my weekend of solitude

As Alyssa and Rosalie spent a couple of days in Spokane for the Women of Faith conference I decided to make the most of my bachelor days and take a little hike. I went to the Glacier Peak Wilderness to complete a 37 mile loop over Buck Creek Pass, and Spider Gap. I started as darkness fell on a Thursday evening. I head lamped until I was tired, hiked about 20 miles on Friday, and out another 12 or so on Saturday. It was a pretty physically demanding trip, especially since I have been inactive this summer, but it was a small slice of heaven for me to be away from life, and alone in the woods for a couple of days. The scenery was beautiful though it was foggy and overcast for a lot of the trip, and I couldn’t see many of the best panoramas that drew me to hike this loop. But the solitude…the solitude was good for my soul. Here are three highlights

1. Rest: I had to force myself to stay awake until 8:00PM before tuning off my head lamp and closing my eyes on Friday night. I slept for 11 hours with just one quick jump out of the tent to answer nature’s call. I felt like I could lift a bus on Saturday morning.

2. Success: Because I was not in great shape I didn’t know how I would do, especially with the dramatic ups and downs of the hike. I was thrilled to get around the loop in the amount of time I had allotted. I also had a personal first: I successfully hitchhiked from the Phelps Creek trailhead where the hike ended, to the Trinity trailhead, three miles away, where I started. I had been hoping to make that happen the whole time, but on my way out there was no one going my way. I was moving fast, so I expected to catch someone eventually, but didn’t. Once I arrived at the trailhead there was a couple in a running car parked in the long line at the side of the road. I wasn’t more than 20 feet past them when they started moving! I immediately turned and stuck my thumb out. They picked me up and drove me all the way to Trinity, they even gave me some cheese and crackers! I was giddy when I started driving home. I can’t tell you if it was because the whole trip was so awesome, or because of how well hitchhiking went.

3. Perspective: Wilderness is a good reminder of what is important. My only important decisions when I’m backpacking are, where am I going to sleep, what am I going to eat, where am I going to find water. I communed with God, ate ripe berries on the side of the trail, missed Alyssa and Rosalie, took pictures, and sang hymns. Being in the woods reminds me that much of what I fill my life with is pretty insignificant. It reminds me that my wants are pretty silly in comparison to what is really important. I think we need a break from routine occasionally to gain perspective, a departure from the norm to get square with reality. This trip was good for my soul.


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