Sun streamed through the blinds in our bedroom at Sumas Mountain Lodge as I tiptoed out the door seeking breakfast. We’ve stayed at this rustic hotel many times before, but apparently our previous visits had taken place on the weekend. The ground floor restaurant, Bob’s Burgers and Brew, apparently did not serve breakfast on weekday mornings. And so that is how I found myself eating a breakfast of microwaved oatmeal on my wedding day in a gas station in Sumas Washington, suitcase in tow.
We sit with our backs against a rock, holding hands and watching the shadows lengthen. Mt. Baker rises majestically behind us and Mt. Shuksan towers before us, its ragged top obscured by clouds. We had considered hiking further but aren’t prepared to face the snow hugging the steep trail ahead. So we stop and sit companionably in silence, drinking in the view and the soft afternoon light.
I took a spontaneous trip to Mt. Baker’s Artist Point with my 7-year-old niece Ava this past weekend. On a family hike earlier this year, she held my hand and commented several times that she wished we could go on a hike together, with just the two of us. Her words stayed with me for the rest of the summer and so I decided that it was time for a special Aunty-Niece Day.
I sat with my back against a rock, watching the mountains reflected in the lake below. As the sun slowly dipped over the horizon and twilight descended around me, I sighed with happiness. This is what I have been missing since I left the PCT last fall. I started my adventure earlier that morning, scrambling to readjust as my original hiking plans for the weekend fell through…