Like flipping a switch, fall has come to the mountains. We awoke to a breeze with a bite and temperatures in the low thirties. It was clear: summer is gone.
We had backpacked into a lake accessed by a steep user trail, descending from the main trail to a place few people visit. As usual, cars had been parked way down the road, but we knew nobody else would be here. To get to this lake requires a lengthy climb and then a rocky, slow descent. I won't name the lake here; it is on the maps. If you want to get there, you can.
|Old miner's cabin on the way to the lake|
A fire the year before reached the lake, burning to the water's edge. The usual campsite was surrounded by terrifying dead trees, and some had fallen already. A steady wind convinced us to pitch our tents in a safer spot. It will be a long time before this lake heals. I showed my companion the piles of white ash, a sign of severe fire. It was likely that no seed bed remained in these places, and even though we have had a wet, lush summer, nothing has come back yet. However, this place is resilient, and perhaps in my lifetime it will be safer to camp here again.
Shivering in our puffys, we packed up the next morning for the slog back out. On the ridge we pondered the possibility of descending to the unnamed lakes far below. It was likely even less people had ever been there. Of course we wanted to go.
But not today. We rolled into town late on a Sunday afternoon. I walked into my house in dismay, realizing just how unclean it was. Don't get me wrong, I vacuum on a regular basis, clean the kitchen and the bathroom. But I knew that a deeper clean really was needed. But who has the time? I'd rather be outside, and with fall kicking in, time was getting short. I'll clean my house in the winter.
|Sunset at the lake of burnt trees|