Small in the Fall…

…is how you might feel, huddled by a campfire, amongst the trees and beneath the slopes out at Louise.

We made a hasty exit from the city last Friday, ignoring the forecast calling for a rain-snow mix in the middle of the night, and more hopeful for the promised sunny days.

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Sunny enough

We often anticipate looking up, peering between the branches as skies darken, eager to spot the first few stars making their appearance. Then, as the light truly fades, there is the spectacle of star after star gleaming in the darkness, until there are more than you can reliably count. Any cares from the week drop off, and you remember your little place in the wider scheme of things.

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Daytime spectacle

Well, on Friday night, the forecast was quite wrong – but not in a good way! The promised rain-snow mix came early, with darkness falling even more swiftly than expected due to the cloud cover racing in on blustery winds. Hmm. Instead of our upturned and expectant little faces being greeted with sparkling constellations, it was a heady mix of swirling smoke from the fire, and sleety rain from above. Lovely. On the plus side, it stopped when we were asleep, the temperature didn’t drop below freezing, and Saturday dawned bright and sunny – as promised!

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On the Bow

We took a hike east and west along the banks of the Bow, stopping for a picnic lunch that involved layers on and layers off as the wind delivered brisk gusts. Fall, you are a contrary season, with your pleasant warmth and sudden chills, each chasing the other, upstream and downstream. Summer in a sheltered spot, then a strong hint of winter when we stepped into the breeze. Enjoyable either way.

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Contrast

Happily, the wind dropped as Saturday evening arrived, and the smoke from the fire was mostly straight up. The only showers were rising orange sparks, spitting up with each exploding knot in the firewood. This time, we did get to sit and see the stars appear, and the only effort was in not dozing too long, lulled by the warmth from the fire and a bottle of IPA.

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The good stuff

What seem like major concerns tend to diminish and become more manageable when examined beneath the stars, and against time measured by mountains. There are natural cycles far longer and more necessary than political, economic, or news cycles. Shouldn’t our human cycles of concern serve, rather than determine, the natural cycles? I wonder…

Generally speaking, after some time outdoors, the big stuff isn’t all that, and as for the small stuff? Why, it almost disappears. There is a joy to feeling small, particularly so in the fall and by a fire, if you’ve got a little time.

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Find the time…

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment or share a story, and have a wonderful weekend!

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Published by

plaidcamper

I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

20 thoughts on “Small in the Fall…”

  1. Beautiful. I was supposed to go camping this long weekend but a bad head cold has kept me indoors. But thanks to your lovely post I feel like I’ve just enjoyed the best of the outdoors. Thank you, this was perfect!

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  2. “What seem like major concerns tend to diminish and become more manageable when examined beneath the stars, and against time measured by mountains.” That is exactly how it is! I’ve felt a strong calling to hike/climb to to the very top of Mount Lassen, (one of two big volcanoes in our area,) before winter. It doesn’t have to be a very long hike. The shorter trail is only 2,5 miles UP, and the same way down. 5 miles is not a long distance, but the elevation is over 9000 ft, and it’s steep. I drive through the park every now and then, it’s an incredible feeling to be surrounded of mountains.
    Enjoy your weekend!

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  3. Such a beautiful fall post and the photo On the Bow and the words that followed were absolutely lovely. We are in the midst of five straight days of rain and, while I will not be out enjoying the stars, it was very nice to escape the “economic, political, or news” cycle with your wonderful words and photos.

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  4. Love that double leaf photo over the pebbles in the stream. Its clarity suggests to me the warm overtones of summer with an underlying hint of the chilly weather to come. All of which signifies autumn in a beautiful locale. Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Walt! We have to catch autumn here while we can, it seems such a fleeting season. The past couple mornings have seen temperatures dip close to freezing and just below, and many if not most leaves have fallen, so quite honestly, bring on winter! What is wrong with me…
      Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you, and I’m glad you enjoyed this one! We are trying to remain well informed but not overdo our news consumption – but it is difficult to look away from what is happening over the border when the level of debate (and I use the term very loosely) is so staggeringly awful. Although it must be hard to conduct a debate when one side appears to have so little to offer, policy-wise. Oh well!
      Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my, your posts make me smile and feel thankful that I am in the country and able to experience what you write about….a different part of the world but still. I absolutely love fall and the change of weather. Rain is coming, snow at 5,000 and I couldn’t be happier. Love your photos and especially your last section….I am going to take the time, feel small and forget about the news and I can be totally oblivious.

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    1. Very happy to raise a smile, and anything that helps us escape some of the political nonsense for a while can only be good. Thank goodness it’s possible to get outdoors and gain perspective!
      Have a wonderful week!

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  6. Thanks, John! No new camera, still using the credit card sized Nikon, and a relatively old model Fuji bridge camera – I’ve no technical skills photographically speaking, but every now and then the light falls just right, and I point and shoot (it helps that I’m in the Rockies!)
    I hope your week is going well!

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  7. There is nothing on this planet like nature to let those worries wash away. I admire the spirit of you and Mrs. PC for going out camping in spite of the weather forecast, enjoying the outdoors in spite of some cold weather, and adventuring the unknown. Great post, pc, and fantastic photos.

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    1. Thanks, Jet! We like to get outside, but since that trip the temperatures have tumbled, so that could be the last of the tent camping locally. We’re not brave enough to camp in the snow, although the old style canvas prospector tents have always appealed…(suspect I might be alone there!) Oh well, might as well bring on real winter, and all the snowy delights!
      Thanks again, and I hope your week is going well!

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