Riding out of Seattle we were joined by Cat for a few days out towards Mt Rainier, an introductory tour of sorts for her. We followed Cat’s excellent route choice out of the city along quiet residential streets and Lake Washington, onto a rail trail out into the countryside. The volcano popped up on the horizon every now and then, a fluffy marshmallow in the sky.
We just about managed to keep up with Cat’s fast pace out of town (we seem to have settled into quite a slow leisurely speed for most of our riding, but it’s good to pick up the pace every now and then). Our first night we ended up at a proper campsite with showers and everything. On the second night we found a great free campsite in the National Forest just before heading into Mt Rainier National Park and starting the long climb to the top of the hill.
When we got to the top of the Cayeuse Pass, we decided we hadn’t done enough climbing so carried on a little off route to the Chinook Pass (5430ft). The sun had come out for one day only, pretty good timing for our highest pass in North America, giving us perfect views of Mt Rainier.
We had a pancake picnic and coffee at Tipsoo Lake, followed closely by lunch and a stroll around the lake.
Cat set off before us on the long descent to Greenwater where she had arranged to meet Mike and head back to Seattle. We hung around for the afternoon to walk a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, passing a few old haggard through-hikers, and looping back towards the pass with more incredible views of Mt Rainier.