Counting down the hours until tomorrow’s hike in the North Cascades! Won’t be seeing any more of these beauties this year but hoping to catch one more glimpse of autumn colours at Yellow Aster Butte. And definitely looking forward to meeting a few Insta friends on the trail! ⛰
With all the time I spend in the mountains, you might think I’m a bit of an introvert. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! One of the things I enjoy most about being out on trails is how friendly most people are. I’ve often wondered why that is, the best answers I can come up with is that people are in a good mood and they also realize how vulnerable we all are out there. Those two things combine to create a sense of camaraderie, that we’re all in this together. At least, that’s what I think. Whatever the reason, I love saying hello to people on the trails, chatting with them and getting to know them a bit.
Do you chat with strangers on the trail? Have you found them to be generally friendly? Why do you think that is?
I just cannot get over these views. Larches, peaks on peaks on peaks, the bluest skies, and snow! About a mile into the Maple Pass Loop Trail, it looks like this (and better!) for the next few miles until the summit. Absolutely stunning ✨
📍Maple Pass Loop Trail
After much deliberation, I’ve settled on a destination for what is likely to be the last sunny autumn hike with fall colours. This Saturday, I’m heading out to Yellow Aster Butte for the first time. Sounds like I’ll see at least a few of you out there! Looking forward to meeting some of my Insta friends in real life 😁
Larch March continues! Golden yellow larches spotted on the Maple Pass Loop Trail on Sunday. Spent most of this hike just squealing with excitement. The perfect sunny morning. Waking up at 4am was totally worth it (it was a 3 hour drive one way!) 🚙
P.s. I have been hiking 2-3x a week so there’s a lot more hiking pictures lately than usual. Just trying to squeeze all the outdoor activity I can while it’s still sunny & warm 😍☀️🌲
📍Maple Pass Loop Trail
Back in the Northwest. Sending a big thank you out to whoever ordered the gorgeous weather here; it’s Summer in October, cold & clear. The hiking trails (such as Maple Pass, pictured here, in the North Cascades) are still full of people, & the larches & huckleberries are still putting on an Autumn show in vivid yellow & red. I’m in the area for a few weeks before heading out on tour again, spending a ton of time with my parents. My Mom’s dementia is now what they call “advanced”, so a family friend had the great idea for me to show up to the nursing home with my albums (the earlier ones, anyway) & play them for her. Perhaps you’ve heard about the music studies that have been done with Alzheimer’s patients? Apparently the music accesses a different part of the brain than speech does. It was wonderfully intense to stand there & watch her sing along with these songs, her restlessness & confusion gone for as long it was still playing. Thanks music! And thanks, years-ago me, for making those records while my Mom was still sharp enough to absorb them. #pnw#pacificnorthwest#home#alzheimers#memorycare#heatherpass#dementia#hiking#hike#northcascades#picoftheday#instapic#maplepass#nofilter#heathermaplepassloop
It’s only Monday... and I’m already scheming about where I’ll find the best autumn colours this weekend 😆 Getting near the end of them in the alpine but I’m hoping to squeeze in one more hike with views like these 🍁
These autumn colours at Maple Pass last weekend totally spoiled me. Did some other hikes this weekend and kept comparing the colours to these - there’s no comparison! I’ll have to adjust my expectations.
Did anyone else catch some beautiful autumn colours this weekend? Where did you see them?
This old girl has been coming on adventures with me for 12 of her nearly 14 years. Every time we go out on a hike, someone asks me how old she is. Most people can tell she’s a senior citizen, but nearly everyone is surprised when I tell them exactly how old she is. In her younger years, I struggled a lot with her separation anxiety - she would destroy something of mine each time I left her alone. It took years of patience for her to relax and feel comfortable when left alone, even with another dog to keep her company. But all that patience paid off. Now, in her golden years, she’s getting to be a little more stubborn and a little bit deaf, but she’s still the best friend a gal could ask for ❤️
When I hiked Maple Pass last year, I was sure it couldn’t possibly be any more beautiful. But like any gorgeous landscape, each time you visit it will surprise you in a different way. When I went back this year, the larches were not quite at the height of their colour, but the ground cover was totally popping! Loved the look of the trail as it cut through the bed of reds, yellows and greens 😍
I know Insta is going to crop this pic all weird when it goes into my gallery, but I couldn’t resist posting it. I think it really captures the feeling of an autumn Larch March: on a mission, but still managing to take it all in. ⛰
I got more and more excited as we drove toward the trailhead for this hike. As we wound our way along the Cascades Highway in northern Washington, I began to see patches of bright autumn colours on the mountaintops as we moved further east. My hiking partner had never seen larches in the wild and I kept telling him to “look over there!” as we started seeing them high up on the mountains. By the time we parked the car at the Rainy Lake trailhead, I was so excited that I pretty much sprinted up the first 45 minutes of the trail, looking back periodically to make sure my hiking partner was still following 😂 I didn’t want to miss one minute of larchy goodness!
Someone asked me yesterday how I got to know so much about the outdoors. My answer? First of all, there’s still a tonne I don’t know! But a lot of what I have learned has been through picking things up here and there from other people. I’ve taken a few courses (Avalanche Safety Training Level 1, Wilderness First Aid, etc.) and I’ve also made a lot of mistakes. A big one I made for a long time was disappearing on my own into the mountains without telling anyone where I was going or when I expected to be back! Glad to say I don’t do that anymore and I hope none of you do either. Always take the Ten Essentials (see @bc_adventuresmart https://www.adventuresmart.ca/land/survive-essentials.htm) and make sure you leave a trip plan with someone reliable who can contact emergency services if you don’t show up when/where you’re supposed to. Hike safe, my friends ❤️⛰
The first glimpse of Lake Ann on the way up to Maple Pass. I had intended to do this trail counter-clockwise again, since I’ve heard that’s the best way to do it, but missed the turnoff at the start! So I was pretty confused and turned around for the first 20 min or so. It wasn’t until this point that I figured out my mistake. The good news is, I’ve now seen the trail from both directions! It’s pretty stunning either way 😌
Ok folks, get ready for a full week (or two... maybe three) of North Cascades autumn larchy goodness! I visited the North Cascades in autumn last year and loved it SO MUCH that I looked forward to going back all year long. Can’t wait to share it with you 🍁