This summer I felt like I can finally call myself a mountain runner. I have spent as much time as I can up in the Cascades running as deep and far as I could get in a day. As well as running in the mountains in Utah. Here is a video I made for Luna of me running in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and below I continue with my exploration.
I sat on a big flat rock overlooking a small deep green lake tucked away in the backcountry of the Cascades. A slight breeze stirred the Hemlock and Fir trees causing the occasional creak and groan. It was silent otherwise. The trailhead parking lot, eleven miles away, was overflowing with cars yet I hadn’t seen a single person in the last 4 or 5 miles. Spiderwebs crossed the trail indicating I was probably the only person to come to this lake in the last few days. The deeper you get into the wilderness the more real, vibrant, and magical it becomes. There is something that can be felt, and it gets stronger the further you are from the life cords of civilization. Especially when you are alone. I love that sensation of diving deep into the depths, holding my breath, and trying to take in as much new experiences as I can before I have to go back to the surface for air. What new creatures and plants will I find? What challenges will I face and how will I learn to solve them without our modern safety net? It feels so refreshing.
The wilderness draws us in. Its undeniable. It’s immediacy, simplicity, and beauty are very appealing. When in the wilderness your mind, body, and senses are usually engaged in the tasks at hand and experiencing an environment that is completely out of your control. When it rains you have to keep yourself dry or be prepared to deal with the consequences of being wet. It helps keep you present and being present is a healthy state of mind, especially in a culture that often lives for the weekend, vacation, retirement, etc.
Anyway, I’ve been really enjoying these long solo runs in the Cascades. The Cascades are beautiful this time of year. The window for snow-free access is not very long so when it is here I feel like I have to take advantage of it and get out there. See you in the mountains.