As summer came to close a few friends and I headed out for one last alpine excursion in the North Cascade National Park—the most underrated NP in my opinion. We knew the weather wasn't in our favor for an overnight trek, but embraced the trial and went anyway, making it part of the experience.

Atop 8,680 ft Sahale Peak we sat watching the storm brew in the distance, knowing that sometime in the night it would strike.

By morning we were socked in, with clouds so dense we could hardly see more than 20 feet out of the tent at times. So we procrastinated departing by drinking tea and listening to the wind howl. The down climb was cold, wet and windy, but we enjoyed it.

On the way in we'd seen a bear gorging itself on wild blueberries on a lower elevation hillside, completely disregarding a family of mountain goats just a few hundred yards. On our way out, with Mr. Bear nowhere to be seen, we picked alpine blueberries from his secret stash until our teeth were purple and our fingers were frozen (mostly just my fingers, as I made the mistake of forgetting proper gloves). There are certainly worse ways to end a weekend.