There is a sort of romanticism about being a 20-something-year-old. In our 20’s, we are granted the freedom to live out our wild years, our radical years, our you-can’t-tell-me-nothing years. This is exactly how I felt when I decided to go on an impromptu adventure with my friends, Margo and Seandre.

At exactly 4PM, we gathered our hiking supplies, called a cab, and ventured off into the wild on a 6 hour hike in search of the lost lake. The trail head led us through an entangled web of enchantment through the Chugach National Forest where we fully absorbed the true rawness of nature—the lush green trees covered in moss, the looming mountains with their scaling peaks, and the curvaceous hills smothered with fireweed. The beginning of the hike proved to be an ineffable experience with a variety of views spanning every direction.

Roughly an hour into hour hike the unforgiving sun prompted us to remove layers as perspiration burst from our pores. In the midst of battling with the heat, we realized how hungry the hike was making us, so we searched our surroundings and immediately started foraging for salmon berries. We spent over an hour stuffing our faces with the sweet and lush taste of wild Alaskan berries. We ate and ate with great avidity and in that moment, I paused. I looked at my friends with adoration and captured that moment— the sun’s rays licking their cheeks, the wind howling at their backs, and the epic beauty of the Alaskan wild serving as their backdrop. I then thought to myself this is what our 20s are all about…transforming fear into awe and living in such a fulfilling way where our life rings with laughter.

After we had our fill of berries we continued our trek in search of the lost lake. We traversed across the rolling hills, cut through switch backs, and crossed bridges until we finally reached our destination. The Lost Lake with all its glorious wonder was a real sight to behold. Margo, Seandre, and I ran towards the lake with glee eagerly chanting, “we found the lost lake ! We found the lost lake !” Captivated by the moment, I began to twirl in circles with Margo laughing and smiling from ear to ear as a single tear slid down my cheek . . . we found the lost lake.