In early August, I headed across the brushy clearcut, that slender man-made border that the wild cares little about, which separates Canada from the United States. With prior approval from the U.S., I signed my name and permit number onto the wooden box at the start of the Depot Creek Trail and began the strenuous hike through ancient old growth and rushing streams.
I spent the first night tucked away amongst the vine maples and alders midway up massive Depot Creek Falls and munched on salmon berries and wild blueberries for breakfast the following morning. Scrambling up the steep slope that rose above the falls, I emerged breathless into a glorious meadow filled with the golden light of smoky air and reflected off the glaciers towering overhead. I continued onward until I finally reached my objective, the remote and isolated Silver Lake. The blue gem twinkled as I plunged down the scree and snowy slopes that led to its waters, and I hastily set up my bivvy for this second night.
I could hardly sleep that night as a cold wind blew off the lake and the stony slab beneath me offered little warmth. Behind me, an orange moon darted across the mountain pass I had come over and I tossed and turned until the sky turned a lighter shade of dark.
Then dawn awoke through the fiery air, and my favorite moment of 2017 came into being.