“The most important question is to know what you want. It’s difficult to accept that you know what you are supposed to do. Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the language of the world. You become more fluent in the language of the world by daring. If you don’t fear the unknown, the unknown will be kind to you.” Paulo Coehlo.
I decide to go to Crater Lake, just for the day. As many of you know, Crater Lake is a beautiful National Park.
With a depth of 1,949 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. I hadn’t previously known it was possible to go swimming in the lake! So I hike down to the water’s edge and swim in the cold, refreshing water.
I then hike to the top of a historic fire lookout. The sun is shining but there is still snow covering the trails. I get to the top and enjoy the panoramic views of the lake to the east and the mountains to the west.
This could have been enough to satisfy my day.
On top of the lookout I meet a pair of PCT hikers. With huge backpacks and sweaty faces, the pair share their story while they are cooking ramen on a camping stove. They tell us they had to skip the Sierras because of the snow but are determined to go back there at the end. They share their frustration about Oregon too. “Oregon has so many trees, there are hardly any views!” I smile and disregard any of their complaints as I am in awe of their drive and determination to be on this epic six-month journey.
Another couple reaches the top of the lookout. They are both wearing flip-flops. “Must have been a cold hike up the snow,” I exclaim. A young couple, obviously in love, begin sharing their story.
She was a teacher and he was an engineer. They quit their jobs to follow their dream of traveling. They now travel around the world publish their adventures on a website and blog—and make enough to get by. “It’s more work than you think,” he shares. But I see a brightness in their eyes.
There I am looking at the lake’s reflection, admiring these incredible people that crossed my path.
They courageously took steps towards the unknown.
Like the lake, our lives dwell in mystery. Even deeper than the lake, there are endless possibilities.