Small Travel

Cleansing the Soul in Cascade Pass

Any number of adjectives falls short in describing how overwhelmingly enamored of this place your entire being is going to feel once you get to enjoy nature in its raw form from this proximity. It seemed like within my arm’s reach, I would be able to touch the monumental mountains and scoop off the silky pristine glacier to relish nature’s organic recipe of beauty. North Cascades is an artistic masterpiece carved by nature herself.

But you don’t have to take my words for it. Just leave for the Cascade mountains without setting any expectation. If you’re still mulling over Thursday’s team meeting and how everyone is running behind schedule, don’t force yourself into not thinking about work. As soon as you start making your way up the elevated trail, swinging through the switchbacks in the alpine woods, leaping over dozens of tiny waterfalls, gazing over the elegant larches, and occasionally turning back to commend nature’s craft that exhibits an incredible view, anyone is bound to forget their stressful lives and let the nature heal their fraught souls.

At the end of the switchbacks, the woods open up exposing an extraordinary vista of the tall, snow-garnished mountains across the steep ravine. These are the landscapes that dent the minds of lazy complainers to create avid hikers out of them, and fill some sense of adventure into all. The only motivation then to hike back to the car is either the fatigued leg muscles or the bear’s grunt that you can hear from behind the trees and rocks. Although, instead of returning from the Cascade Pass, continuing up the Sahale arm and camping up the Sahale glacier is always a better option any given day.

How can the majestic mountains not have tears jerking in your eyes? Or the whiff of the unsullied air resuscitate you from inside and out? Make you surrender to the divine soul even when you doubt its existence? Make you forget about the mundane onuses you carry? And how can the fear of losing the nature to climate change not worry anyone who is enthralled by the powerful display of magic by the solemn and glorious cosmos that demands dignity by its very presence?

I am more than just happy that I chose a weekend in July, which happens to be the most popular time around the year to visit North Cascades, to explore this gem of a place that had been in my bucket list for quite a while now. The entire hike back towards the trail head made me think that every individual who has lost his/her soul to daily humdrum should find a way to immerse themselves in the ultimate healing power of nature.


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