Friday August 19th Three Forks (2200 feet) to Deer Park (5200 feet) to Roaring Winds Camp (6500 feet)- 9.6 miles
"Infinite Faithful Creator, fill us with a new song"
It was a wonderful rest at three forks. We enjoyed meeting the trail maintenance crew and sharing stories. We were all packed and ready to hit the trail. Further UP and further in, with quite the emphasis on UP. I was nervous about the climb ahead of me. One of the trail crew members gave me some advice. He said when we got to the top of the hills the horse flies would be waiting and that we should use a pine branch as a switch. Now I had horse flies to look forward to on top of the difficult climb! We started climbing and it was long and difficult but the early start helped and when we got out of the woods to the views that helped keep us going as well.
It was great to be welcomed by the trail maintenance community and my reflections were about carrying the spirit of solitude and community throughout different parts of my life. I was also thinking about infinite love, living in the realm of love, and having a capacity to care after my social work shift ends. I was also praying that my heart would be open to welcome and show hospitality.
I was reflecting on Psalm 40 about being lifted up out of the pit as I climbed higher and higher out of the low point of the Olympics to the highest ridge in the park. I was thinking about a new song in my heart, making love home, being open to grace beyond imagination, and raising and finding my voice more often to share about love's faithfulness and healing power in my life.
We passed the ranger twice on the trail- he went down to Three Forks in the morning to bring a sick teenager back up to stay with him at Deer Park. He and the teenager did not have big packs on and it was encouraging to see them coming back up the hill and know that we were close to Deer Park.
The wildflower meadows were amazing at Deer Park as were the promised horse flies, bees, and mosquitoes. We stopped for lunch and filtered water. We had to carry all our water for the rest of the afternoon and the next day as there was no water on the ridge. We were excited to see the trailhead for Obstruction Point and know that we were 7.5 miles from our car and on our final ridge. Since the ridge was split into two days we were able to savor the time we had left. The ranger encouraged us to hang out at Deer Park for awhile but we found the bugs too fierce and started back up after a short lunch break.
The ridge was incredible! We could see Pt. Angeles and the ferries. We saw Mt. Baker again in the distance. We climbed up Maiden Peak, Elevation 6434. It was neat that this was a circle hike and we started to see the ridge and valley that we had hiked several days before.
I was grateful for safety and that our bodies were able to do all of the climbing and descending we had done. I was thinking about L'Arche and carrying the spirit of community. I was praying for more compassion and love in all things and for more authenticity.
We arrived at Roaring Winds camp late in the afternoon and took a nice break before even thinking about dinner. Dinner was mango lamb curry over beans and rice and was so filling and delicious that we were not able to finish our chai pudding dessert.
It was such a privilege to make camp at 6500 feet with an amazing panoramic view. It was a wonderful final night to an amazing adventure.