The air is crisp, the sun warm, the mosquitoes have passed, and the hillsides are painted in colors of gold, red, and orange. There cannot possibly be a better time to be out in the mountains! To take advantage of this delightful time, my girlfriend, Aubrey, and I hiked among the golden larches for a short overnight in the North Cascades this past week. Fortunately for us we arrived just as a wildfire crew was packing up their gear after putting out a small fire that had sprung up the day before. Other areas have not been lucky enough to be put out so quickly.
As the sun moves towards its winter cycle the northern slopes see less and less light. In these cold and shady areas the water has already started freezing, trapping the summer greens in an early coffin of winter ice. It won