I stumble out of my tent at first light to capture the scene, trying to find some way to draw the pieces together - rocks and flowers, cool snow and warm light, immense towers and a ring of snowy crags. After a special evening of watching the sunset over the western Cascade Crest with mountain goats edging the summit slopes we went to sleep on this wide ridge - a platform from which to contemplate the western aspect of McGregor Mountain.
A place so ideal it takes an icy snow slope to remember its isolation and inherent difficulty of access.
Just on the other side and down 7,000 feet is our valley in which we live - down, down, down through entwining branches, across rock-strewn hillsides, over cascades, under alder thickets, and a jog on a steep deer trail. And, suddenly, we're back on that road again, until next time when we'll leave it behind.
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.