The view from here
My cousin (also my boss) took the day off on Monday for a day hike up to Church Mountain. If someone wants to know where that is, let me just say that it is one of the many breathtaking peaks in the North Cascades. This is the perfect time of year to be up there because of all the fresh foliage and almost complete lack of annoying insects. I was, therefore, understandably envious as I listened to him and took a peek at his pictures. Every time I think back to what I have seen on my few times up that direction, I start itching with eagerness. I don't remember if I've ever gone at this time of year, but even so, I can remember the intense vibrancy of wildflowers carpeting the lush meadows, the dark coolness of covered switch-back trails, the shock of white painted above the green firs, and the vastness of the landscape as you suddenly look up from your footing for a pause--a pause which takes up more time then you intended because of your eagerness to absorb everything in a moment and still capture the beautiful intricacies in the distance!
The last time I was up there, I took a short dead-end trial up a relatively small yet steep peak. I and a few others were ahead of the bunch and decided to cash in by taking this tempting side-trail. It was a rigorous extra climb but worth every effort. At the top there was a stand of trees that capped the peak, and just beyond, as I stepped through the last of the foliage, I was utterly dumbstruck!
A step or two and the ground plunged off into space--not any ordinary space. There, in front of me, was a mural of color and staggering grandeur; it was a blend of noble eminence and hushed immensity which shook me to my bones. A rich valley stretched abruptly forward beyond which stood regal Mount Baker. High it stood and close enough to make me feel like I stood under its very boot, yet my position still letting me look down at those mighty roots with breathless wonder. At first I thought I had never been so close to such stillness, but listening closely as my breath stopped coming in gasps, I finally heard it. It was the voice of countless rushing streams which ran hurriedly off the slope as if trying their hardest to relieve this giant of its great white robe. Louder and louder it seemed to grow as I became more attentive to what I was beholding, till the very air seemed to throb with its powerful song.
Someday soon, perhaps I will get another chance to glimpse one of God's original masterpieces. No other place on earth is quite the same. Do I sound presumptuous? Perhaps I am, but I have not spent my hiking time exclusively in the North Cascades--so you see, I am not entirely biased. I just appreciate the view from here!