The Wonderland Trail

Day 2  Dick Creek Camp to Granite Creek

Got up early today, around 6:00am, didn’t sleep that well last night. Had breakfast, and hit the trail by 8:30am, I’m excited for the day, as today will be all new views. I have been over the section of trail already that we covered yesterday, and I’m really looking forward to the new terrain.

Moraine Park
Moraine Park

Good climb right off the start, we climb all uphill until we reach the beginnings of Moraine Park. It starts out kind of slow, more like a narrow valley, and then it really starts to open up. Then, you crest a small hill, and POW!!! Beautiful meadow spread out before you, then ridge line crested with trees, and then an awe inspiring view of the Mountain, and the Willis wall…

Moraine Park
Mt. Rainier, Willis Wall

Lots of Marmots running about, took lots of pictures and videos of them scurrying about. Really felt elated here, knowing that this was only the second day, and we were seeing some huge views already. After the meadow, started climbing again out of Moraine park, on our way to Mystic Lake. Passed a group of people, 4 women, 2 men sitting on a large boulder overlooking Moraine Park, they were just finishing up the Northern Loop today, invited us to come over and sit with them, but…We were on a mission!

Also, on this section of the trail, we pass two guys that we have already heard about on the trail. There originally were 3 of them that started, but one had already had enough and had headed out. Young guys, and they were trying to do the whole thing in 3 days!!!

Crazy, man! One of them pointed to the other, and said, “Yeah, we were trying to make the whole thing in 3, but we burned him out, so we’re heading out.” Hmm…Would’ve burned me out, too!!!

Mystic Lake is very beautiful, sitting at the base of Old Desolate, and it was larger than I had imagined. Fish are jumping, and the water looks very inviting. We stopped to dip our feet in the water, and I cannot resist swimming in it. Ahhh…Ranger stopped by and we chatted for a few minutes.

Mystic Lake
Mystic Lake

She had a great personality, and we enjoyed talking with her for awhile. We had passed her on the trail earlier, and she couldn’t talk then, said that she was trying to catch the guys that we had talked to earlier. She told us why…Guess they were jettisoning food and supplies left and right in their bid to get the heck out, and she caught up with them to tell them, “ you pack it in, you pack it out!”

She said there was close to 10 pounds of stuff they had just ditched on the side of the trail…I don’t think it made her too happy…We eat lunch here, enjoying the scenery.

Crossed the West Fork of the White River. Lots of damage here, from a glacial outburst, trail rather treacherous in places as it leaves you scurrying up along the steep hill sides, as the original trail has been washed away. Finally, at the last river crossing, we head into what look like old lava beds, or moraine fields, to the snout of the Winthrop Glacier. Good view of mountain here, too. Cross the Winthrop Creek?, which looks more like a river than a creek to me, really raging here, hard to hear each other talk.

Once across the creek, we head up and up again to Granite creek. Granite creek is a pretty alpine stream here at the campsite, in a wooded area. We get our choice of campsites tonight, and never see the guys that we met from Dick creek, we wondered where they went. A quick note on the toilet here…

Winthrop Creek
Winthrop Creek

Not bad, if you want a front row seat into the campsite nearest you…I remember going up to sit, and looking right into the other camp!

Call it performance anxiety, but I just couldn’t get comfortable trying to use the facilities while I was staring at the people in the next camp!!

Ed got some blisters today on his toes, and my foot hurts like I might have one. As the Spyroflex is still in place, I’m not going to remove it to see…Other than that, everyone is still doing well…One thing we have all noticed already, is how time on the trail seems to really stretch out. Thinking back to our starting point at Mowich, seems as if it really happened days and days ago, instead of just yesterday morning.

We’ve seen so much country in just 2 days, it just doesn’t seem possible that it was just yesterday when we started.  This phenomenon will                                                     stay with us for the rest of the journey, constantly amazing us as we think back upon the days that have been spent on the trail.

Winthrop Glacier
Winthrop Glacier

Played another game of dice, after dinner, and Ed won again!! That’s 2 games for Ed, none for the rest of us. We enjoy playing the dice game, “10,000”, or “Greedy”, depends on what you remember it being called…Both names fit, and it’s a great way to end the day, playing a game. Just wish there was a table in each camp!! Had to finish journaling in the tent with a headlamp, as we played dice until there was no light left. In bed by 9:30pm, time for sleep.