So, why do we subject ourselves to a barrage of inconveniences and changed routines? The long hikes inducing sore muscles and sweat stained clothes, horseflies, mosquitoes, and no-see-ums constantly buzzing around exposed flesh ignoring the 3 layers of deet we diligently applied, too few showers, missed meals, and erratic sleep.
I guess if we had avoided these things we also would not have seen the reflection of the stars around Mt. Rainer at Reflection Lake at midnight, followed a few hours later by the sight of Mt. Rainer, wearing candy-cotton pink at (aptly enough) Sunrise Point at dawn, lasting less than a minute before the full sunlight turned it back to glacier white. The huge thunderstorms that rolled through Spokane, Washington that provided the fodder for lighting photos we have been seeking for years. The grandeur of the unbelievably steep, snow capped mountains that make us feel so small and insignificant. The endless carpet of wildflowers that must grow, flower, seed, and start the cycle over during a few, short snowless months. Hearing the silence of the woods, the crashing of the thunder, and the pitter-patter of rain. I remember now - that’s why we do it.