Snowshoeing into 2014…

New Year’s Day, 2014…a day of new beginning and endless possibilities.  What better way to spend it than by going on a snowshoeing adventure.

Here's to a fantastic 2014!

Here’s to a fantastic 2014!

I decided to go up to Paradise at Mt. Rainier National Park for a couple of reasons: one, it’s close so I didn’t have to drive all day to get there; two, I needed a new America the Beautiful pass (especially since I’m headed to Yellowstone National Park at the end of the month); and three, I knew there would be enough snow there for a great snowshoeing adventure (not fresh powder, but the sun was shining so I’ll consider it an even trade off).  Unlike my relatives in the Midwest and my friends back east, we have been seriously lacking in snow this year.

After getting my pass at the entry station, and being reminded that tire chains are required to be carried in the vehicle while in the park in the winter, I headed up to Paradise.  The roads were great, a little frost and ice in places but nothing major.  As soon as I got to Paradise, I parked up by the lodge and grabbed the snowshoes and set off.

Starting out....definitely can't complain about the view

Starting out….definitely can’t complain about the view

The mountain was breathtakingly beautiful and there were quite a few people out enjoying it.  I took off  up the Golden Gate Trail, pausing every so often to reflect on the beauty of the mountain (and let’s be honest, to catch my breath – snowshoeing is a great truth teller in letting you know just how out of shape you are – yikes!)

Heading up to the point just beyond the trees

Heading up to the point just beyond the trees

Once I rounded the bend near the trees, I found an excellent spot to enjoy some hot chocolate from Hot-Can, a company I first heard of last year, but hadn’t tried as of yet.  When you push the button on the bottom of the can (you have to depress it about 3/4 of an inch for it to activate), it breaks a foil seal allowing water to activate with with quicklime already in the heating chamber.  when the water mixes with the quicklime, it produces heat causing the beverage inside to warm up in about 3 minutes.  I’m not sure I would take it with me all the time, but it was a nice way to enjoy  a break at my turn around point – enjoying hot cocoa and absorbing the spectacular views of both the Tatoosh Range and Mt. Rainier.

Enjoying some hot cocoa and the views

Enjoying some hot cocoa and the views

 

What a view

What a view…

All to soon it was time to start heading back down the mountain as I was meeting a friend for coffee later.  I  couldn’t help by stop for one last picture before I returned to the car though.

January 01, 2014 Mt Rainier National Park 162

As I removed my snowshoes and loaded everything back into the car, I couldn’t help but feel hopeful and excited for the start of a new year…..just thinking about all the new adventures and memories that I’m hoping to create this year…

Wherever you are, I wish you a very happy 2014!  I encourage you all to make the most of every day and create adventure and excitement wherever you go.

 

Until the next adventure…

 

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