Saturday, September 18, 2010

Waptus-Escondido Loop

The eastern side is the drier and warmer side of the Cascades. The mountains are painted with reds and yellows and are speckled with orange and purple meadows. We set out on a 22 mile loop on Tuesday, with the promise of a couple warm days ahead. We may not see the sun til next Spring as AutumnWinter looms. As we hiked up the mountain, every turn on the trail revealed a different surprise; lush green pines, snow capped mountains in the distance, a dried up valley, a shimmering pool. On the second day the last turn on the trail before we began our descent revealed something incredible. A forest fire had swept across acres, maybe years ago, maybe months ago. Hundreds of trees, white and black and gray towered above us. Stunning, and terrifying, it was something out of a Dr. Seuss book. We walked for miles among these charred giants, the muted colors of the area reflected the clouds that were fast approaching. Deep green alpine mountains painted the skyline. We took as many shots as we could; I could never describe this day well enough. Quickening our pace, it began to rain hard just as we hit the valley and found shelter among the forest.

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