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Tag Archives: North Cascades

New snow on a busy trail made for some treacherous walking. We should have had micro spikes for our shoes. We managed to get up and down without injury but were concerned for other hikers less prepared than we were. The redheads joined us for this one. They are less than impressed with Sky’s ability to ‘sit pretty’ but Sky doesn’t care.

It looks like fall in the mountains is coming to an end. It has continued to snow up there this week. I imagine the larch needles are falling to the ground.

Sky and I continue to enjoy the fall weather and fall colors too. Larch madness has lured us up and down many a trail in the last week and a half.

This trail began in the deep dark forest. There were stream crossings and an occasional glimpse of mountains across the way. Finally, we popped out into the sunlight and views of the subalpine larch trees in all their golden glory. Soon we were walking through the yellow trees, along with many other people. Everyone was going ooooh and ahhhh. It was breathtaking. And the mountain views, including Glacier Peak, were outstanding too.

It was a good day to be out.

It’s a thing. It’s even a hashtag – #larchmadness. See for yourself.

Sky and I had lots of opportunities to see the golden alpine larch trees last week. We met a lady from New Orleans on a trail and she asked me, “Are all these trees going to die?” I reassured her that it was normal for larch needles to turn yellow and fall to the ground each this time of year.

But honestly, how many images of golden larches do I need?

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.

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