What August Camp Has Done For Me
by Joon and Jonathan Pincus
Nearly four years ago, I read the trail description of the hike up to Wagon Wheel Lake in Olympic National Park in the Leader's camp. It sounded like a moderate day out in the woods and through some strange twist of fate Mark Kern said, "Sure...go for it!" It was in a part of the park we had not yet explored, so I pitched this B hike around the camp fire to the August campers in week two on Thurs., June 28, 2016.
There was a ninja trying to maintain a low profile in camp, but she was too cute and the croo spied what I was up to.
I tried to convince her to join the group that already had signed up albeit she had already signed up for my friend and fellow co-leader Ingrid's hike.
Thankfully, out of nowhere the Perseus meteor shower flashed through the night sky.
However, the guidebook was dated, and there had been a major forest fire which destroyed large portions of the trail turning it into a bushwack.
Even the Rangers hadn't been up there in awhile!
However, I had the confidence of this dream team of hikers (see attached photo) and despite the dry heat we found the lake after an epic adventure.
In September, Joon Shim and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary.
While we have not yet returned to Olympic National Park, we have shared many trails together from bushwhacking in Red River Gorge, KY to winter hiking up to the Little Beehives in the Canadian Rockies. While en route to Camp Muir on Rainier were turned around by a storm. Washington plays a special role in our lives and we see know we will back there soon - perhaps August Camp 2021!
So what has August Camp done for me... well it's given me a life partner that's made all the difference!
And I will always be grateful to Lennie and Bill Steinmetz, Mark Kern and Noel Cotter for all the time and generous insight they invested in me to develop me as a leader!
We made many friends in August Camp - one of the greatest gifts one can receive!
And special kudos to the croo for keeping us marching one foot before the other with all the dietary considerations, savory treats, yummy cookies and delicious meals at the start and end of every day!
I have many special memories of bringing an intrepid group of hikers to the top of South Sisters, Camp Muir, Wagon Wheel (of course) and more but I want to express my gratitude to all those wonderful B and C hikers who taught me about the wonderful flora and fauna on the trails as we passed as we stopped to smell the flowers literally at Paradise, Hurricane Ridge, et al.
Wishing you all peace and safety during these challenging times.
With warm regard,
Joon and Jonathan Pincus