Becoming The Laties

I can remember long ago when Kirk and I were the first to the trailhead, nearly every week. We’d be up in the dark, grabbing breakfast and lattes on the way and parking as the sun came up over the mountains. It’d be freezing cold, and it was July, but we were FIRST. We’d hike in peaceful bliss as we walked without seeing anyone else. Even the bugs were still in bed.

We’d make the end of the trail. Be it a lake, river, summit or ridge and head back out. And only see people as we got near the end. Then it would be a mass of humans, all the people from Seattle. Who had woken up, looked outside and declared it a good day for a hike. But brunch first!

We often reveled in how smart we were. I mean…we got really snobby about it. Who were these people? Oh, they were The Laties. We would never become those people.

Those people, they’d cruise through the massive parking lot at Mt. Rainier NP, praying they’d find a spot from someone pulling out. We’d sit on the back of our SUV and enjoy a lunch I had packed in a cooler after our hike. Watching them drive by. Parked in the most front spots.

And then….we became them. You don’t even notice it either. One day you are up early. And then suddenly a few years have gone by, you are sleeping in and enjoying a lazy morning. Nothing on your schedule. And you look outside and it’s going to be a nice day. “We should go hiking”. And it’s 8 or 9 am.

Let’s pack up. Get the water bottles, trekking poles, packs, get dressed, yell at the kids to go get dressed and argue with them.

But first…breakfast. Or is it brunch? Then a grocery store stop, maybe get gas…..

And suddenly you have become The Laties. And you are walking in an extra half mile to mile because it’s Noon and the parking area is jammed full.

I think my goal is to not be a Laties anymore….hah.


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