Today we completed dream no. 55, “Hike the Ape Caves,” from our List of 100 Dreams. We have been preparing for this hike all week, taking out time to write lists of things we would need during the trip, getting the GPS trip duration, looking up the weather for the weekend, and checking out the Washington Trails Association website for the hike details.
The drive up to the Ape caves, although 1.5 hours long, was amazing. It was refreshing seeing the rolling emerald hills of the countryside and the looming giant trees hovering over the open road, all on a sunny Saturday. It was all a breath of fresh air getting out of the city and into the enclosures of nature and all of its splendor.
We talked about how amazing it is to be able to take time away from the busy schedules of school, work, business, and other responsibilities to enjoy our adventures.
As we arrived to the Ape Caves trail head we decided to do something different by hiking to the upper Ape Cave trail first, instead of going immediately into the lower cave entrance at the beginning of the hike. That seemed to be the norm for most visitors. If anyone has ever done the hike before then you would know that our plans were entirely backwards from what a hiker would normally experience. We were hiking up the upper trail as everyone was coming out of the upper trail cave entrance and walking down towards the trail head. The view was unspeakable, with so much blooming of what we learned was bear grass. It seemed to sprout right out of a sci-fi movie from an alien world. One of the park rangers mentioned it was the biggest bloom he had ever seen! These sprouts were everywhere before the landscape of evergreens and snow capped mountains.
The hike was amazing! We took so many pictures, our phones began dying quickly before we even got into the caves.
We were even able to get quick photo-ops trying out our Bear & Bee Balm. It was awesome being able to apply our Orange Cream herbal lip balm before getting our hike in. Moisturized lips during a hike are a must!
As we came nearer to the entrance of the cave, I became more and more reflective of my journey to this point. I remember when I was young my father would raise his hands over his eyes, holding the shape of an invisible telescope. He said,
I thought about his words as I entered into the mouth of the cave. A place where my vision would be limited to the dark caverns of its walls. My wife and I would soon be swallowed up by its darkness with only the light of our headlamps. I was grateful to have a partner, my wife, who is also passionate about expanding the limits of our vision. As we dream and fulfill our List of 100 Dreams, we accomplish things that we never thought we could do or would do, things that other people don’t even think about doing or would never do. You don’t often see Black folks walking through dark caves in the middle of the forest. You don’t often see black married couples starting businesses together and writing blogs on their experiences. I’m incredibly excited to be doing these things to not only inspire myself and other folks who have been thinking about doing these things, but our future children who would later discover what their parents accomplished and what we dreamed of.
I reflected on this as I climbed over and around rocks and scaling walls in the dark. I thought about how fast time moves as I get older. It seems as though every year the years go by faster and faster. Just yesterday I turned 27 and celebrated with family. Someday my wife and I won’t be able to go on breathtaking adventures like this. We want to live our lives full of adventure, finding new pathways, discovering new talents, places, and fulfilling our dreams. Why not?
Are there any dream adventures that you have been meaning to go but have been holding off? Have you gone on any adventures that you don’t find many people like yourself doing? If so, comment in the forum below and share some of these ideas with us! Who knows, you might inspire someone or even us to go on a similar adventure!