Thursday, April 10, 2008

Snowshoeing without Snowshoes

Last weekend Chris and I ventured to Ashford, WA to enjoy a cabin weekend with a group of his coworkers from Argosy. Amazingly enough, as far as I can remember, I've never been up to Mt. Rainier. I know, I know, how lame! We arrived Friday night at the cabin which was located just outside the Paradise entrance to the park. The cabin left much to be desired but there was plenty of room for the 13 of us who made the trek and it was warm. I slept on the way up so that I could enjoy the fun times that lay ahead that evening:
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Friday night we played games. Cookie organized a hilarious game of "camping terms" charades. Of course it quickly went downhill into "lewd terms" charades after a couple of beers, but it was tons of fun. Chris had packed the Wii with us and once charades was over he broke out Guitar Hero III. With 13 people it eventually turned into a bunch of different games being played about the cabin. Games on the Wii, card games at the table, and drinking games in the kitchen. The best part was that it snowed a couple inches that evening and there were spontaneous snowball fights on the deck. I'm pretty sure the last person went to bed around 3am (of course that wasn't me - I was in bed at something like 11:30 - because that's how I roll).

Saturday morning came way to early for a few of our group and we had to leave them behind as we ventured up to the mountain. It was a beautiful drive up, like driving through a snow tunnel:
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Poor Josh, Kara and Joe had to ride the whole way up crammed into the backseat of our Subaru (I can't ride in the backseat on windy roads like that or there would have been major pukage):
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The visitors center was surrounded by snow. It was pretty neat that you couldn't see out many of the windows because the snow was so deep:
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There was this crazy area in the visitors center that had stuffed animals that looked like they had been there since the 1960s. They were really mangy and gross. And then, there was this lone antler, just lying there:
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After a while we headed outside and for some dumb reason decided we would begin to walk the loop trail, that is designed for snowshoeing, even though none of us actually had snowshoes (well actually Cookie and Aren had some in their car, but they were too lazy to go get them). Yes I know, not the brightest idea. It took us about 1 hour to do the 1.5 mile loop (actually I have no idea how long it took us, but we were out there for a LONG time). Keep in mind that hiking a snowshoeing trail without snowshoes means that about every 6th step you leg sinks into the snow up to at least your knee. Now also keep in mind that most of us only had sneakers on, and jeans. Here are some random photos from our journey:
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After we were done with our "hike" we decided to warm up in the lunchroom of the visitors center. Talk about the area that time forgot. I'm pretty sure the entire visitors center was built in the 60s and then ignored.

All in all the trip was great fun, and I'd love to go up again. Next time though I'm taking snowshoes, for sure!
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