To the trees
Summer. Is. Over. I may or may not be doing an interpretive song/dance right this second to celebrate that fact. (Its title: “Screw You, Hot Weather.” It’s a jaunty vaudeville number. I think you’d like it.)
Even the trees are getting in on the celebratory song:
I believe that’s the little-known Aspen Verse to the Hallelujah Chorus.
(Also, that was the view in our deserted campground where we a.) camped next to a river, all idyllic-like; b.) grilled delicious fish over the campfire even though it was probably like ringing a dinner bell for bears; c.) I sat in sap. Again. I partially-ruined another pair of pants, but I loved every second of it.)
I mean, seriously. Fall, I heart you.
So our official Fall Appreciation Tour kicked off with hot dogs. As you do. Hot dogs served out of a giant concrete hot dog bellied up next to a river flanked by trees bursting with color. Just yes. Yes to all of that.
And then. AND THEN.
The Upper Piney River trail is just a few miles outside Vail, but it feels a hundred million miles away. Possibly because of the dirt “road” you need to take to get there. It took us an hour to go about nine miles, but it was worth it. Obviously.
The trail follows a meandering river as it curves through the middle of a long, wide valley. And the entire time, you’ve got those mountains in front of you, getting closer and closer with every step. The air was crisp and smelled of leaves—fresh soil, cold air, a twinge of pungency. There were others on the trail, but it was so quiet you could hear the aspens quaking.
The trail dips and scurries through the trees, climbing closer to the mountains. (And, importantly, it crosses a bunch of little bridges, where my mode of hiking was probably best described as “scampering” and “giggling.”) Finally, you reach giant outcroppings that tumble down from the peaks and lean out over the valley. It was just one of those hikes where my cheeks hurt by the end of it from grinning.