Wonderland Trail – Day 10

Day 10 – Lomgmire Inn to Paradise River Camp

3.8 Miles
1100 Feet Elevation Gain
0 Feet Elevation Loss

When I woke up this morning, my tent and all my clothes strung up over the bathtub were dry.  I had cranked up the heat and left the windows open last night to promote maximum tent drying air circulation.  It had rained all night but stopped by mid-morning.  The sun came out and I could even see Mt. Rainier from the front porch of the Longmire Inn.

Mt. Rainier Vista from Longmire Inn Front Porch

After gorging myself on corned beef hash for breakfast, I fetched my resupply bucket from the Longmire Wilderness Information Center.  I had packed too much food, as usual, so put the extras in the hiker freebie box and packed up to go.  Today’s hike was a short one and I wasn’t in a huge hurry.  I bid good-bye to the Longmire Inn and hit the trail around 11:00 am.

The Longmire Inn

I began meandering through the woods, following the trail as it wound deeper into the forest.  Sun streamed through the branches and mist rose from the forest floor as water from the previous night’s rain arose as steam.

Forest Mist

The trail then began to follow along the Nisqually River on its west bank.  At the Carter Falls Trailhead, the path crossed over the Nisqually to the opposite side.  It’s an impressive river filled with silty runoff from the Nisqually Glacier.  I was rather surprised that the bridge was comprised of a simple log with a wooden handrail.

Nisqually River Foot Bridge

The path began to follow alongside of the Paradise River, a much humbler stream with clear water burbling over mossy rocks. A mile later, the Paradise River tumbled over a ledge to form the impressive Carter Falls. It’s the first of what turned out to be many waterfalls on this leg of the trip.

Carter Falls

Not long afterwards, I happened upon the Paradise River Campground nestled in the forest next to the river. I was the first to arrive, as usual, and perused all of the sites.  Not very inspiring. Two of the sites had giant puddles in the middle of their tent pads. Another site must have had a number of trees fall down on it, and had been roughly cleared with machine saws. So I chose the only remaining site and set up camp.

I had arrived rather early and was feeling a bit bored, so I made soup and then dug a trench around my tent.  My previous trench-digging attempts were half-assed and didn’t quite get the job done, so I put more effort into it this time.  This was no easy feat, as the only implement I had to work with was my ultralight Deuce of Spades poop trowel, weighing in at only .6 ounces. But I persevered and soon has the mother of all trenches dug around my tent.

I fell asleep early, feeling a bit apprehensive about the rain that I suspected was on its way.

My Tent and Rain Trench

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