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We camped in the heart of The Enchantments, along an achingly beautiful body of water called Sprite Lakelet, where we were visited frequently by Mountain Goats. Cutthroat Trout swam in the cool waters and mountains towered above. It was heaven, or a good facsimile.

That night in The Enchantments, the sky cleared and we enjoyed the Milky Way splayed across the vast dome overhead, at least when we got up after midnight to attend to nightly rituals. We saw the advance contingent of Perseid meteors streaking across the sky, with no moon in sight and just a hint of the lights of civilization to the east.

Melakwa Lake is a subalpine, wilderness lake that is among the closest such lakes to Seattle, and is a great mountain hike during summer or early fall.

Dippers make their living feeding in the shallows of western wild rivers and mountain lakes.

We encountered Alpine Larches at their peak of autumn color in Headlight Basin, located in Washington’s Cascade Mountains.