Celebrate Your Life – Experience the World
A Photo Essay by J. “Kat” Loren : :
Escape to the wilderness has never been so easy or so comfortably fun until I discovered the beautiful facility called the North Cascades Institute. So long tent and cook stove. Hello comfy bed and spectacular local, organic meals in a green and budget-friendly, social environment.
A mere three hours from Seattle, off highway 20, it’s close to Ross Lake, and right beside Diablo Lake Dam, where the parking lot for those who are taking the ferry to Ross Lake Resort is located. Whether you travel alone, with a significant other or with an entire family in tow, the North Cascades Institute offers a way to not only access but learn about the hundreds of trails that wind through old growth forests, rugged mountains, deep valleys, and thunderous rivers in one of the most biologically rich and diverse landscapes in the National Park system.
I attended a weekend photography workshop for adults at the beginning of summer. While there, additional travelers joined in various open campus activities including wilderness learning workshops, canoeing, and family campfires. Next door to our photo lab, a watercolor workshop was in full swing. Photographers and artists mingled freely at dinner, some bringing their own wine, others opting to purchase a beer from the evening bar, while families opted to bond over a private dinner or alongside other families. Students in the Masters in Education program joined the various groups or kicked back in the beautiful naturalist/environmental library, studying when not engaged in teaching.
It is the perfect get-away-from-it-all and enjoy the wild.