Trip 1 hikers had a full day of excitement. They started the morning with a grab ‘n go breakfast at National Park Inn, then assembled to hike the Trail of the Shadows Loop, a short hike of less than a mile.
This is one of the easiest hikes in Mt. Rainier National Park and still showcases park history and several interesting natural features. Hikers can walk back in time to visit the Longmire cabin, the oldest structure in the park; discover colorful mineral springs; learn about the old Longmire Springs Hotel; and challenge each other to find evidence of beavers by finding teetering trees sitting precariously on hourglass stumps carved by strong teeth.
After lunch, the Trip 1 team drove up to the Paradise parking lot, where they started a guided walk with Interpretive Ranger Grant Smith. This 75-minute walk in the Paradise area covered no more than 1.2 miles and focused on geology and climate change.
Trip leader Judi said last week, “Whether the walk will include a foray onto snow will depend on how much melt happens between now and then … All hikes in the Paradise area have at least a couple hundred feet of elevation change.”
After the guided walk, hikers explored the Paradise Visitor Center and Paradise Inn. The visitor center has a video presentation on Mt. Rainier, gifts, and a coffee shop.
On the drive back to National Park Inn, the Trip 1 team stopped at a few attractions including Reflection Lake and Narada Falls. Hikers are once again having dinner and bunking at National Park Inn.
This evening offers a special treat: A drum circle! (Trip leader Judi’s trail name is Song Bird. She also leads the Tremelos Parkinson’s choir and Parkinson’s Victory Drumming.)