Sitting just below Sawtooth Peak and looking out towards Black Rock and Timberline passes in the distance, this the final night of a 4 day 30 mile back camping trip, provided a reflection point. At 11,300, this view is my all-time favorite location for dinner, a moment that I will never forget, watching the sun set  eating freeze dried pad thai.  I remember feeling overwhelmed with emotions as I looked out at the path we trekked just two days ago climbing from 7,000 to over 11,000 in 4.5 miles.  There were times as we traversed the slope on the way up to the pass where I didn’t think I would make it.  I questioned everything about myself from my essence to all that I had achieved and not.  The inner chatter came to a stop as I focused on just breathing and putting one foot in front of another.  I found myself at the top of the pass and grateful for the opportunity to see I could achieve what I thought was seemingly impossible.  I was reminded that I am a survivor and that my life experiences have proven to me, time and again, that my life reflects those accomplishments and happiness.

David Westphal