Today Trip 1 hikers assembled at the Kautz Creek parking lot in Mt. Rainier National Park. Trip 1 represents something new to Pass to Pass this year: day hikes. These make Pass to Pass activities more accessible to hikers with Parkinson’s disease whose physical abilities may not be suited to a multi-day backpacking trip.
After a bite to eat, the Trip 1 team’s first adventure was the first section of the Kautz Creek hike, an easy 2.3 miles. This is a moderate incline hike, perfect for an introduction to Mt. Rainier. The trail surface is a mix of sand and stone left by the creek when it changed course. Through the alders, hikers can glimpse the eroded banks along with stands of evergreens still holding their ground. About a mile in, a log bridge spans a branch of Kautz Creek and offers passage to the other side. The itinerary called for a snack break at this spot before going back to the starting place.
Trip 1 hikers are having dinner and bunking at National Park Inn. Evening plans call for a short presentation, “The Mountain is Calling”, and time to get to know fellow hikers over games and hot chocolate.