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A Year of Wonderland Backpacking Mt. Rainier

A Year of Wonderland Backpacking Mt. Rainier

By Lisa Elliott
It took me a year of planning, a lifetime of stories and 14 days to do it. Experience adventure stories of hiking, backpacking and living in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. Gain tips on how to bring the adventure back to your life and push through barriers. Infused with Native American culture and lore, experience the creation of our 5th National Park. If you love the outdoors you will enjoy every minute of this podcast. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
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22. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 14 Part 2 Indian Henry's Hunting Ground and Devil's Dream Backpacking Mt. Rainier

A Year of Wonderland Backpacking Mt. Rainier

24. A Year of Wonderland~ Live Life Fully and The 10 Keys to Mental Abundance
Training doesn’t just involve physical conditioning, it involves mental conditioning and endurance to work through challenges. If you work through the tips here, you will return with a clearer picture of how daily life can be lived in order to feel mental abundance while maintaining your spirit for adventure. For more photos and video go to
June 13, 2021
23. A Year of Wonderland~ Raven, the River Maker and Fording The Raging Pyramid and Kautz Rivers.
The story of Raven the River Maker. After our last evening at Devil’s Dream, we slowly gather our thoughts, celebrate our wills and determination and are ready to hike out an easy final 6 miles to Longmire for a burger and fries. After just enough water to cook our breakfast, we quickly learn we must ford the raging Pyramid and Kautz Creeks and Sandy is in over her taped toes and sandals, that are beginning to fall apart. Can it be done safely? We also find a solo hiker combing the banks for the lost trail as we zig zag looking for a way across. Could this be help from Raven the Hero. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
June 07, 2021
22. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 14 Part 2 Indian Henry's Hunting Ground and Devil's Dream Backpacking Mt. Rainier
Day 14 Part Two. In this episode find out how two places within a few miles walking distance of each other be described as both Heaven and Hell. And, how can a small and notable native well known today on Tahoma, leave such a legacy? Driving home the lesson, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
June 06, 2021
21. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 14 Feed the Spirit on Emerald Ridge and The Tahoma Suspension Bridge Backpacking Mt. Rainier
Day 14  Part 1 It’s no doubt we all have it within ourselves to do hard things. To realize this we must pick what we feed. This day challenges our wits and determination. What happens from the South Puyallup Camp, up Emerald Ridge and across the Tahoma Suspension Bridge will leave you swinging breathless across a 100ft deep mouth of a glacier. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
June 03, 2021
20. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 13 Golden Lakes, Sunset Park Klapatche Park and The South Puyallup Rally
Day 13 is my hardest day on the Wonderland Trail. With temperatures still in the high 80's and even the 90's we find ourselves leaving the beautiful Golden Lakes Camp early in the morning. Making our way across Sunset Park the early sunrise captures the golden reds and yellows of the landscape surrounding us. Following a glorious morning we climb up to Klapatche Park, where many fond memories me back in time. Ending with three notable Native American Guides. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
June 02, 2021
19. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 12 Empowering Others or Making It a Competition, Mowich to Golden Lakes
Day 12 on The Wonderland Trail heats up literally and figuratively. The day's trek starts from Mowich Lake at 5200' with temperature forecasted to be soaring into the high 80's. It's time to put this leg behind us as we must cross the South Mowich River one of the more treacherous river crossings. Upon crossing the North Mowich River, Lisa temper flares too making her normally calm demeanor ramp into a competition. Just after this a man looses his life crossing the South Mowich River. This episode marks limits we have as humans. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
May 30, 2021
18. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 11 Journeys of the Past and Present and Mowich Lake
Day 11 The Wonderland Trail today circumnavigates Mt. Rainier in Washington State. We begin this episode with an excerpt from the 1915 book, The Mountaineer, describing the first ascent of Tahoma by a white man named Tolmie. Travel back and time to 1833 and then again in the 1974 for a look into two journeys quite different. The episode ends with Lisa saying goodby to Shannon after their ten days together backpacking in 2020. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
May 28, 2021
17. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 10 West Fork of The White River, An Indian Named Sluskin and The Journey
“Life should be measured in quality not quantity.” My entire life, our summers and free time were centered around Rainier with my friends and family. But consider this, perhaps it isn’t about the mountain after all, our destination quite beautiful albeit but, the people who by choice have happened to be by your side as you travel on at your worst times and your best make the journey. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
May 20, 2021
16. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 9, Grand Park, Fire Creek on The Northern Loop, Chief Seattle's Famous Speech and The Bridge of the Gods
We leave lovely Berkeley Park far into The Northern Loop of Mt. Rainier. As we hike across expansive Grand Park we discover yet another hidden secret alone on the Northern Loop of Rainier. In this episode you can also decide which is fact or fiction in Chief Seattle’s Famous Speech from yesterday. I make a fact check through the National Archives. Finally, we end with a story titled The Bridge of the Gods tying my thoughts and experiences here together. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
May 16, 2021
15. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 8 Wonderland Cougars and Trail Runners, A Berkeley Park Camp Story
As she hiked up the ramparts, we start this episode with an experience with a cougar my grandmother had as an eleven year old girl living at Longmire. Learn the truth about cougars in Washington State and what some say the wildlife you’re most likely to die of besides a cougar. My opinion as a runner and trail running the Wonderland. Finally the immortal words of Chief Sealth also known as Chief Seattle. To see photos and read more go to
May 15, 2021
14. A Year of Wonderland~ Equipment Base Weight, The Big 3 of Base Weight, Backpacking Mt. Rainier
The nitty gritty on base weight and how to find your sweet spot between price, weight and space. Mine is around 10 lbs for shelter, sleep system and backpack pack and 30-32 lbs total. Find out how to trade off and not give up luxury. For more photos and graphs relating to the this and other stories go to
May 14, 2021
13. A Year of Wonderland~ Equipment Shelter, The Evolution of the Sleeping Shelter, Backpacking Mt. Rainier
From tipi to smelly, leaky canvas and the latest dyneema that weighs ounces, here is the story your back needs. The evolution of the tent is here with durable ultralight being all the rage today. Find out my preference for sleeping and how to "weigh" your options. Finally a story of how tent cities built the west and tipis were used through the history of Washington State. For additional photos and reviews see
May 14, 2021
12. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 7 Magnificent Sunrise at Mt. Rainier National Park
Yakama Lore of Pahto (mountain) and an early morning headlamp hike above the clouds to Mt. Fremont still remains our most spectacular sunrise we have ever seen. See photos at
May 12, 2021
11. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 6 Day Hike at Tahoma finds us in Awe of the Creator
As we say our goodbyes to the remainder of the group, leaving just Shannon and myself, we hike into the Seven Lakes area of Sunrise. Seven Lakes is as magical as Forest Lake but different. Dotted with alpine lakes and views of the Cascades and Pacific Crest Trail, we are met with a river of lupine and the heavenly scents of summer. Finally we hear the Yakama story of the Creation. For additional photos and a video trailer of this unmatched scenic wilderness area go to
May 11, 2021
10. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 4 and 5, Charcuteries and The Stars of Forest Lake, Backpacking Mt. Rainier National Park
Tucked away in a hidden alpine location is lovely Forest Lake and Huckleberry Creek. How to have fun on the trail with food, beverage, spa opportunities, swimming, star gazing and dessert. Dip those sore feet into the babbling Huckleberry Creek and float in Forest Lake. Marvel at the stars as they reflect the night sky, alone in the galaxy.
May 11, 2021
9. A Year of Wonderland~ Skills, Crossing Dangerous Rivers, Backpacking at Mt. Rainier National Park
Sadly each year many lives are lost on The Wonderland Trail by experienced hikers crossing rivers. Find out the basics and learn to assess your skill level in order to minimize risk in the backcountry. Day #3 on The Wonderland included a problematic river with minimal to some risk. Farther on the trail you'll hear of the South Mowich, West White River and Carbon Rivers that hold higher risk. You'll want to check with a park ranger about these hazards while obtaining your permit. Read more at
May 10, 2021
8. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 3 Bears of Summerland on The Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park
Day 3 What species of bears you will see on The Wonderland Trail. Do you need bear spray? The story of the marauder bear at Summerland and the sad history of the Grizzly Bear through Native American storytelling of how they disappeared. For the entire story with photos go to
May 10, 2021
7. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 2 The Rain Gusher, Backpacking The Wonderland Trail Had Me Crying Like a Baby
Owyhigh Lakes, Tamanos Mountain, and Tamanos Camp The rain on Mt. Rainier's Wonderland Trail had me resort to what I call the 11th and 12th essentials. Hear a story that will make you shiver from head to toe even in the heat of August. For the entire story with photos go to
May 10, 2021
6. A Year of Wonderland~ Food Weight, Too Much Food! Food Caches on The Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park
More specifics about caches. Plan your calories, garbage, and a sample of a days worth of meals. Most people bring too much food. Finally, there is a reason for using duct tape around your bucket. For the entire story with photos go to
May 10, 2021
5. A Year of Wonderland~ Day 1 Lost the First Day, Food Caching and Backpacking The Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park
Learn where to cache your critter containers, bags and buckets, with duct tape and why duct tape. There's a lot of driving to cache locations. Where the Sam Hill is Deer Creek? How can we be lost our first day. More information can be found at
May 10, 2021
4. A Year of Wonderland~ Planning Ahead, Backpacking Permits and The Early Entry Lottery on The Wonderland Trail
The Early Entry Lottery has changed the last two years. Getting picked for the Early Entry Lottery doesn't mean you automatically get a trip around The Wonderland Trail. Find out what is new and how to obtain permits for The Wonderland Trail. For additional photos, and media including videos go to
May 10, 2021
3. A Year of Wonderland~ The Explosion of Mt. St. Helens and Backpacking for a Sissy on Mt. Rainier
Learn about the planning involved and process to obtain permits at Mt. Rainier National Park's Wonderland Trail. Revisiting old fears and being well prepared is key to success when backpacking for 14 days. for more specifics and stories relating to this and other podcasts.
May 10, 2021
2. A Year of Wonderland~ It's All About You, Find Inner Strength to Backpack Mt. Rainier National Park's Wonderland Trail
What is your purpose in life? Do you have goals or a story to tell? Learn how to create your own adventure and how to tell about it. This episode is about finding adventure in your life. Through this mindset you will learn to discover who you are and realize your potential. For the entire story go to
May 10, 2021
1. A Year of Wonderland~ The Spirit of Adventure 1843
This past year I decided to backpack around Mt. Rainier National Park, located in Washington State. The Pacific Northwest is full of rugged beauty, forests for miles and Native American lore. This story about Nathan Olney, 1824-1866, was my great-great uncle, the epitome of what it means to have the spirit of adventure. Read, see photos and watch videos on my commercial free blog at
May 10, 2021