All at once summer collapsed into fall. – Oscar Wilde
We went from quite warm days to sweater weather in less than a week. But, this weather makes for my favorite hiking. There is something about hiking on a crisp fall morning. The brisk air is invigorating. I feel I could walk all day, well at least if it is on flat ground.
The trail we chose for today was for the minimal elevation change and low mileage. Having not hiked more than three miles at a time in over two months, I didn’t want to push too far. I think we nailed it. It was strenuous enough to be fulfilling and easy enough to be enjoyable. There was a climb and descent to push us, and push us it did. There were flats to let us recuperate. Then at the end of the day there was Blue Dog Pizza. I don’t know if it is the best pizza, but it is the pizza we get after every hike in the South Lake Tahoe area. Usually half way into the hike we start talking about lunch and anticipating the warm piece.
The morning started out downright cold at a damp 46 degrees, but we knew that it would warm up enough and that we would exercise enough to become warm. We parked at a forestry parking lot on the south side of the highway only to learn we needed to pick up the trail on the north side. So, we set off on a quarter mile hike to get to the trail head. Once there, we immediately crossed a granite field. There is something about hiking on granite. It is neither easy nor difficult; it is of a magnitude that is unexplainable to me.
Quaking aspen, pine, bristlecone, manzanita, and sage bordered the trail. Several running creaks crossed it. There had been rain recently, and the soil was soft. A light breeze rustled the leaves. What more could I ask for? A great hiking companion. We had easy conversations and comfortable silences. On occasion, we crossed paths with other hikers always with a smile and a kind word.
After today, I know we’ve got this. We’re back on track and ready for more hikes. The next one together is in a few weeks. In the meantime, I am going to take advantage of this weather and hike between classes.
Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go. – Tanya Leigh Ta