In mid-September a telling chill laces the evening air. In daytime, while hiking, there comes a moment when the breeze takes on an edge that says “autumn.” That moment is both welcome and dreaded. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, but since I don’t backpack during winter I find the promise of colder days unwelcome, unless they find me sitting beside a roaring fireplace with hot chocolate. Still, this is the next spoke in the seasonal wheel ordained since time began, and I find it’s easier going from September until late March if I simply embrace the chilly guest who has come to share my life the next seven months.
One good thing about September and fall hiking is the change in the trail. Less water and muddiness and more firm going underfoot. The colorful pattern made by yellow-gold and burnished red fall leaves is a delight to…
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