I woke at 3:30 to tend to old man matters. Soon after crawling back into bed, I heard "rustle scritch scritch rustle." We all know what that means; a mouse had found its way into my castle. My day pack was up between the front seats and it still had a bag of snacks in it. Lights on, shoe in hand, I saw the little b@stard scurry under the drivers seat. I opened the door and slammed the floor with a shoe, trying to force him outside. I still don't know if it worked, but I went back to sleep with the lights on and awoke to my 6 AM alarm. The White River overnight parking lot was still pretty full, being a Sunday morning with this incredible weather. I wanted to get to the Owyhigh Lakes trailhead early to have a parking spot. I needn't have worried. I was the only one there when I left, and the only one there when I arrived back from the hike. I checked my container of food under the bed for evidence of mouse chewing but found none, so I got to work cooking up a huge breakfast to last me the day.
With my earliest start since doing the Wonderland, I set off at 7:23 AM to Owyhigh Lakes and soon found the way trail that would lead me to the saddle for Tamanos. I had been here before so knew the view that awaited me, climbing the golden meadow as Rainier crowned and arose in the distance. What a view, with Goat Island Mountain, Summerland, the Sarvant glacier with Banshee and the Cowlitz Chimneys stealing the show below the rock. I also had a clear view to Whitman Crest and the ski route I did last year. As impressive as the saddle view was, I was hoping for a topper on Tamanos so set off in that direction. There is a nice clear path most of the way to the top, skirting the rocky outcroppings on the left when necessary. Even with little exposure I felt a little giddy transiting the rocks to the summit. I never have enjoyed heights, but I sure enjoy the views! And in keeping with what is now tradition, I FaceTimed my daughter and shared the views with her, this being another 4 bar summit. The skies were severe clear, the breeze was light and cool, the body was tuned to all the sensory input (big bird caws and howling coyotes!). A day in the mountains doesn't get any better than this. The descent was just as enjoyable and when I arrived at the saddle again, I laid in the grass for 30 minutes munching on peanut butter M&Ms and double stuff Oreo cookies, all the while taking in the vast expanse before me. I had already decided on a single peak, putting Barrier aside...I needed to get back to civilization and get some mouse traps, just in case. Stats: 11 miles/3400'
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