"When I get sad, I just stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story." - How I Met Your Mother


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Straight out of a Horror Flick

This past weekend we went camping at the base of Mt. Rainier, Wa. At approximately 14,400 ft it is the tallest mountain (volcano) in the continental US.

It is quite an unbelievable place. Last summer we stayed on the south side of the mountain and hiked around the vastly popular Paradise area (read: over-crowded). This is the point where most climbers planning to summit Rainier begin their expedition. This trip we decided to explore a different area of Rainier and camp somewhere a little more remote. So we packed up our camping gear and the dogs and headed out to a little known rustic camping area (Summit Creek) in the Grifford Pinchot National Forest. The area is well off the highway and not clearly marked; which was great because our group of 11 & 3 dogs were pretty much the only ones there.

Maddie & Mika.

We took a pretty sweet 6 mile hike up to Crystal Lakes right near the Sunrise viewing area (which we also visited) on the Northern side of the mountain. Check out the gorgeous view from this Alpine lake:

Bunce & R took a frigid swim out to explore this tiny island:

After spending an awesome afternoon hiking & swimming we returned back to camp and experience a scene that was practically straight out of a horror flick. At the dirt road entrance that leads to our camp a sketchy fake looking ambulence was parked. A large shirtless man was sitting in the front seat. From the dirt road turnoff it is about 3 miles back through the woods to where we were camping and we had left J. Moose at the campsite with the three dogs since she had broken her foot rock climbing last week. We were a bit worried when we saw the ambulence, but it got even sketchier as we drove back to our site. Walking along the side of the road was this middle aged guy in a white shirt and hunting vest with blood all over his arms and face. He seriously looked like he had just killed something or ... someone. A bit of panic overtook us as we sped up to get back to camp, only to find that she and the dogs were gone. Oh Shit.

We get out of our cars and just kind of look around at each other absolutely speechless. Just then we hear some barking and the three dogs come running out of the woods; followed by J. Thank God! She had not seen the creepy, bloody guy and was alright. Then two police cars come flying up the dirt road and zip right past our campsite. At that moment we were all pretty sure that we had just seen a murderer.

About 30 minutes later the police vehicles come back down the road and we flag them down to tell them about the suspicious, bloody, creepster we saw. Turns out he was not a murderer; but some guy who was camping with his buddies that all got drunk, beat him up, pushed him off of a cliff, stole his car and drove off. Oh that is MUCH better than an ax murderer! (note the sarcasm) Sounds like that guy has some winner friends. The police officers ensured us that the situation was taken care of and that we would be safe where we were. Thankfully our group consisted of about 8 guys and three really big dogs, otherwise I don't think I would have been able to sleep that night.

Anyway, we rounded out the night with the usual campfire cooking, drinking, & awesomeness.

Super delicious Washington sweet corn.

All in all a great weekend. Oh yeah and I am super thankful that my friends aren't the kind that get drunk, beat each other up and drive away.

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