A Concrete-sky, Autumn Day on the East Side of the Cascades

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Fifteenmile Creek

The pungent scent of pine needles, open meadows, a chill in the air, and concrete skies. On the first weekend of November I was on the eastern slopes of the Cascades.

The trailhead was roughly 60 air-miles east of home at an elevation of 4,600 feet. 

The trail descended alongside Fifteenmile Creek, designated as a Wild & Scenic River in 2009, before meeting the Cedar Creek Trail at a bridge crossing.

The trail began losing altitude quickly with the dominant trees becoming Douglas fir, a few junipers and white oak with golden leaves.

Crossing a foot bridge, the original trail was rejoined and I turned uphill with a tinge of sadness knowing it was a 2,000-foot elevation gain.

As I returned to the car I kicked myself for not doing the hike a month earlier on a sunny day when all the leaves were turning their autumn colors.

Wild Strawberry’s autumn leaves

Time to begin climbing out of the bottom of the canyon

Classic understory of an old growth forest on north-facing slopes

Fifteenmile Creek

Golden autumn needles of Tamarack trees

Tough trail to keep open (notice the old trail blaze on the standing dead tree)

Diffused early morning light on Mt. Hood

Pillowy, basalt formations along the upper ridges

A Tamarack (notice the golden needles) growing next to an old growth Ponderosa Pine

An old, stunted Juniper tree growing on the open ridge top

Oak Leaf

Fallen leaves along trail

Early morning light on a calm Mt. Hood

Early morning light on a calm, picture-perfect Mt. Hood (from a prior year’s hike)




Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , ,

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