It’s getting closer, 22 days, to be exact! So, what is the plan exactly? First, we have to get to Washington and link up. I am already on the West Coast for summer training, so it will just be a quick hop up the coast to Seattle for me. Mom, on the other hand, is coming all the way out from North Carolina. If all goes to plan, by the evening of July 27th, we should be together in Seattle. Then we have to get to Mt. Rainier National Park by that night, hopefully. A rental car is a solution for that part of the problem unless someone knows a secret for getting to the park I do not.
If there were a weak link in our plan, it would be getting on the trail. I put in a lottery request for a trail permit in the spring. Unfortunately, we were not granted an itinerary. The good news, however, is that about 30% of permits are reserved for day-of walk-up permits. The bad news is that to be sure to get one, one of us will be queued up at the permit office before the sun rises. With a walkup permit, we cannot nail down our itinerary until we are in the park. Which in this case is fine because Wonderland is a loop so we can start and end without needing a shuttle.
I am looking forward to being on the trail with Mom. She used to my siblings and I on little adventures throughout the southeast when we were younger. I have always cherished those memories, and it has been a while since we have added to that list. This trip has already been formative for her, I think because it has inspired her to improve her fitness and learn a world of new things. It has meant hours of phone calls discussing equipment options, and itineraries. I am excited for her because of the opportunities I think this trip may bring her. This trip will be just the beginning of a new world of adventures and experiences for her.
As an aside, I have gotten the question about what gear I take several times, so here is a general list of what is in my pack for a trip like this. Base weight, without food or water, comes out to about 22lbs. I find having the equipment I do strikes a balance between comfort and utility. My hope is to have Mom at about the same weight.