Mountain Musings

The word “awesome” has become fairly common in the everyday speech of our generation. However, the word’s original definition would not exactly describe a sandwich or a general state of being as it does today. “Awesome: impressive and frightening: so impressive or overwhelming as to inspire a strong feeling of admiration or fear.” If you have found a sandwich that fits that description, please contact me immediately.

Living in the city for my entire life has been like living in a bubble in which the true form of awesome is rarely applicable. Little did I know that only an hour and a half drive away from Seattle existed the perfect example of the word “awesome.” It is difficult to visit the North Cascades National Park without feeling small. The massive peaks tower over you in a manner that elicits a sense of awe. Learning that many years back there were glaciers that covered the peaks only shrinks your size more. I like to think that I always have a deep appreciation for nature, even in my everyday life. But when I was surrounded by the great mountains, the climbing trees, the peaceful wildflowers and the sound of birds instead of cars, I realized that I had forgotten how truly awesome Earth is.

There are many action packed adventure movies that are produced each year. It is easy to get swept up in the exciting journeys of fictional characters. I have often caught myself daydreaming of having my own wild odyssey. However, a part of me has always thought that the great adventures of the past have ended. Working at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, I have found that some believe that the Klondike Gold Rush was mankind’s’ last true adventure. This is false. The bubble of city life can be so strong that is blocks out the adventures that are right in front of our noses.  One hour and a half long drive can remedy this. The North Cascades National Park is full of journeys and odysseys waiting to be had. The park provides free hikes and backpacking adventures for beginners and experts. One must only step out their door, and explore their own backyard.

Claire Parchem, SCA Intern

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