Comments for day 5

Today I got on the road about 830.  The temperature was about 45.  All through this trip so far it has been pretty chilly, though nice.  It has rained off and on each day, but nothing to write home about.
I started the day deciding whether to ride the 5400 ft 22 mile climb or go around the mountain in front of me that is way over 10000 ft in elevation.
The weather man said that conditions were not favourable for doing it. 
I also thought I read prevously that it was a 10, 000 ft climb. It turned out that it wasnt. I think that was something else about the area.
I realized that the weather could not get any worse than what I expeienced during my bike trip through the arctic. So taking that into consideration and the fact that I had all my winter gear with me for such an occasion, I turned towards one of the summits in mt rainier state park.
By the time I got to what is Paradise, wa, 22 miles and 6 hours later, I was really happy to see the hotel at the top. 
I spent this whole time going up the mountain on switch back roads in first gear doing 3 to 4 miles per hour. I would guess my bike and gear all way around 60 pounds.
My trainer at the gym (Craig) would be impressed. I think he would have been wasted after 10 miles.  Another friend of mine Jim M from the gym I think would have made it the whole way.
I could have most likely made it quicker, but living at sea level, makes the big climbs slow.
I think I should do what another friend of mine does Frank Mckinney (carrying house project see link on www.frank-mckinney.com ) and pull a tire for 24 hours across a bridge where I live in Florida. If I decide to do it again.  He is just 60 days younger than me. I am 50.
On the way up it started some what sunny and warm which quickly turned to a freezing but cold rain making me feel wet tired and almost cold.  The only thing that kept me going was my body heat.
At the end of the day it was well worth the challenge.
The scenery on the way up is spectacular as you saw in the pictures. Lots of old growth trees, some seem to be at least 800 years old. They stood tall and proudly into the sky with big ass trunks.
Most of the old growth trees outside of the park have been cut by loggers.
At the top of the climb I was greeted by lots of snow and well wishers.  When I checked into the hotel at least 15 people came up to me and wonderd how I could have made a climb like I did pulling all my gear with me. These all were people that passed me on the way up.
The paradise inn has no internet or cell phone service. It sits atop a 5400 ft summit and is packed with 144 inches of snow that has not melted yet. There were kids tobaggoning and having snow ball fights here the second week of June.
This place even has real pay phones! You don’t see them much around any more.

Leave a Reply