Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Colors Again At Last: North Rim and Kaibab Plateau

[Photo: Aspen colors, Forest Service Road 610, Kaibab National Forest, Arizona]
From Lonesome Valley I drove 300 miles north to live for the season on the Kaibab Plateau, at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. From springtime up there (mid May) straight through to fall. Camping, camping, camping. They said it was too cold when I got there in the spring. Then after I breezed through that they said, oh wait until the monsoon thunderstorm season. But I cruised through that, too. After that they said, you really are here for the duration, aren't you?

They usually underestimate me. I'm a native of the Allegheny Mountains of northern Pennsylvania, and have been wandering the woods almost all my life. Plus 14 years as a forester in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Montana and Maine. And many wilderness trips in other states.

I'm a backwoods boy. A backcountry boy. Maybe a modern day mountain man. It seems like I'm always waiting for something. Waiting to go to the next place, I guess. Sometimes it's not so comfortable, but most of the time it's one thing: freedom.

This year it has been the freedom to live at the North Rim the entire season, to explore it as I never could with any number of weekend trips. It's been day by day. 

Now it's fall, time for the aspen colors. The best time of year. After the leaves drop I will be waiting for the first snowfall. Waiting, waiting.