On a cloudy morning at the end of September, seven of us ladies headed into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington to Hike and Draw together. Many of us didn’t know each other yet. Even though it was a bit chilly we were all excited to get to know each other and head up to higher places.
After a few hours of making our way up the trail, talking, laughing and eating wild blueberries, we turned a corner to Melakwa Lake! By this time the sky had turned that beautiful PNW blue we all love and it was getting warm. The sun danced on the lake and created sparkles that jumped across the water in front of us. In the middle of the upper lake there is a giant boulder and we scrambled up to draw from it’s warm surface. Everyone had a little pile of paper and art supplies, including watercolors, pens, pastels, pencils, colored pencils and more. The colorful art supplies connected us as we all sat on the rock together.
As everyone began to draw I felt a peace and wonder around us. Being in nature with like-minded ladies was a magical feeling. Everyone was in this beautiful place to represent their experience of the wild on paper. We all wanted to draw in nature: to search out the parts of the landscape that called to us and made us feel wonder. In the beginning some of the group was worried that they might not do it right or that it would be hard to draw in front of other people, but soon everyone was drawing happily and taking in the magic. Occasional laughter punctuated the calm as we looked at each other’s work and ate snacks.
Time passes really quickly when you are drawing in the mountains and soon we realized if we wanted to swim, it was time! Almost everyone braved the frigid water and jumped in the lake. There is something about being in a freezing alpine lake that brightens your soul.
I felt really lucky to have met every woman who joined this hike. Everyone was warm and welcoming and brought their whole selves to the group. Everyone encouraged each other and accepted the other women for where and who they were. What a joy to be part of this! At the end of the day we each traded a little drawing so everyone ended up with someone else’s tiny work of art. In the parking lot at the trailhead, we reflected on how good it feels to work hard to get to high places and share them through art.
Check out our pictures from this day and stay tuned for another hike and draw! I can’t wait to get in the wild with you rad ladies again!
Photo Credit: Rachael Pike