Summiting Mount Adams

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I’ve often peered at the rich landscape without fully ascertaining the volcanic beauty and the history of the emerald valleys that blanket the foothills of the ancient volcanoes rising into Zion.

Haphazardly, after a failed job interview at a local ranch, we began driving aimlessly up random forest service roads in an attempt to reconnect to our happy place and find a trail to hike. The washboard gravel roads tested our patients, our bodies, and our rig as we violently bounced around in the cab seeking adventure. With patients running thin and emotions high, we were about to fold our plans and settle for a quiet night reading aloud to one another in our simple home. The Eye of the World was calling. But, as we rounded a bumpy switch back on this hellish road we saw a promising sign ahead, Mnt. Adams South Climb route nailed precariously to a tree. We looked at each other and without a word we knew we wouldn’t be reading about this night. We were going to summit Mount Adams.

The alarm went off at 4 AM. After several tabs on the snooze button we walk shortly after 6 AM And scarfed down a quick but calorie dense meal that would fuel our 12 mile round trip up and eventually back down the summit. Finally, at 6:40 AM we were off to spontaneously climb our first volcano.

Going Up!

The ascent was rather smooth and uneventful, until we reach the halfway point. The clear, calm morning gave way to a slight breeze and began to bring huge clouds that envelope the final push to the summit. From our resting place, surrounded by volcanic rock and ash, we sat and wondered if this was the end of our summer attempt as the clouds thickened and doubt filled our minds.

New Friends

We sat in awe for over an hour with our fingers crossed hoping the ominous clouds would break. Boredom sank in and we realized we failed to bring our book or playing cards for general entertainment. Then we met a friend, Lexi. She started shortly after us at the trail head this morning and when she arrived we all chatted and told stories about our travels and the growing wish list of places we wanted to go. And go we did…UP!

The last 3 mile push to the top of Adams was an awesome challenge that took a straight up Crescent glacier and then to Mazama glacier and finally the summit of Mount Adams at 12,276ft.

Atop mount Adams there is a small, dilapidated wooden structure once used as a fire lookout by the US forest service. Not much remains of it since it was abandoned in 1924, safe for the bandannas and prayer flags left by numerous other climbers. For us, The clouds brought 50 mph winds that had us hunkered behind a pile of volcanic rock to break the gusts as we ravishingly chow down a cold lunch of cold couscous. Temperatures dropped and with frozen hands and fingers we begin our decent back to the comfortable 80° temperatures a few thousand feet below.

Although we didn’t have a parachute to glide down with the airstreams we did make an enjoyable journey down the slopes. The glaciers that burned our muscles coming up lead to a bit of competitive Shoe-skiing down and a few wipeouts to top it off.

Before returning to the comforts of a modest home on wheels we were pleasantly surprised by four large mountain goats who graciously paused for a quick photo shoot. We also continue to hike with our new friend Lexi and made plans to summit another peek that we had been looking at throughout the entire day, Mount St. Helens!

Sacred Medicine

I want to touch briefly on something I’ve been thinking about the last few miles. And that is the correlation of through hiking or walking long-distance and our ancestral roots as a human race.

It’s undeniable that the correlation Of the two are linked together. We come from a tribe of humans prior to the industrial revolution and all the modern advancements who walked. We come from this. We come from the earth and this is who we are. As tribes people, we walked. We move the villages, and relocated depending on the weather, resources, and food supplies. There is something about this that hits home for me and makes me realize that no matter how far we’ve come in modern society, the simplest task of walking and traveling a foot through the land is embedded in our DNA.

Our bodies were designed to tolerate this physical strain and the daily abuse of walking several miles while being connected with the wilderness and the earth around us. It’s only because of our lack of connection nowadays that most people are afraid. We are afraid of this connection. We are afraid to be alone in the wilderness with the earth. Our natural instincts have been plundered and reduced to minimal existence. Our food resources have been replaced from the natural types to processed foods and convenience. Our methods of travel have been replaced by machinery and technology. It’s almost the more advanced we become the further away we go from the natural order. Isn’t it so?

For me, this is why I do what I do. I love the natural landscape and the opportunity to be with the earth while taking those things into consideration and re-centering the energy that was given to me.

MY TRIBE

Welcome to my world!

From the beginning of this brief missive, it should be clearly highlighted and noted that I miss you ALL dearly and Love you deeply. You are all so unique as individuals and as a whole. We are a tribe of beautifully misunderstood people.

This community is as beautiful as the rays the stream through the prisms, each of us casting light in various forms, thereby completing the vision of life. In addition to this, when we, as a community, stand tall with unity, the possibilities become endlessly radiant. Regardless of where we came from throughout the lands when we unite there is a very tangible scene of Love that palpates as one heartbeat. With that, those ripples can be felt by not only the community, but also by those whom we come into contact with along the way.

PCT Days 2019

Pct days 2019 was an exemplification of our ability to unite, build, grow and share the flowerlike beauty of our Tribe with those near us. We laughed. We ate. We played under the sun and partied beneath the moon.

But what I’ve taken away from all of this is that we love each other. We care for our fellow human as much as we care for ourselves, isn’t it so?

We will survive

Before I close, I want you all to know that I miss you. You have changed my life and opened up my eyes. From the moment our paths separated you have been missed and thought of daily. Although we have all gone separate way on our journey, for now, I am here with you. I’m here with all the joyful memories we shared and looking forward to more.

Until our paths cross again, you can join me here!

May your feet be firm and carry you far, you loving souls.

Thank you for guiding me back to my home.

Thank you for helping me find MY TRIBE!