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In March I applied for a permit to the Enchantments, a protected area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington state. Two weeks ago, I got to use that permit. Well, my friends and I.

There are two ways to hike the Enchantments. If you ever do it, start from the Stuart Lake Trailhead. The other way sucks. The trail climbed 4.5 miles up to Colchuck Lake. It started out dry at first, literally and figuratively, but soon we were crossing footbridges above pristine blue rivers and turning corners to suddenly find ourselves looking out over the entire valley that we just wound our way through.

We made it to Colchuck in a couple of hours. The water in that lake is a color that you can only truly appreciate in person. It looks like a painting.

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I woke up at 5 or 6am that first morning. It was still completely dark, barely even a trace of light, because we were surrounding by 9000+ foot peaks. I tried to get out of the tent without making too much noise, although I probably woke up my tent-mate. That morning was like nothing I had ever experienced. Life didn’t matter in that moment. It was just myself, my friends, and the beautiful world around us. No stress. No worries.

Just being.

After munching down one of my bags of granola in complete silence (except my chewing, I hate the sound of chewing, even if I’m the one making it), I climbed back in to my tent and waited for someone else’s to start rustling.

Eventually everyone got out of bed, but while I waited I made a little time lapse of the clouds.

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