Living – Places: 22
Solitude matters … and for some people, it is the air they breathe.
— Susan Cain, The power of introverts, TED Talk, February 2012
With a forecast calling for thunderstorm beginning midday, we headed for the mountains early, driving up to the Bear Lake trailhead, and then heading up towards Lake Haiyaha. The first lake we passed was Nymph Lake, which is ringed by Nymphaceae Lily Pads that were glinting in the early morning sun. We enjoyed a few minutes sitting lakeside, then headed up the trail beyond, pausing briefly to look back down upon the lake and the scenery beyond.
Looking out at the surrounding forest, we could see that we're on the cusp of autumn: the aspens are beginning to turn.
Looking up towards the Continental Divide, we could see the beautiful peaks of Glacier Gorge.
Our first glimpse of Dream Lake.
Dream Lake with Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain beyond.
The beautiful emerald green water of Dream Lake.
Looking back down Dream Lake towards the outflow.
Beautifully veined rock outcropping on the way up to Emerald Lake.
A vibrant green meadow on the way up to Emerald Lake, just beginning to show the hints of autumn colors.
Garima looking up towards the peaks surrounding Emerald Lake.
Hiking up past Dream Lake, a steep trail leads up to one of my favorite views in Rocky Mountain National Park: the view up into Glacier Gorge with a glimpse of Mills Lake.
When we reached Lake Haiyaha the forecasted storm had rolled over the Continental Divide bringing cold, gusting winds and light rain. Still, we enjoyed sitting on our favorite boulder that juts out into the lake. About 15 minutes after we began our hike back, the clouds pulled back again and we came across this beautiful view across the creek that flows out from Lake Haiyaha towards the basin the lake is nestled in.
What a difference a week—and a couple days of frost—can make! Last week up in the Bear Lake area of Rocky Mountain National Park, we saw just the first hints of the aspens turning. This week they were in full autumn glory in some areas, including along the trail to Lake Helene that we were hiking on.
Photos can only give a hint of what it feels like to walk amongst sun illuminated autumn aspens. The quality of light and the shimmering of the brightly hued leaves in the breeze creates an atmosphere that I can only describe as being bathed in joy.
On the trail from Bear Lake up towards Lake Helene.
Looking through the aspens out across the valley.
A trio of aspens framed by pines.
A view of the mountains through the aspens.
A multi-colored aspen against the deep blue sky.
Garima coming up the trail.
Striated trail-side boulder captures me.
One of my favorite views in Rocky Mountain National Park, conveying such a sense of what it's like to be high up in the mountains, nearly at tree line.
Walking under a mid-morning moon.
A pair of yellow-bellied marmots frolicking on the rocks, chattering away.
This only begins to give a sense of what it feels like to walk across a scree field with a river of mountain fragments poised above you.
Looking up towards Notchtop Mountain on the approach to Lake Helene.
Lake Helene showing signs of autumn.
The glacial brook winding towards Lake Helene.
Beautiful Bog Birch bush growing out of the rock outcropping we sat on for lunch.
Looking across the valley towards Glacier Gorge.
On the trail back down, approaching Bear Lake.
Our last dose of aspen gold before the hike's end.