If you ever want a really neat group of people, find some folks with the heartfelt goal of helping others while succeeding at something they've never done before. This weekend was the culmination of a summer of hiking for those to whom it was completely new, raising money for cancer research through the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. This program started with marathons and triathlons (Race for a Cure, etc), participants training toward a personal challenge, and has expanded to activities like hiking to allow those who might not run a marathon to reach the same goals of personal achievement and helping raise funds for cancer research.
Guiding through Cascade Adventure Guides with good friends Kim and Kelly, I took some of the 40 hikers on outings ranging from 7 to 24 miles - that's a big day! Under beautifully clear skies, we followed a newly-completed section of trail from White River campground to the Wonderland trail, then up through deep forest to the high alpine of Panhandle Gap. Perfect weather, a great crew, and mountain goats to boot!
Thanks to the organizers for an amazing weekend, and many thanks to those who are contributing time, energy, and money to make a difference in research, care, and a cure.