Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Heading up into the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington state was nothing short of astonishing.The hike itself was pretty easy. There were steps rigged at most of the difficult climbs. But the scenery was amazing.

Massive trees loomed over head like great ancient giants, as Jade, Milou and I headed up the gradual climb. There was a huge variety of wild mushrooms of all different colors and sizes and a cascading creek flowing down the mountain. The drive itself was formidable; it took an hour from Jade’s brothers place in Lake Forest Park, WA, to get to the beginning of the half hour gravel drive up to the trail head. There was a single restroom unit, which smelled like….well, you can imagine. A bulletin board at the trail head told us to not build fires, watch for bears (!) and to pay a small money box fee of $5 presumably for trail maintenance. So, cool, we paid it.

Creek fed from Dorothy Lake
Creek fed from Dorothy Lake

The hike was 1.5 mile up to Dorothy Lake. We did pretty well, stopping a lot to take pictures and to eat a little on the way. Some of the steeper climbs had us gasping for air, but not Milou, who wasn’t panting or tired at all. Milou was epic, actually. He didn’t want to be carried at all. He wanted to bound up the steps and over roots, tramping through mud and pouncing from rock to rock over small streams. It was great to watch, and gave me a new found respect for the little Chihuahua.

Milou, the clear leader of our hiking group
Milou, the clear leader of our hiking group

The payoff for the climb was well worth it. We came out of the woods to a clearing overlooking Dorothy Lake. If you’ve never been, an alpine lake is a beautiful thing to witness. The water is so clear, and the mountain peaks loom all around, reflecting majestically against the smooth water. I perched cross-legged on a medium sized rock and soaked it all in, inspired to do my own reflecting on the life choices that brought me to this place, and contemplating the upcoming journey across the globe. It all felt perfect, like I’d rather be no where else at that moment. To think that I almost made the choice of a stagnant life made this moment even more spectacular. It made me realize how much I need to be on the move, “benturing” as wonderful Sophia calls it, seeing new beautiful places, reflecting on where I’ve been, how I feel along the way and letting my emotions ebb and flow as nature does. Vast scenes like Lake Dorothy are a great mirror to glance at the expansiveness of my spirit. I have always felt huge, too big to be confined or bounded by other peoples rules and regulations. This simple experience has reminded me of my desire to be limitless and infinite.

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