Sunday, October 17, 2010

... welcoming autumn

perry creek hike

my own personal bell rang out friday morning and we declared it to be the perfect mountain day. c and i filled a pack with some cookies, water and camera and drove north to perry creek.

we had done this hike several years ago and were both so delighted by it that we decided to give it another go. arthur kruckeberg, botanist and superhumanbeing, declared it a "fern-watcher's eldorado" when he mapped out this trail many, many years ago. who can resist a fern-watcher's eldorado?!

perry creek hike

the entrance has since been changed, and now for the better. instead of driving up an unmarked, rough gravel road for a mile to the tiny parking lot, you instead park off of the mountain loop highway and spend the first mile hiking through gorgeous shady forest with tall evergreens and dense northwest-ian underbrush. you eventually meet up with the former road and "parking lot" to start the hike that essentially traverses a rocky mountain side. you can hear perry creek below you in the valley, but don't get to see it until you meet up with the falls at what was the turn-around point on our hike.

perry creek hike

perry creek hike

all around on either side of this little canyon are waterfalls descending from high rocky cliffs, douglas maple, dogwood, big leaf maple, succulents, gooseberry and, of course, lots and lots of ferns. looking back from whence you came you can see mountain peaks still covered in snow from last season and the air is chilly enough to remind you that this is definitely possible.

perry creek hike

and after all the rocky hillside, you are super delighted to finally see the creek when you enter thick forest and see the falls. oh, so lovely!

perry creek hike

i recommend sitting here for a while and snacking on some cookies. if you are super motivated and aren't scared of slippery logs high over the creek, you can cross and go further up the trail to mount dickerman. we figured a roughly 7-mile hike was more than enough for the day and so, decided to turn around.

perry creek hike

sadly, there were no cider doughnuts to be had, but we did have some hot cocoa on returning home and got to enjoy some more amazing fall weather the rest of this weekend. autumn feels like it's finally arrived.

at last!

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful! We are having the most unseasonably warm weather here. Our leaves are all still green. I am hoping the Fall weather comes soon.

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  2. Oh, if I couldn't do it myself, you couldn't have portrayed it more perfectly. Thanks for 'taking me along' !

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  3. What beautiful photos! Especially the colors of the forest floor in the first photo and the magic of that water cascading over those rocks.

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