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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.
Fallen leaves along trail
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