Memories of Bill and Peg Stark

November 23rd, 2015 in Yesterday

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I first me Bill and Peg in the late 1970’s. At the time I was traveling in my mobile dental bus with a group of friends. They invited us to pull the bus up to the Bullitt Lodge on the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth. We set up the dental equipment inside the lodge and proceeded to fix their teeth while we explored the surrounding mountains. We helped them build the A-frame tent platforms up at Coulter reek at their cross-country camp.

I was instantly drawn to their wide-open accepting personalities and their willingness to share their lives with a bunch of crazy 1970 hippies.We soon discovered that we both had spent a great deal of time enjoying the fall colors and granite lakes of the Enchantment Lakes region about Leavenworth. Bill and Peg had become legendary pioneers of this beautiful high country. Over the years, they had discovered a cave above Lake Vivian and this “Marmot Manor” became their bad weather base camp in the fall.

During my own fall trips into this wonderland of technicolor gold larches, red huckleberry, and azure blue skies, I would always try to swing by Marmot Manor to see Bill and Peg.

One October day, we literally dropped in on them from Temple Ridge. We had just rock-climbed Boxtop Peak and rappelled down the south face to a tiny ledge with no obvious anchor spots to continue rappelling. In the fading sunset we had to descend the final section by literally finger holding a tiny chock into a shallow crack. We came down in the dark through the roof of Marmot Manor and surprised Bill and Peg. After much celebration and a little inebriation, we took a moonlit 2-hour trip back over Prusik Pass and back to our base camp on Shield Lake.

It was through our mutual love of these magical spires and lakes that we felt our spirits were united. I will always hold Bill and Peg and their inspirational lives in the highest regard. Every time I return to the Enchantments, I still feel all the great times and laughs we shared together.

Stan Swanson