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By Sarah Svien

In early 1998, i started having really strange dreams nightly about the mountains. They called to me in my sleep, telling me i needed to find it in myself to find the strength to come to them. In the morning i'd drive to work and as i'd come over the crest of Highway 20 into Oak Harbor i'd be blinded by the view of the Olympic Mountains. And as i'd come over the crest to Coupeville, i'd see Mt. Baker, the Cascade Range, Mt. Rainer and the Olympics. My view out the window at work is Mt. Olympus on clear days. I finally anserwed the call in September 1999 when i went to Hurricane Ridge for the day-when i looked down into the valleys below me, i knew i would come back-that i had found my home. Now i have been there many times and i still have that feeling. in July 2001 when i hiked to Lake Minatour in the Cascades i felt like the dream had come to fullfillment finally. The water was so blue it hurt my eyes. I had the feeling i could see forever-and the unsettling thought that i could fly when i stood on the edge of Mt. Labrynth and looked down at Lake Thesus a 1000'ft. below. I truly understood the meaning of "God's Country" when i came over the last hill of that trail and looked onto the lake.