It’s amazing what a week immersed in nature can do for one’s spirit.
Prior to this trip, I was stuck in a routine of work, the Internet, Hacker News, and Netflix. I had become disconnected from nature: my bike idly sat in the garage and my backpacking gear collected dust in my closet. I was in need of a disruption.
I began this Mt Baker trip with low expectations. If anything, it was an escape from the city and a transition between jobs/seasons. The trip began to sound interesting when I learned there would be no Internet, TV, or cell phone reception, leaving me “disconnected” from the world. But it turned out that digital disconnection was what allowed me to enjoy my physical connection.
This trip was a highlight of 2012 because I was forced out of the world I had gotten so accustomed to; I was so determined to learn and prepare for life beyond college that I didn’t take time to slow down and connect with the natural world around me. It was incredibly refreshing to hear the soothing sound of the nearby river, go to bed at 10:30pm every night, enjoy the starry sky without polluting lights, and spend some quality time with the Bible.
I’ll be back there next year to explore the trails I wasn’t able to see, and will make time to make at least two week-long outdoor excursions a year. My sanity and wellbeing depend on it.
A few highlights:
The Nooksack River, a stone’s throw from our deck
First hike of the trip: Table Mountain Trail
End of the drive to Twin Lakes. The most stressful 40-minute drive I’ve ever done along a one-lane dirt road that overlooked enormous drops over unprotected cliffs
Most adventurous and challenging hike of the trip: Winchester Mountain
Longest hike of the trip: Bagley Lake/Chain Lakes loop