We went looking for clean air. With all the smoke inundating Central Washington, Mt. Adams seemed to be a clean-air solution for getting out. And it it was. Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood seemed to be marinating in smoke over the weekend, but the air quality over Adams remained good.

On Saturday as my daughters and I hiked up to camp near The Lunch Counter, we encountered a couple coming down who had been part of a wedding taking place on the summit of Mt. Adams earlier in the day. The bride-and-groom-to-be had just come back from climbing in South America a week earlier to pull together the details of the wedding.

A week to make a wedding happen ... as the father of two possible future brides I'm all for that kind of quick planning.

"How many attended the wedding?" I asked.


My daughters and I hiked onward discussing the benefits of such a wedding -- no year or planning, no $10,000 dress and $50,000 grand event. This approach gives the boots to the money-sucking industry that has been built-up around brain washing young women into believing their weddings must be the grandest event in their family's history. And no family bickering is likely to take place over who to invite to such a wedding--avoid hurt feelings and invite everyone you know. Anyone who can make it to the top of the 12,000-foot summit for the event is not only welcomed but special. If you really want to splurge, hold the reception at the 9,400-foot level of the Lunch Counter -- more people will be able to make the several hour hike to that destination, but it's still going to be a small affair.

I liked the way my daughters were talking. "I don't know why couples want such ridiculous weddings. Why not have a simple wedding and use some of the money that would be spent to travel somewhere interesting for six months? Wouldn't a six-month honeymoon be a lot more memorable than a one day extravaganza?"

I tried NOT to exert many opinions into this conversation -- when daughters are on the right path, a father should not ruin things by saying their opinions align with his own. I did make it known, however, that a wedding atop Mt. Adams was one of the few wedding ideas I knew of that was actually within the financial means of a writer.

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