Earlier this month I took a day to wander along one of my more familiar trails. It is one of the closer ‘wilderness’ trails for me to get on, and so I like to get down there when I don’t have the option of going to Rainier for the weekend, or some other western-PNW trail. South Fork runs through a valley of the NE Oregon Blue Mountains; at the start of the trail it’s just coming out of the foot hills and the high desert, but the deeper in you go, the taller and thicker the evergreens become, and the more it feels like being in the Colorado Rockies (which is still one of my favorite mountain areas to hike…childhood nostalgia and all.) I took my sisters Nikon with me this hike, and tried to capture some of my favorite parts of the trails (and my not so favorite parts…i.e. the fact that I frequently run into snakes on this trail.) Nonetheless, it’s beautiful country, and I love living close to this piece of earth. A lot of the trail looks like this. It runs along the river for a good chunk of time, and it’s really charming. And then the rest of the trail looks like this, running through evergreen forest and a lot of moss…even on the east side, the drier side of the PNW, you still find a lot of moss. And I love it. And here he is, hiding in the grass where I went to sit down. He was pretty tiny actually…just a garter snake. I’d much rather run into these guys than the rattle kind. If I have to run into critters though, I kind of prefer them to be like this cute lil’ guy. That or maybe deer. I wouldn’t mind seeing a bear or a wolf…buuutttt it would scare me to death. Seriously. But most of the time, this is what I prefer. As anxious as I sometimes am during September (because I love fall, and by the time September hits I usually am more than ready to see autumn, and September feels like something that is hindering my autumn experience…) the reality is September can be one of the most beautiful months. Blue skies, and golden/green earth. It’s the last of summer, but really sometimes I think summer saves the best for last, and it really is beautiful. I hope that I’ll manage to get farther on the trail. If you follow it all the way, it runs into National Forest and wilderness and meets up with some other trails. So far however, I’ve managed about three hours before I hit my limits. But I’m working on it. Eventually, hopefully, eventually, I’ll make it all the way.