The Surreal Northern Cascades and Sauk Mountain
A few months ago, I headed out to the Northern Cascades with a few great friends, Lizzie and Sylvan, to lead some 15 and 16 year old kids through a backpacking adventure. We had a few bumps along the way, but I ended up so extremely blessed with one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on.
Sauk Mountain starts off as a winding road that you take up to the trail head–seemingly endless turns and twists! But, eventually, you hit the car park and see a stunning view of the valley. Unfortunately, this particular day didn’t start off as we had planned–one of our kids got sick and had to stay back at camp with Sylvan–so Lizzie and I took the rest of the group on a morning hike up Sauk. With fingers crossed, the hike began. I could already tell that it would be a good one.
A thick fog dragged along the mountain side, drifting in and out of the granite slabs sticking out of the hills, floating over hundreds upon thousands of fresh wildflowers. It felt like a dream. The morning dew still sat gently on the flower beds and as we trudged up and up the mountain. The fog got thicker, only leaving momentary glimpses of the valley below us. It felt like infinity! There were small parts of the hike that took you under giant redwoods, and back out into fields of flowers. It was straight out of a fairy tale. How did we get here!? As we reached the tree line, snow started to appear towards the peak. Still in a thick fog, still in complete disbelief. We sat at the top by the cairn, took out our bags of trail mix, and reflected.
The climb back down was just as surreal as before. Finally, we reached the van, fog almost cleared as we glared down the valley and back up the mountainside where we had just came. We discussed the surreal feelings we all shared, the blessing that the hike was, and the gratefulness we all felt. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of mother nature’s touch.
We slipped back into the van, put on some Ben Howard, and followed the twists and turns back down to the main road.
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