Heaven on Earth

These photos were taken in the North Cascades in 1996, back in my film days, during one of our Washington State hiking vacations. We loved the steep mountain trails zigzagging through the rough terrain, incredible waterfalls, hiking across some of the 300 glaciers above tree-line and looking forward to getting to the highest peak (well, as high as we were willing to go). There are 18 hard trails in North Cascades National Park ranging from 6.9 to 35.1 miles and from 606 to 9,101 feet above sea level.

north cascade mountain range
Above tree-line in the North Cascades

Hiking through these areas each day, we would find ourselves literally in the middle of nowhere. We would often go the entire day without seeing a single person, or maybe just a US Forest Ranger hiking back from an isolated fire lookout. I would look for clues of the ever elusive Sasquatch, while my wife was always on constant cougar watch (we came across plenty of fresh paw prints). At the end of every day, we would always find the best local fare, which normally included an enormous slab of freshly caught grilled salmon and a pint of the local microbrew (before microbrew was the “in” thing).

One of many dramatic waterfalls – glaciers melt in the summer!

We hope to get back there someday, though our hiking will have to be a bit more conservative. The North Cascades are as close to heaven as a person can get. When the sun goes down, and you look up to the starry sky above, it becomes clear that we are all just a very small part of an endless creation.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau

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