I have discovered the BEST backpacking treat ever, and I wish I could patent and market it somehow, because who doesn’t want to eat a SMELLYEO, ha ha!
Okay, maybe the name is not so appetizing – but it’s funny, which is even better. When you add Smore+Kelly+Oreo, you get a Smellyeo, and trust me, it equals a party in your mouth. But the key is using the THIN Oreos, and if they are a little stale and chewy, it’s even better. (And you HAVE to burn the marshmallow a little – the char is everything!)
My daughter and her boyfriend helped me come up with the name, so I need to give credit where credit is due. They have been my support drivers on several hikes, and some of my favorite memories are the long drives with them. I have raised my kids to have my sense of humor, so it makes sense that we easily volley back and forth with our often morbid and dark jesting – but what a relief that their chosen partners never bat an eye, and often jump in with the best inappropriate joke. (My DIL is the master! But Chuck is right there with her.)
And so the three hour drive to Mt. Rainier was filled with laughter as usual, and I had high hopes that I could knock of 10 of those 30 miles I skipped on my Wonderland attempt two years ago. Late June is not exactly the time to do anything on Mt. Rainier, but I found a little jem called “Steven Canyon Waterfalls” that quickly gets you on the Wonderland (.7) and to a camp spot (1 more mile) and from there I could just keep going clockwise to Longmire where we had abandoned ship last time. (see https://www.slowesthiker.com/blog/wonderland-fail/ ) Chuck and Amber could hike in and camp the one night, then back out to the car in the morning to drive to Longmire to pick me up and we could all have a lovely late lunch. Here are some things to know if you’d like to do this hike:
- A picnic lunch at the large parking area at Stevens canyon with nice bathrooms and tables then a half mile to a nice little waterfall to take a pic, then another couple hundred feet to turn left on the Wonderland which will take up to a DIFFERENT parking lot (Box Canyon in just a mile – I should have just started there, but I did squeeze it in) then a road walk back to your car would make a nice little day hike loop of about two miles.
- You need a permit to camp at Maple Creek Camp, even though nowhere on the trail description on WTA does it say you need a permit to camp. We avoided getting ticketed, but it was a stressful night. Just stop at the ranger station and get your damn permit! (And no fires allowed…we cooked the marshmallows on the stove fire, which works great.)
- You’ll see warnings of a trail washout at 4 miles in. I scoffed thinking it couldn’t be that bad if the trail wasn’t closed, but it is indeed pretty sketchy. I absolutely would not take kids on that part and would not recommend for anyone who is nervous about that kind of thing.
- If you want to go past Martha Falls to Stevens Canyon Road (just a half mile past the falls for a little thru hike) you have to go over a rickety old “bridge” that is sketchy as hell! At least at this time of year when there is a ton of water raging down. Not fun.
- You won’t make it to Longmire in late June, unless you want to navigate through a lot of forested snow mounds which are horribly icy. Maybe in a different year and maybe in a week, but not now. Thankfully Chuck and Amber found me waiting on the side of the road a little past Reflection Lakes.
So there you have it. Now I have to go back to finish that little bit between Longmire and Reflection Lakes, then skip ahead somehow to get to Box Canyon to complete the Wonderland to White River. But that just means another fun road trip to look forward too! Happy trails and trail treats!