Hiking: autumn and sunset

Hiking in autumn has its charm when the forests are painted in all sorts of colors. If the weather allows, I enjoy them a lot. This time, there was something else thrown into the mix…

Well, one thing to say – autumn mornings are quite cold, so that’s always a change from summer. But that’s something I get used to because I get up early for work and the difference between going for a hike and going to work during October hikes is in minutes. Anyway, it means a bit more clothes to wear, at least early in the day.

The reward is, if the weather cooperates, a palette of colors in the woods, provided I find a place where they can shine.

During the first hike, that didn’t seem too likely – the morning was cloudy, and so it seemed I’d only end up with a couple of bleak pictures. I don’t mind the cloudy autumn days – I find them good for thinking and inspiration – but taking pictures in such weather isn’t as great. The weather remained mostly cloudy for a good part of the day, but that started changing after the noon. The clouds parted here and there, letting the sun light up the colorful woods.

It led me to think a couple of times about the differences between the trees: some change color all at once, some change it from the top, and some from the bottom.

The weather had shown its nicest part in the evening, shortly before sunset. The low-angle light bathend the hills and valleys in colors that just aren’t there in summer…

And as the sun was below the clouds, it also painted those in several colors…

When deciding for the next week’s hike, I wanted to stay somewhere close, and go somewhere that’d have me cut down on the distance – this late in the year, getting close to 30km is getting exhausting even on easier terrain. So I decided to try going for a sunset in the hills one more time. This late in the year, I had a good chance to make it home in relatively normal time, as the sunset is around 17:30.

Thus, I started my ascension at 15:00 – the weather was windy but the wind felt quite warm down there. I set up a swift pace at first, and even though I slowed down by the end, I reached the peak around 16:35 with plenty of time to spare. Up there, the wind was quite cold, reaching speeds around 80 km/h. And the mountains were in a kind of misty haze…

I wasn’t there alone taking my chance to see the sunset from the highest peak around but, with the cold wind, the crowd was quite small, around 50 people, I guess. Some of them hoped to stay overnight – due to increased solar activity, there was a low chance for northern lights even this far from the pole (~50°N) which had drawn people out.

Given the wind, I wasn’t too willing to try my luck at that. Less so when my luck seemed to run out even before the sunset as low clouds appeared exactly where I didn’t want them to be…

Thus, I didn’t wait for complete darkness to engulf the land and began my descent earlier. My fingers, even through the thin gloves, were getting too cold. I managd to pass through the rougher part of the trail while I could still see well from the remaining daylight, and finishing the descent on the worn-out mountain road was then easy even in darkness.

So, that’s a bit about my October hikes. Time will tell if November will be favorable for outdoor activities, but I’m feeling the fatigue so I!ll probably take it light and no longer go out every weekend – more likely every second at most. I guess it’s the time to cozy up with a book instead…

4 thoughts on “Hiking: autumn and sunset

  1. Sounds like a nice hike and the photos are so pretty. It really is amazing the difference in summer colors vs autumn. You need thicker gloves next time; cold fingers are a miserable business. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Writing: back to the drawing board? | Tomas - the wandering dreamer

  3. Pingback: 2021 retrospective: hiking (mis-)adventures | Tomas - the wandering dreamer

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