#38 Glacier View & Mt. Beljica
I was really looking forward to this overnight trip. Glacier View is a gorgeous, out-of-the-way hike near Mt. Rainier. Emanuel and I accidentally drove past the forest road and ended up in Mt. Rainier National Park but we did finally find the main road (it was unmarked). The first group of campers we found were responsible gun owners, target shooting away from the road with lots of signs and orange flags. However, the further up the road we got... the sketchier people got. There were lots of littered beer cans, too.
At the trail-head, people were camping. They just felt odd for some reason. They were target shooting but didn't have and flags out. The guns made us a little nervous but, hey, America, right? We figured we were just out of comfort zone and pressed on.
Starting on the trail, we passed through beautiful, foggy, old-growth forests and stunning views. Fog and rain interrupted our trek but the path was well-maintained and soft. It appeared that people had been up there recently, cutting overhanging trees near the trail.
Half a mile up or so, my partner found a swastika carved into a tree with the initials "FN." It was on the left side of the trail going up, slightly below eye level. We continued on for a while... but we were freaked out. My partner worried that we might stumble into drug activity or that it was gang graffiti. I worried about the potential for a hate crime (we're gay).
So, we cut the trip early and never finished the trail. On the way down, we saw "MAGA," short for "Make America Great Again," spray painted onto rocks. It didn't feel safe to be there.