I know what you mean. Since my knee replacement my legs are doing well fortunately, but just advanced age makes those steep trails more trying. In this area too, all of the trails are steep because of the lay of the land and because the trails that are maintained were originally constructed to service fire lookouts, all of which were located on mountain peaks. I wouldn’t trade this for the world though!
I love that deep blue sky. I think it is a result of the air purity at the higher elevations. The weather here has been very good. I’m glad that you have the beautiful fall colors this year too! Friday I will be taking a very important hike for me and I hope the weather will be good for it.
What a beautiful hike. The trails look well-maintained, and the variety of trees and plants really is pleasing. I was especially struck by that vibrant green-and-blue photo of the trees and sky. They’re not what we usually consider fall colors, but they seem so cool and crisp that they communicate autumn just as well.
That part of the forest has a sprinkling of larch for gold color but very few aspen or cottonwood. I was pleased with the health of the firs and pines and hemlock as well as the few larch. It’s a very healthy forest despite the drought that has been in place for several years now. It’s good also to see the water level in the lake and the streams that are still running up there.
There were huge wildfires to the west of us a few hundred miles and the prevailing winds brought the smoke into our valleys. In the state of Washington alone a thousand square miles burned Idaho also had some huge ones and to the north of us about a hundred miles Montana had a complex of fires as well. Right now we are still getting smoke but I’m not sure where it is coming from.
It was a combination of a very hot summer, an extended drought and some high winds. I feel so bad for the folks in the states of California, Washington and Idaho who lost their homes. This year Montana fared better I think just because of luck.
How dreadful. I knew nothing of this. We have had a dull, cool, wet summer. I’m guessing they’re maybe blaming it on the El Nino effect, which they were pointing at earlier this year, saying it would cause ‘something’ but they didn’t know what.
That part of the forest seems to have done very well. There is still a lot of water in the ground up there with springs, seeps and small streams still running. And of course, it has never been disturbed.
After the heat of the summer, the cold felt good. At the start of the hike, the foliage in stream beds w was all covered with heavy frost you could feel the cold. Interestingly, after climbing in altitude a few hundred feet it was warmer, and by half way up I put my heavy shirt in my pack and hiked very comfortably in just a t-shirt. I just love weather like that!
Stunning! I do wish we had fall here although, as you know, our autumns are very nice just for the fact that the heat breaks. But I’m always envious this time of year looking at your photos and those of others in such colorful places. The last several years I’ve tried to time my trips to IN to coincide with fall color but I’ve been a little too early or a little too late every time. This year I’m not going until early November so at least I won’t even think I’m going to see any leaves 🙂
I think no matter where you are it’s difficult any given year to predict when the prime time will be for colors. Again this year here, trees of the same species are not all turning at one time. It has been like that for several years now. Maybe its something to do with the drought? This year the red colors seem to be way ahead of the yellow and gold too.
The red bushes are huckleberries, which are very closely related to blueberries. They are high on the food list for bears and grouse as well as other wildlife and very popular to use for ice cream, jelly and just to eat. Most of the small mountain town even have “huckleberry festivals” every year. The berries are delicious and they are impossible to raise domestically and therefore are quite expensive to buy. Most folks her have secret areas of the forests where they go pick the best berries.
Sound delicious. The only berries I’ve picked in the wild here are Blackberries. Every summer when young, our family together with best friends went blackberrying in our local (what was then fairly natural bush land) around our 1st home. My Mother would then make mountains of preserves and we’d have the blackberries at the base of sponge desserts for days. You can buy just about any berry in the shops now, but many are too expensive for my frugal purse these days. It’s only in recent years that red or black currants. gooseberries or similar have been grown. These are old English berry crops are very expensive as they’re picked by hand. Huckleberries I’ve read about in my US wildlife or wilderness living books.
We don’t have wild blackberries in this area, but I lived for awhile on the west coast where they were plentiful and really enjoyed them. The huckleberries, because they cannot be grown commercially, are very expensive to buy too. I usually go out and pick what we need and get a good outing in the high country to go along with them.