four years ago today [2012.09.19]
sleeping under the stars, i woke up at ross lake national recreation area, and began exploring the area. i found another nice overlook nearby and a waterfall further up the road. this was a beautiful area that i never knew existed until i got there. near the visitor center at north cascades national park, i went on a short walk to a spot where there was a view of the picket range. i read the sign there that said the range was a number of miles away, a trek through complete wilderness. i stood there in awe for a few moments as i felt a strong, chilling sense of the vast expanse of land and wilderness between where i was and the mountain range that looked like it was just right there. the peaks didn't appear that far or large at first glance, and what looked like could've been small parts of one larger mountain were really the most rugged peaks in the contiguous united states, miles apart from each other. this was another striking moment in realizing the vastness of nature and how small we are as humans. i imagined what it must've been like just to get out to some place so remote without roads (and to the further peaks even deeper into the wilderness that i couldn't see).
afterwards, i headed west a bit and went up a dirt road to a trail. i hoped to find a clear view of the mountain peaks to photograph, though from a girl i met who was working on the trail, it sounded like this wouldn't be the best spot for a clear shot. going back down the windy dirt/rock road, my truck read slope angles of at least 11 degrees, or a 22% grade! from the video clips, i may not have done it this time, though on some of these similar steep declines, i would put the truck in 4x4 low, which really helped to maintain a low speed without having to use or wear down the brakes on the descent.
this day marks a year of owning my truck. it was nice to be on adventure out west with the truck and camper i had ordered the year before. i had looked forward to this journey for some time.