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Category Archives: hike

Last weekend we went to a new place in a light rain. It burned some years ago and the trail has not been maintained this year so we had many logs to clamber over or get around. At 5500′, we found the small lake still partially frozen. A Spotted Sandpiper did its characteristic bobbing on the ice. We had the place to ourselves til we turned to leave and then we encountered three different parties. Mostly it was quiet in the burned forest.

Sky and I have enjoyed some really great hikes in the last week. The October weather has been perfect for it and the colors are just outstanding this year. After the gruesome summer this is such a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively.

Here is the first one from last week. I found lots of scat of various colors and sizes. It makes me think that it is a good area for wildlife although I only observed a few birds. The wildfire near Conconully was still sending up some smoke.

After a long hot summer of smoky skies and temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees and major public lands closures, our world is beginning to return to normal. The smoke is mostly gone and the forest fires are nearing containment. Temperatures are moderate and sometimes there is a feeling of fall in the air. No one is complaining about these changes. We still worry about covid and masks and who is vaccinated or not but that is all out of our control.

Since Luna can only tolerate short hikes on cool, preferably cloudy, days we have to pick and choose where and when we go. This four and a half mile hike was quite pleasant and the sun gave way to mostly overcast skies so she could enjoy it. Sky was ecstatic to be out in the woods with a lake as our destination. She also enjoyed picking her own huckleberries. I did too, only picking as many as I could eat along the trail. Luna was happy to smell all the smells and drink from small streams. She doesn’t seem to get in front of the camera much anymore. I will have to work on that.

There were a few flowers – fireweed, gentian, pearly everlasting, asters – and lots of mountain ash berries as well as the huckleberries. Some of the fireweed had aphids and if you look close, you can see the ants ‘farming’ the aphids. Quite a bit of color after our dreary summer. It was a relief. Also, lots of ferns, devil’s club and a few mushrooms, most past their peak.

The next day was also overcast so we headed for a trail along a river. It is a relatively flat trail and easy for the old dog to navigate plus there was water for all of us to cool off. And there were cedar trees, enormous cedar trees. And big leaf maples too. It clearly rains there, a lot! The long foot bridge is a giant cedar snag that conveniently fell across a creek where a trail crew turned it into a substantial bridge. And the girls may have inadvertently walked into a National Park but I quickly called them back to pose at the boundary. I thought there would be a sign saying ‘welcome to the park, no dogs allowed’ but it was just a simple marker.

Yesterday was a glorious fall day. If you were not outside, I am sorry about that.

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