2009-02-27 46 -121
It appeared to be just off the road, just inside the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park.
Today didn't turn out like I expected. The hashpoint appeared to be just off highway 165, on the side of Mount Rainier. Since I had never been to Mount Rainier before, and since the weather today was so beautiful, I decided to drive near the location and get a chance to see the wonderful mountain scenery. As I got near, the first of my troubles was in taking a wrong turn at a fork at the base of the mountain. I followed a road parallel to Carbon River for quite a way before realizing that there was no way it was correct, and I turned around to try the other fork. This road instantly led up a steep incline, with much more snow cover than the other roads nearby. I drove up the winding and ill-maintained path until I felt that it was too risky to continue in my car, so I parked at a spot intended for sightseeing. Here I took a few photos of the mountains and valleys and decided to walk the rest of the way to the hashpoint. After all, I didn't come all this way to give up!
I estimated that it was at least seven miles to the hashpoint, which I knew would take several hours walking but I didn't have any other plans for the afternoon, so off I went. There was snow everywhere, and I only saw a few other vehicles. One of them was a pickup truck that was using a strap to pull a car down from the mountain, no doubt because a motorist managed to get himself/herself stuck up there. I reflected on my wise decision to dismount my own vehicle.
I knew I had to walk quickly if I was to make it to the hashpoint and back again before sundown, and I was anxious to do so because I knew the temperature would drop rapidly at that time. Even so, it was a long walk, and I kept thinking about how I had come too far to give up. Eventually I also got a little worried about leaving my car behind, but it was too late to do anything about it. I just kept walking, following the tread marks in the snow, until eventually I was surprised to reach a point at which the tread marks ceased. It was a parking area intended for operators of all-terrain-vehicles, and even though the road continued it was covered with far too much snow. I still had a long way to go to reach the hashpoint, but I wasn't equipped to continue this course. I had no choice but to return home. At least the walk back to my car was all downhill. Overall I walked for about two and a half hours.