It’s a great hike!” About seven and a half miles round-trip, 3000 feet of elevation gain.

No problem.

You’ll only reach the saddle, but you can do a ten-minute scramble to reach the peak.

“A scramble?” I thought to myself. Being from Florida, I’m not familiar with mountain hiking or climbing. Thinking it was a regional term, I thought it would be more adventurous to see what Katie was referring to rather than ask for clarification. The mystery would lend more to my personal journey, as if I was the first to approach this peak.

The hike up Eagle Peak was beautiful. Avalanche lilies were in full bloom. Marmots were grazing and fully aware of my presence. Upon arrival to the saddle, I could see Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood in the distance.

Avalanche lilies on Eagle Peak Trail. Photo by self.

My first sighting of a hoary marmot this summer. Photo by self.

When I reached the end of the unmaintained trail, I surveyed the area to assess the situation. To figure out what Katie meant by “a scramble.” Then I gazed up the left and saw it. A pile of rubble that looked like I would need to do parkour in order to summit the peak.

The scramble at Eagle Peak. Photo by self.

Being that I did not have a death wish that day, I decided to surrender, relax, and take in the sights of the peak instead. I settled in, found a spot to cozy up to read and to watch the clouds roll by. I will return to conquer Eagle Peak with someone experienced who can show me how to scramble.

Self-portrait at the Eagle Peak saddle.

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