Sunrise Point, Mt. Rainier, Washington

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.Β Smell the roses, and all that.Β I made the decision to finally stop freaking out andΒ 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! πŸ™‚ Fair warning, this is going to be a super picture heavy post!

This beauty.

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Mt Rainier, circa 5:30 am

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.

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Wonderful views in the wee hours of the morning.

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While we were bundling layers to fight the early morning chill, the sun was starting to spread its colors.

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First rays of sunlight casting on Rainier.

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We took the Sunrise Nature Trail, and about halfway up, came across a clearing with splendid views of the National Park.

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By this time, the sun was out completely, casting light on the dazzling meadows and mountains.

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Excuse my coffee-starved early morning mug shot.

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.

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Special shout-out to these guys for indulging me! πŸ™‚

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!

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25 thoughts on “Sunrise Point, Mt. Rainier, Washington

  1. America is so breathtaking. I loved the way the sun set the mountain on fire with the gorgeous pink hues. I can’t believe I missed out on all the awesome when I lived there. I have so many itineraries and things to do when I go back!

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  2. Sunrise is the best moment of the day for me. I think as you grow older you will find yourself getting to know it a lot better. I am not always where I can enjoy it but a post like yours will get me up every day. I have never been there but Laurel was raised n Bellingham, Washing ton and talks of these places all the time.

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  3. Thank you for sharing us your personal life story and your decision to quit your job and live the life… the same words I just heard from my former work colleague, hahaha (contrary to yours, her’s have lots of drama). You’ve got great shots here, and the skies so beautiful! Seems like you are a morning person πŸ˜€

    -blairvillanueva

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awww, don’t be too hard on yourself.
    I’m not much of an early bird either, however sometimes, I take a bold step to do something that I’ve never done before. You’ve changed my perspective on Washington though. I always thought of it as a very “political”, now I see that it has a more picturesque side. These pictures are gorgeous! Looks like that spontaneous decision you made in the wee hours of the morning was worth it.

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  5. Congrats on all your accomplishments in the past year, and I can completely relate to you as I was the youngest of my peers growing up as well. Props to you for quitting your job and recognizing the importance of treasuring the beauty in our everyday lives. Beautiful photos of the sunrise, and best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

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  6. Oh man, I know ’em feels! I went from doing my bachelors to doing my masters. Half way through my masters and I’m terrified of living my life as a routine and in what society calls “success”.

    That being said, it’s all the little things that keeps you going… Like spending your birthday up in the mountains for sunrise! Always a good choice πŸ˜‰

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  7. Your photos are amazing! Would really love to visit and watch the sunrise, it feels so peaceful… Although I’m sure everyone you must have heard a lot of cameras clicking away πŸ™‚

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  8. I’m a huge fan of sunset and sunrise, and it’s my frustration sometimes taking perfect photos of these. hahaha.. Yours was amazing! well, life must move forward positively. GoodLuck on a new endeavour πŸ™‚

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  9. These photos are incredible and definitely worth getting up early for! I totally get where you’re coming from too. Life can often get in the way of living! Happy belated birthday!

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  10. Happy 23! I turned 23 this year too πŸ™‚ What a lovely hike – how may layers did you have on? Did it get hotter as the day went on or did it stay as chilly as the morning?

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  11. Wow you seem very wise and well spoken for just 23! I can see why you gravitate towards older people. The photos are breathtaking! I’m convinced to visit!

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  12. First things first congrats on EVERYTHING. A fab achievement at 23.
    Happy Belated Birthday I hope the year ahead brings you all sorts of calm and many more adventures.
    Start living !

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  13. In the fast pace of life, we tend to forget that small things can make us happy and satiated. Your pictures are so beautiful am sure they are worth the change you accepted.

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  14. It looks like your early morning was well-rewarded. I’m curious…have you started waking up early more often since this epiphany?

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  15. Wow, I just couldn’t stop admiring the photos here. The views are stunning from up there. I can imagine how beautiful it must have been at sunrise and the early morning

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  16. Aw this is beautiful πŸ™‚ I love that you did something spontaneous for your birthday and woke up to see the sunrise – Mt. Rainier is a beautiful place! I wonder what’s in store next year?!

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