For 50 consecutive years (1959-2009), two couples—first Bill and Peg Stark and later Greg and Kathi Shannon—visited the Enchantment basins in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area during Golden Week, the first week of October. The journey to these magical basins in the central Cascade Mountains of Washington state called them year after year, regardless of rock fall and illness and forest fire and wild weather. During the annual pilgrimages, Peg and Kathi kept journals, and Bill and Greg took photographs. The book 50 Years in the Enchantments and this Web site evolved from these adventures.

Bill and Peg

“If the pictures turn out, they will be dramatic—it’s snowing, it’s blowing and sometimes there is a break in the clouds with a little sun. We scramble around the hillside posing, ending up by nearly getting blown off Excalibur. It is crazy and fun.”—Peg Stark, October 8, 1985. Photo by Greg Shannon; Bill Stark, 73, and Peg Stark, 69, at Lake Viviane.

Peg Stark and Jean Stark

In 1959, Peg Stark and her daughter Jean visited the Enchantments for the first time. “At that time, I had no idea what the scraggly green-needled trees were!” wrote Bill in his memoirs. Photo by Bill Stark;. Peg Stark and daughter Jean Stark, Rune Lake, 1959.

Larch Tree

The day was a search for gold.”—Peg Stark, Oct. 4, 1971


“I showed Greg the ptarmigans, and he spent some time taking photographs. We could get very close. The red above their eyes and the white downy feathers covering their feet and legs were fascinating.”—Kathi Rivers Shannon, Golden Week 1999 Photo by Greg Shannon


“We awoke to a mama goat and her little kid. Greg heard them grazing their way through our camp, and immediately said, ‘Goats.’ He unzipped his tent window and we could see them perhaps ten feet away, nibbling on the grasses as they meandered their way through our camp.”—Kathi Rivers Shannon, October 1, 2003 Photo by Greg Shannon

The Yearning Beast

“We pass the Yearning Beast and this time for the first time find him a little different in some indefinable way—perhaps more lichen on his nose. Bill says, ‘He’s growing old, too.’” —Peg Stark, October 6, 1988 Photo by Greg Shannon Photo by Greg Shannon

Kathi and Greg

Greg and Kathi Shannon pose on Excalibur Rock in the early 2000s. Photo from the collection of Greg Shannon

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Share your story about your experiences in the Enchantments or about the Starks or Shannons. Please indicate if you are willing for your story to be published on this Web site.



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Photos From 50 Years

View these photos taken in the Enchantments between 1959 and 2009. The photos change frequently, so check back for what’s new. If you would like a copy of one of the photos, please contact us for prices



Words From 50 Years

Read these excerpts from one of the essays or journals about Golden Week. These change frequently, so check back for what’s new.



© Copyright 2010 Greg Shannon, Kathi Rivers Shannon, Margaret P. Stark
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