After successfully climbing Mount Adams, my summit fever was stronger than ever. The original plan was to climb Mount Hood the following weekend, but when those plans fell through I went in search of another adventure. My brother and a group of his friends happened to be doing a through hike of the enchantments on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I never turn down an opportunity to go to the core, so I packed up and around 3am headed out towards Leavenworth.
This was my 4th trip through the enchanted in the last 2 years and every time, without fail, I experience something new. This time there was much more snow in the core than on any of my other previous trips, which made everything look and feel different.
I also took some time for myself to explore side trails or areas that I had previously not been before. I would ahead of the group, scramble up some rocks, take in the view, then run back to catch up with them.
Each time I come up here I am filled with pure gratitude and utter amazement. Thankful that I am healthy and able to experience the magic of this land when so many others cannot. And awe struck by the sheer beauty of it all that at some moments it doesn't even seem real.
Adding to the majestic vibes were, of course, the mountain goats.
They seemed to be everywhere that day. Maybe even the highest number I have seen in a single trip.
As with all great things, they must eventually end. I split from the group after leaving the core and ran the rest of the way down. Finishing my 11 hour run/hike with a nap on a boulder while I waited for everyone else. While the enchantments are exciting and beautiful every time I go, this particular trip was special because I got to experience it with my brother.
On my very first trip through the enchantments, before my dad had been diagnosed, I remember thinking about how I couldn't wait to bring my parents up here. They had been trying to win the permit lottery for years with no luck. I knew how much they would love it, but unfortunately it is almost certain now that my dad will never regain enough strength to join me. It is just another reminder of why I started this fundraiser in the first place, so I could at least tell him about the places he never got the chance to see. So I could live like Dean.
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The enchantments thru hike is a long, strenuous hike and is not for everyone. Permits are required for any overnight stay. Please visit WTA.com for more information, gear requirements, and recent trip reports.