Our last full day in the park turned out to be a Saturday which is very busy in the summer. There was quite a line up of traffic just to get into the park. What do you know? It was perfectly clear skies and we had glorious views of Mount Rainier with no clouds whatsoever. We had narrowed it down to 3 hiking options and finally decided to stay more in the trees with some glacial lakes as destinations as opposed to grander views of the mountain but wide open trail. Even in full sun and the warmest day yet, the temperatures still hovered in the low 60s. Perfect for a hike! For a change-up, this trail started downhill most of the way.
Sunrise Lake was just a half mile in and many on the trail didn’t go any farther. We plunged ahead another mile up the trail to reach Clover Lake. We found a perfect spot for a picnic, in the shade of a tree with the view of the lake. We sat down, spread our lunch before us, and proceeded to get ATTACKED by mosquitos. Both of us hate bug spray and before we left got a new lemon eucalyptus oil spray that the CDC recently announced is as effective as Deet. We coated ourselves and it seemed to be working as the mosquitos continued to hover but not land. There were plenty of wildflowers to be seen (pink and white heather, indian paintbrush including magenta (hot pink), lupine, alpine daisies, avalanche lilies, buttercups, to name a few.) We decided to hike in another mile and a half but we finally decided to turn around when we realized that Hidden Lake was actually spur trail another half mile away and we were dreading going back 3 miles of uphill. knowing we had pictured every wildflower and we had a steep long climb, I suggested that Mark put our camera away in his backpack so it didn’t bounce at his hip or get damaged by a fall. As we reached our lunch spot on the way back, Mark looked back at me and yelled “BEAR!” Sure enough, across the small lake, almost exactly where we ate lunch, there was a mama bear with a cub. They heard us and started wondering up a hill into the forest in the opposite direction, the direction of the trail home. Needless to say, we did not get pictures because the camera was safely tucked away. Darn! We knew there were a few hikers behind us so we decided to wait just a few minutes til the next group joined us so there were 4 of us instead of 2 in case we came across the bears again. We hiked back with our eyes peeled and the camera once again readily attached to Mark’s strap but of course the bears remained safely hiding. Huffing and puffing up the last steep section before the parking lot, Mark yells to stop again.
There is a marmot right in front of us on the trail. We had a ball watching him and shooting pictures as he was quite a photogenic little guy. (girl?) After three days of hikes and adventures, all we wanted to do was sit outside, go through pictures of our trip, catch up on the blog, and read a little. A relaxing evening and a good night’s sleep was all I wanted before we moved to another part of this amazing state. I had just gotten settled in my chair, listening to the spring babbling next to me, and read about a paragraph when Mark comes out of the RV and tells me that we have a problem. Molly had eaten an entire Hershey bar, which can be deadly toxic to dogs. We had no internet so we couldn’t look up what to do. We tried to text my friend Amanda who is a vet assistant but had trouble getting the text to send. My idea was to feed her dinner so a full belly would dilute the chocolate. We walked over to the campground host to find out where the closest town was with a vet in case this turned into a nightmare emergency. It turns out our host had raised 27 guide dogs puppies and said to mix 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of water, pour it down her throat, and make her throw up. Right about then, we heard back from Amanda saying that we should use hydrogen peroxide to make her throw up. Within one minute, all the dinner I just fed her, as well as the chocolate came up. It was about half an hour from when she had eaten it. We took her for a walk around the campground to help burn up any caffeine that may have been in her system. We gave her some chicken broth mixed with water to get fluids and electrolytes back into her and tried to get some sleep. Bless Mark who got up twice in the middle of the night to take her out. We were told to watch for diarrhea and lethargy (not sure how to diagnose that in the middle of the night.) She just peed both times. By morning, she seemed fine. Disaster averted.