The month of August whirled by in a flurry of camping trips with new groups, play time in the city when time-off finally over lapped with the boyfriend, long drives, late nights, early mornings, good food, great conversations and all while the breathtaking backdrop of Alaska finally wilted of colorful flowers, pushed forth the fluff of white seeds, exploded in sunny yellows and deep reds of fall foliage and fruited rich, juicy berries.
As I wrap up my final tour of the season I am mixed with emotions; amazement for how quickly the summer passed, appreciation for all of the beauty and adventures that filled my days and nights these past months, exhaustion from the crazy schedule, nostalgia for the places that became my home during my trips and the people whom I connected with in these places, and excitement for the upcoming plans for the fall. I am trying to be present in these last moments of the summer and trying to soak in all that I love about Alaska, but I am distracted with the next adventure and the changing of the season.
The fall ideas are forming into actual plans. We have booked flights to Colorado to pick up the car and dog that spent the summer there and intend to spend a short amount of time at our friends house getting gear, food and details together for an 800 mile hike of the Hayduke Trail in the southwest. We hope to be on trail to begin this journey in just a few weeks and the amount of planning that we have ahead of us is a bit overwhelming. I would feel comfortable jumping into other long distance trails with little/no preparation, but this is an "extremely challenging route" through remote desert and will require some forethought as well as possibly some water caches along the way. We are thrilled at the idea of getting into the backcountry on a long distance journey however, and I am sure we will manage to pull together all of the details with a few all-nighters of prepping.
As excited as I am for the upcoming adventure I do have eight days left in this amazing state up north and I am going to try to soak up the moments as they come. To enjoy the smell of the rain as it saturates the earth and drips from the trees, to feel the chill of the crisp fall breeze across the mountaintops, to savor the sights of turquoise waters, jagged peaks, deep evergreen trees heavy with spruce cones, swirls of colorful leaves that blanket the grounds and abundant wildlife as it prepares for the fast approaching winter. The changing of the seasons are dramatic in many ways and I will try to embrace and revel in it all.