Saturday snuck up on me this weekend, fast, after having been gone for part of last week. There are so many great places to go run and hike in the North Cascades, but I didn't make Saturday plans until Friday night. Rather than come up with something new, I cannonballed up to Sahale Arm and checked out the fall colors.
You just can't go wrong with Sahale Arm. It is one of the prettiest trails you'll ever hit. No exaggeration. An out and back, going up to 7800 feet, it can take you through several microclimates, which was the case on Saturday. The trail up to Cascade Pass was covered in clouds. Sort of cold. Clouds then were streaming over the pass, like a waterfall, the wind blowing at a chilling clip. Only a few 100 meters higher, and the sun came out. From above, I watched the clouds pouring through. Higher still, and a different chill set in. I spent much of the day above the clouds. Glad I brought an extra layer.
The fall colors have arrived. My friend Seth went up here a couple weeks ago--it should be interesting to compare pics. The views of the Cascades are normally spectacular, but as one or two photos below show, there is a haze in the air now from the forest fires in Eastern Washington.
I saw a full flock of ptarmigan. I chased a grouse down the trail for 100 yards. No bears this time around. I once saw seven bear here on one trip.
I made it up to the Sahale Camp, 5.7 miles in, 5.7 out. Up, then down. The distance is deceiving, as this is a slower hike/run, due to the sights and pitch of the trail. I jogged much of the way down. Listened to U2's Achtung Baby on the drive home, twice.