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Summer Solstice Moments

A small reading and documentation of the magic that presence provides.

You know those special moments. 

The ones where you lean into joy. Where you’re already among good people, having fun, but you follow that idea, or spark to seek what else is possible.

That’s what happened for us on Summer Solstice eve. 

Which happened to pair with some serendipity if I don’t say so myself, considering summer solstice here in Whitefish was rainy and subpar.

For summer solstice eve, we got a show, a show of magic. 

Sitting around our RV, with close friends, somebody suggested we make our way to a look out. 

How could I object to such a request, I’m always up for a car ride to explore aimlessly, it’s what I grew up doing, driving around M22 on the shores of Lake Michigan, finding secrets spots, even in the rain with the smell of the roting earth outside, you know that smell? 

Anyway back to the story.

The four of us friends and two stinky pups loaded up into what I like to call a “go cart” of a Subaru - and headed up the road. 

Ladies in the back, gentlemen in the front, we embarked up the mountain dirt road in search of our lookout. 


Playing music that set the mood, with the light fading, we found ourselves surrounded by the tall trees, windows down, cool air flowing. (And if you're worried about our safety, need not fear, our DD kept us safe on our adventure.)

Laughs and jokes filled the air. Puppy breath coming from the way back - with two jealous dogs, who wanted nothing more that to stick their heads out the window.

These moments are the ones you can’t plan, but you know when you’ve arrived to one. 

You lean back and let the fun happen, and it always pays off with more than you were bargaining for. 

We climbed climbed climbed in the little go cart, looking for our spot to pull off, we stopped for a quick view trying to determine if we had found the correct spot.

We all knew quickly, that we were close, because we could see the fire tower, but weren’t quite there. 


Back in the car, piling in, more laughs, and peeling out on the dirt road…

Thrashing down a hill and through a puddle we pulled up to the lookout. 

And my oh my was it something special. We posted up our camp chairs, mine which I remember not even utilizing, instilling that I sit on the ground, giggling and geeking out. 

Geeking out, meaning, not shutting up of the awe in front of us. The awe of being in the last best place.

We celebrated our accomplishment with a celebratory beverage, and sat in council with one another, talking about god knows what. 

At one point Cassandra insisted that we eat some glacier lilies, “Here eat this flower, but don’t eat 12, I ate 12 once, and did not feel good, but here eat this flower.”

So eating glacier lilies and smiling at our arrival to Montana, we sat in a shared state of joy. 

We found ourselves walking along a little trail from the fire tower and back to the car, taking in the sights, and enveloping ourselves in the colors before the night. 


These are the sort of moments I live for. 

They’re not complicated, they’re simply presence. Deciding to be fully in the moment. 

Back down the hill we went to our trusty home. 

Yells and demands about the rap music that was to be played. Arguing between Old Kanye, Ludicrous and some other artist I can’t seem to place.

I think my favorite part of these experiences is the moment you realize when one has started, at the beginning of the journey. Because then it sinks in, that for a few hours, you get to experience the magic and embodiment of the human experience: life. 

See more from my adventures here -> www.hollymandarich.com

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Holly MandarichExplorer

I’m a creative whose life is defined by passion. Photography - Design - and The Outdoors, it's what I live for. Life is about new experiences, let's create them together.