Last Saturday the Kraeger family conducted split-team ops, which is Special Forces talk for “some of us did one thing in one place, and some of us did another thing somewhere else.” Evie and Mommy went to visit Grandpa for his birthday.
And went shopping at Kohls, where Evie bought shoes. She was very excited about the carts with the baby seat mounted on the front where she could see everything. She also enjoys shoe shopping and purse shopping. Go figure, right?
The wearing of the shoes? Not so much. She still prefers to be barefoot.
In the meantime, Ryan went backpacking up Mount Ranier with three guys from MC, Joe, Daniel and Andy.
The original plan was for six guys to hike up to Camp Schurman, a base camp on the Eastern side of the Mountain, stay over night, and hike back down the next day. Let’s just say, things didn’t go as planned.
First view of the Mountain from the trail.
First off, we were unable to fill all the slots on the team. The sixth spot was filled and unfilled fully half a dozen times as people decided to go and then cancelled due to other plans. Then our fifth guy, Gus, bailed at the last minute because he couldn’t find someone to cover for him playing the piano for 10:30 Mass the next day.
View from Glacier Basin, the end of the maintained trail.
So we started off from the White River trail head, four men instead of six, and hiked up the trail along the river. We made it to Glacier Basin in good time, about 3.1 miles and not too much elevation gain. It would be a decent picnic hike.
Water resupply using Andy’s sock as a filter. Andy’s bottle was the first to be filled using the sock.
After water resupply in the White River, a ghost of its former self, the hard part of the hike began.
Kathleen’s Dad’s cousin used to have a hotel up here. This was the generator. That-a-way, guys! Looks easy.
Getting onto the ridge West of Mt. Ruth, a landmark on the way to Schurman, was the first major gut check. We gained nearly 2,000ft Elevation in about a mile.
About a third of the way up the ascent of the ridge. Daniel is fresh as a daisy.
That was a slow, hard slog up the ridge. Daniel, our seminarian, is in great shape and didn’t seem bothered by it. I told him when he becomes a priest he is going to be recruited for this sort of thing all the time. Mountain top Mass? I think yes!
Possibly my favorite picture from the whole hike.
Some of us were not quite so light and in-shape.
There is something sort of apocalyptic about this picture.
It took us nearly two hours to make the top of the ridgeline overlooking the Emmons Glacier.
The weirdly gorgeous Emmons Glacier.
It should have taken about half of that. We boogied up the ridgeline as fast as we could, but Andy was beat from the ascent of the ridge and it took too long.
Andy is miserable, but still trucking along. He did not quit the whole time, which is what Badassitude is made out of.
After taking over an hour to go the next kilometer, we held a meeting and realized that we didn’t have enough good daylight to make it around Mt. Ruth, up to Steamboat Prow and then down into Schurman safely, especially since we were about to enter the huge scree field on the Eastern slope of Mt. Ruth, and we could expect it to slow us down even more dramatically.
Ranier summit seen from the South Eastern side of Mt. Ruth.
So we turned around and headed back down. After a quick snack in Glacier Basin, we hiked back down the White River trail and made it to the truck before dark.
Last view of the White River valley with the Mountain barely visible through the haze from the wildfires.
So it was a valiant effort. Next year, hopefully, everyone will be in training for it and it will be an even more valiant effort. Of course, next year Ryan will be in school, so…
The rest of the week was pretty much par for the course.
Evie is talking much more now. She says, “Mama” when she wants something, or when she is upset with Daddy. She is also conducting experiments in the Great Outdoors.
Hypothesis: This is food. Design an Experiment: If it is food, it will be delicious. Conduct Experiment: Hmmmmm……
Turns out it is not yummy, after all. However, like the true scientist she is, Evie repeated the experiment under various conditions just to be sure and plans to conduct a series of ongoing investigations to determine conclusively whether her results can be generalized of all rocks, or only apply to this particular rock.
Daddy just plays with food.
This took about 6 minutes to make.
And on Thursday, Evie and Daddy went to go visit Uncle Adam down at the river where he was trying to catch some salmon fishes.
Evie all hatted up in Camo and ready to get this fishing thing ON!
She thought the river and the woods were very exciting.
No, Uncle Adam, you’re doing it wrong. Let me show you.
No, she didn’t catch anything. Next time!