We camped 3 nights, heading home Sunday instead of Monday which I was very glad of as it was raining heavily and it gave me a day to have back at home before getting back to work. 3 nights felt like a really nice rest and was just enough. It provided the feelings of restoration I sought.
I made sure to verify which campsites were open amongst the Covid shutdown and multiple websites indicated 3 camps on or near Mount Rainier were open. Each one was fully booked so we rested our hopes on arriving early enough to secure an unreservable spot at one of them.
Upon arriving at our first option, to our horror we discovered the campground was closed and a guy we ran into informed us no campgrounds were open. He told us though that wilderness camping was allowed and that off forest service roads could offer a decent enough spot; just no access to services.
The first forest service road we turned down I noticed a sign asking please not to litter so hope rose inside me. Driving toward the end of the road I looked off to my left and notced a river along with some amazing looking camping spots. Just to figure out how to access them. We parked and found a trail through the woods leading down there.
We had to lug all our equipment down which was time consuming and exhausting for Caeli and my brother. Unfortunately with my disability I’m not able to carry anything heavy because of my balance issues and weaker left leg so was unable to assist.
A couple views from our campsite:
It was the greatest campsite I’ve ever found; right on a river under a canopy of trees. Breathtakingly beautiful it was. I had all elements of camping I desire: a river, a forest, starry skies, and a campfire.
It rained hard the 3rd night and we almost couldn’t get the fire going due to hard rain and damp wood. As hope began to fade after several failed attempts, I gave it one last effort and had my brother toss in crumpled paper towel after crumpled paper towel. At last the fire roared to life. It took careful tending and strategic additions of dryer wood to keep it going.
My brother met us at the mountain which was a little nervewracking due to our selected meeting spot not being well marked and no cell service. We found each other eventually. We had talked about him bringing our cats, we brought the cat tent and a litter box with us. Unfortunately after packing though he didn’t have room in his car.
On the second day he went to Packwood where there is cell service and while recording some Smule his phone got blown by the wind and subsequently smashed on a rock. He went home that second night so he could get a new phone. When he finally showed back up on Saturday in the late afternoon, to our delight he brought Lilly and Arya.
Lily was overwhelmed being out in nature and began freaking out, meowing incessantly and repeatedly attacking Arya. She even swiped at and tried to bite my brother. After that Trav put her in timeout down by the water in the cat tent, a ways away from us but where we could still see her. By the time he brought her back she had completely collapsed the foldable tent around her. She was much calmer after that but we left her in the tent, she still tried to attack Arya a few other times. Arya took camping like a true warrior and seemed to very much enjoy herself.
We had Arya out with us around the fire holding her but because Lily was so skittish I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of her.
When we got back Caeli gave me one of my birthday presents: my new favorite hat.
I finally took some time for self care and took a little mini vacation. It was very much needed. I hope you enjoyed this small window into my camping trip and that you’ll take the time for your own self care.
Here’s today’s poem time:
Offer of nature amelioration of restoration