Today was yet another successful trip with Glacier Peak Institute. The group set off a little after 9am and right away, there was a never ending hill. The group split up with a group who wanted to bike up the hill and a group who wanted to walk up. By 10:30, we put all the uphill biking behind us but had a 10 minute walk up to a lookout that had been logged. All was left at the top was stumps, an abundance of ferns, and an amazing view of many of the peaks around Darrington and even a glimpse of the top of Glacier Peak. There we ate lunch and took a long breather to prepare us for the downhill biking.
By this time, a few of the participants were doubting themselves and full-heartedly believed they wouldn't make it to the top. Little did they know that a brief distraction with a simple conversation and a small change in attitude would make the difference of making it to the top. It was clear on their face the excitement they had for accomplishing something they thought they couldn't do, and of course a lot of relief for it being the last main uphill travel of the day.
On the way back to the Ranger Station we took a long break at Lost Lake for some exploring and arts and craft. A few of the participants sat down with some leaders and went through a Leave No Trace principle by hand making drawing books from scratch as a way to physically leave what you find, but take back a picture/drawing of what you would want to take back if you could. The other leaders observed as the other participants tested their balancing skills on the floating logs and manmade dock. Some even took off their shoes and went knee-deep in the water.
Before reaching our end destination, we stopped at Old School Park to refill water bottles, soak up some sun, and ride some gravel mounds. Three girls, Jayden, Claire, and Isabel, could not get enough of the bike jumps. They would race each other and trade lanes. Isabel fell off her bike about 10 times but would jump right up each time as if she landed on clouds. At the end of the day, everyone still had a smile of their face and are looking forward to future trips with Glacier Peak Institute.
- Christina L., GPI Intern