In the distance, a giant dog grazed the trail beside a tree. As I walked closer it became immediately apparent that I was looking at a big fluffy bear cub and not at all a giant dog. We locked eyes while I slowly raised my camera to snap proof that I saw my first bear, and then I had a small panic. This was a curious cub, inching toward me and I was alone in the woods.
I slowly backed away until I turned just out of his sight on the trail and I watched him scurry off into the lower brush. I was only about a third ways through my 9 mile hike and I wasn't ready to turn back yet. Peering around the corner I waited for the mom to come charging out of the woods, but she was no where to be found. I was on high alert, scurrying past the tree which was now owned by the bear.
I saw a lot of wildlife that day. It was like a party in the woods and I was just passing through. So while the views on the hike weren't quite what I was expecting, I still got a pretty incredible experience.
After finally finding civilization again, I found myself at a beautiful overlook, wishing I had a canoe so that I could make my way to a boat-in camp. I made my dinner as I watched the boats glide across the crystal blue water. The sun was blasting rays of light between the mountain as it set, I had my tea in one hand and a pen in the other, sketching away to document the inspiring mountain terrain surrounding. It all seemed right in it's place.
"Uh, is that your car with the flat tire?" No way. Carol the Carrolla just got new tires. Except it was her and her brand new tire had been stuck with a nail.
These wonderful strangers helped me change to my spare tire and helped me figure out how not to break Carol in the process. I ended up spending the next 2 hours driving half the speed limit to a gas station where I could fill up my spare which was also flat. It was a long night, and there was a lot of sleeping on the side of the road, but my morning, the Les Schwab doctors fixed her up and she was good as new!
Together we decided not to look back and headed due North instead and I made my way to Mount Baker. It was my first summer at Baker and it was unforgettable! I accidentally found a hike that had been on my list for two years. I explored my way up and waited for the sun to set. It felt like minutes but hours were passing by. I was up at the peak for roughly 4 hours before I headed down trail with the sun at my heels. The light in the north was unforgettable; a perfect way to end my crazy weekend.
P.s. I'm not much for selfies, but I've had a lot of people ask me if I'm really going out as often as it seems; so I've started taking "proof" selfies. The simple answer is yes, these are all my photos and yes I really do explore that often. I try to go out as often as I can. These photos are my memories- triggers to my experiences that bring me around the world when I'm stuck in an office 5 days a week. I have so much to see in the world and even if I travelled somewhere new every day, it would still take a lifetime to see a small percentage of its beauty. So I go a little crazy chasing the mountains and the sun while I'm still young. Can you blame me?
Also, I found some some "old" gems recently:
Spray Park - Mount Rainier Adventures - From that one time I raced the sun to prove I wasn't lazy. August 2016
Mount St Helens - The Rolling Hills of the Mount Margaret Backcountry - From that one time we snuck a drone into the mountains August 2016
Jung Frau- Paragliding the Swiss Alps - From that one time we went to Switzerland and I suddenly decided that I wanted to be a professional paraglider or squirrel suit jumper. May 2016