and parking was a concern; we arrived early enough that it wasn’t an issue for us.
When we started we were the only ones on Sunrise Rim Trail (it pays to start early!). It got considerably busier at the Burroughs.
We got phone service at a random spot on the trail and there was a text from my son, Aspen. We were expecting him to fly into Seattle from NH, but the flight was delayed due to inclement weather. Since he’s a minor without an accompanying adult, staff would not allow him to hang out in the airport for multiple hours without supervision. My heart kind of broke, and I felt equally like a bad mother and powerless that this could happen again. Aspen would have to come back to the airport the following day; it was another day without seeing him.
Sadden by this news, we backtracked to the junction of Burroughs Mountain Trail and Sunrise Rim Trail and continued over to Frozen Lake. We were frustrated with the amount of people, so we opted to skip Mt. Fremont Lookout Trail and just make it back to the parking lot.
A couple cool things happened on the hike that did involve people:
- A volunteer ranger commented that she liked my hiking pants, which was random, but it got us talking, and she shared that her favorite national park is Glacier and she gave us some beta, since we would be there in a couple weeks.
- John and I passed a group of, like, 30 Asian women, and every single one of them said “hi” in a chipper sing-song voice; we couldn’t help but laugh.
- Make sure that you have cell coverage for when your child is flying out to see you.
- If you like quiet, people-free trails, you have to start as early as possible. It’s worth the effort.
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