Monday, October 27, 2008

Rattlesnake Mountain Trail

My brother Scott came out from Delaware to visit me this past Wednesday. Most awesome that he had the chance to make a trip out to Washington, as he was the only member of my family (parents and siblings) that had yet to come out and see me. Hooray!

Of course, Erik and I showed him a good time the best way we know how: food, games, and some nature. Scott got to try our most frequented food stops, including iSushi, Teriyaki Bistro, Outback Steakhouse, and Coho's. Aside from fine dining, Scott got a chance to play Fable 2, and join us for some multiplayer Geometry Wars 2, Mario Kat Wii, Wii Sports and Wii Play, and some weird ninja game. We would have played Raymond’s Rabid Rabbits as well, but someone had chewed up the rental disk. I expect Blockbuster to be giving me my $8.99 back, thank you very much.

Don't worry, we went outside too. Scott took a trip to Seattle on Friday, enjoying a pub crawl filled with microbreweries and very much beers. He saw Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, all before meeting Erik for a ride home after work. We also say Max Payne on Saturday morning, then went over to Acme Lanes for some bowling. I discovered I still suck at bowling. Some things will simply never change.

Sunday turned out to be our big adventure day. We had plans all along to go for a hike at some point in my brother's visit, and decided on Rattlesnake Mountain Trail.

Preparation was quite an adventure in itself. We bundled up, as it was a very mild 40 degrees Sunday morning. Since I've been watching a bunch of Man verse Wild with good old Bear, I decided we best be prepared. We had drugs, snacks, water, band-aids, sandwiches, power bars, and Red Bull. And I, of course, made sure to bring my Indie hat.

Now, we decided to be a little ambitious. We took two cars, parking on either side of the trail, originally believing it to be an 8 mile trek from one point to the other. Well, we started on the lake end, where we found out the entire trail was actually 11.5 miles. Yikes. Turns out the lake side is also the very, very steep end. Still feeling good about ourselves, we decide to check it out and see how we held up. We started by walking around the lake. As you can see, the water level was pretty low.

Erik is in the camouflage pants, in case we found bears, and Scott is in the far ground taking some pictures.

That rock poking out up there is where we were headed. Rattlesnake Ledge, the first stop on the 11.5 mile trail.

I found this before we even got on the mountain. Biggest leaf ever.

Being that about halfway up the 2 miles to the Ridge I…very busy trying not to die, I don't have any pictures of the hike up. However, this is from when we got to the top:

See. We really did go two miles. Two miles over a 2000 foot elevation gain mind you. Took us under two hours, maybe an hour and forty-five minutes.

The view was awesome. It was really windy though. I was too paranoid to go all the way out to the edge. It was cold up there, too. Sucks the sweaty-warm right outta ya.

As you can see, there's the lake way down there. Waaay down.

So afterwards, we decided to try and go for a little longer. I picked up a walking still and considered killing myself with it after about another 30 minutes uphill. I was also taken off the backpack rotation by the guys. Apparently, they deduced that carrying the bag an extra shift to make up for mine was preferable to carrying me down the mountain should a mishap occur. (By the way, just for the record, I only slipped once and caught myself before I faceplanted.) After I growled a little for being excluded and we chowed down some lunch, it was time to descend. Scott was ready to go some more, but Erik and I were done. I was defiantly out of juice. I think Erik might have gone a little further, but forced the turn around for the sake of his melting girlfriend.

Took us maybe an hour to get all the way down, going about 2.5 miles. Total we did about five miles. Not bad, considering the incline. Going from the other end is a lot more gradual, so I think if Erik and I ever try again we'll be starting the journey from the other end for sure.

Scott flew out today to head home. It was good to see him, since I don't get much time with any of my family since I live so far from home. I hope he can make a trip again next summer, and maybe this time bring the kids. I'd love to take my five-year-old niece, Isabell, to see Mt. Rainier.

Great weekend. However, my legs and butt hurt from hiking and my shoulder and forearm are aching from playing Wii Bowling and real bowling. I need to start exercising before my muscles completely atropine.

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