As much as I’d like front that this hike was a breeze, that these views didn’t accompany any struggle, of course that’s not reality. Physically, this was the most difficult hike I’ve completed (despite it being ranked ‘moderate’ for the PNW). Mentally, I felt myself cracking under pressure on the last mile up. Negative thinking seeped in and before I knew it, every step was a struggle. My mentality strapped cinder blocks to my feet. Have you ever been there? I’ll bet you have. In the midst of my pity party I was graciously surrounded by this community. This family that has embraced me, walked with me, carried my weight. We made it to this captivating alpine lake, ate cheese and skipped rocks before heading back down in pitch darkness. A memory we’ll cherish forever.