Thursday, October 13, 2011

In Search of Color, Talapus and Olallie Lakes

October 13, 2011

Today the two Bob's and I trudged to Talapus Lake. Trudged? Well ... yes. One Bob is recovering from a cold (as am I) and the other Bob is still getting used to heart medication. Plus, a summer of hard hiking has caught up to me as well as another blankety-blank birthday. I'm getting long in the tooth - how did that happen?

It felt like fall today. A chilly morning and cold in the shadows. No fall color until we reached the trailhead; then a visual shout of fall color right there. That whetted our appetite for more.

For some strange reason I find the trail system to Talapus/Olallie lakes confusing; that's perhaps due to the social trails that weave in and out of the main trail and near the lakes. No matter, we made it to both after one false turn.

We didn't see any more fall color until we reached Talapus Lake; the view of the lake and the surrounding boulder fields was stunning. Perhaps we should have called it a day there - it was a pretty scene but we were greedy and wanted more.

On to Lake Olallie where there was little color but there were wisps of mist rising from the lake as if they were living entities (perhaps they were). Again, we had the lake to ourselves and even in the sun it was chilly. The mountain ash was still green; there was only a smattering of dull orange on talus slopes above the lake. Nothing as vivid as the trailhead!

Most of the hike was/is in the forest with several sections of boardwalks in various ages of repair, none lethally slick. No formidable stream crossings, no wildlife sightings, no other hikers until we were on the way down. There are some handsome old-growth trees here and there, vine maple, Canadian dogwood (sans berries), fading vanilla leaf, bead lily without the bead. The forest looks old and feels old too.

If you hike this trail notice the moss-covered trail sign not far from the trailhead. It's been there for a long time. It may even be older than us.


Oh yeah - the stats (7 miles with 1,350 feet gain but that includes some lost time and additional gain on the network of social trails near Talapus Lake.)

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