So before we get to the details about this beautiful place, I want to share a little introspection I went through at the time of this trip.
P.S You’re more than welcome to skip the gnarly details of what goes on inside my grubby little head and scroll down to where the pretty pictures are. (Pretty is an understatement, seriously!)
I turned 23 this week. This year has been eventful in a lot of ways – I graduated, landed a job, moved to a new state, and got my own place. I got a lot of bear hugs and back claps, and generally felt like I accomplished a lot of things most people would call “successful”. And yet, I didn’t feel confident or satisfied. I don’t feel like an adult who has her life together. On my first day of work, I was terrified and even today, four months in, I’m still scared. Of screwing up. Of not living up to expectations (mine, and everybody else’s).
For as long as I have known, I’ve always been a couple of years younger than my peers. No, I’m not a genius or anything; I think my parents just wanted peace for a few hours everyday much sooner than expected. Now this isn’t a big deal, but I was always competing with people a few years older than me and that meant I had to achieve all the things everyone around me were rushing towards. I didn’t always feel prepared for a lot of things, but I had to do them because everyone around me was. I know better now, but at that point I felt like everyone else had it figured out, so I had to pretend like I did too. I went straight from degree to degree, obtaining skills that I thought I needed to make me a success. I was on a trajectory, never stopped to think or take a breath, to follow impulsive passions, or do things that enrich your soul but don’t necessarily go on your resume.
I don’t regret any of the decisions I took, they are what led me to where I am today. But, I am going to finally stop and take a breath. Smell the roses, and all that. I made the decision to finally stop freaking out and live. I want to consciously remember that I have time. Time to do things I wrote off long ago because there wasn’t time. To learn new things, see new places, forge new relations. Forget the trajectory, take the nearest exit and see where it takes you!
As a result of this epiphany, I quit my job. HAHA, NO. Nothing quite so dramatic. I wanted to spend this birthday doing something I wouldn’t usually do. So I woke up at 3am and drove two hours to see the sunrise. People who know me know I have never woken up to see the sun rise. Ever. It was the fullest and most refreshing breath of air I’ve taken in a while. Because the simple act of getting up and making this happen was a reminder to myself that I can still do the little things that make me happy.
Now that that’s done with, lets get to the actual travel part! 🙂 Fair warning, this is going to be a super picture heavy post!
Sunrise, at 6400ft elevation, is the highest drivable point from where you can see majestic Mt. Rainier. The amazing views start even before you get out of the car, and on a clear day, you can even see Mt St. Helens, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. There are hiking trails scattered throughout giving access to 360 degree views of Rainier and the surrounding cascades.
While we were bundling layers to fight the early morning chill, the sun was starting to spread its colors.
We took the Sunrise Nature Trail, and about halfway up, came across a clearing with splendid views of the National Park.
By this time, the sun was out completely, casting light on the dazzling meadows and mountains.
Halfway up, my early morning personality was done hiking for the day and so we lazed around the clearing, clicking pictures and goofing around. This was a super relaxing and refreshing trip, and I’m glad we made it happen.
We drove back for a hearty breakfast after, but this day was much needed fuel to my heart and soul. This blog is also a big part of “life” list and I hope to keep it going, so here is a heartfelt thank you to everyone reading!
Let’s see where my epiphanies and travels take me next!