Marmot Pass, which separates the Big Quilcene and Dungeness Rivers, occupies a special place in my heart. It was here that I backpacked with Camp Parsons High Adventure for the first time. Growing up with the skyline of the Olympic Mountains visible from backyard, the Olympics were already in my sight. But it was this outing where my appreciation of this range sunk in even deeper into my skin.
It has been 24 years since I set foot here. There was still ample Indian Paintbrush to color the alpine meadows. As we hiked up Buckhorn Mountain the clouds moved in and out, giving us panoramic views of the mountains that watch over the Dungeness Valley.
The last time I was here most of our group misread the terrain and map, thus heading away from our base camp. We realized our error in good time, allowing us to return to camp and learn from the experience. This time there were not any navigation errors. Only fond memories of the beginning of the path started here.