Crisp, wet, fall-like hike…homemade mac & cheese in the oven :)

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Chore day in the morning, Check engine lights, new ID's, various riff-raff to occupy time. When afternoon rolled around, we were worn by the necessary mundane. And then it started to rain. And thunder. And then rain harder.

I suggested we go for a hike. An advantage of living here a decade-plus, and exploring the hell out of the woods  – you learn where to go to:

A: avoid people

B: avoid lightning

The road less travelled. A vertical wall of a climb, followed by a faint moose trail that eventually ends up in a swamp. When I biked a bunch, I always shunned the freeway trails for the silly, the faint routes where I would see nobody. Today it's more on foot, because on foot, the options are even more endless. You don't need trails at all. You can explore the locales of the humanless. Perfect in my book.

It was cold, wet and beautiful. We both wondered aloud why we didn't bring rain pants, but that little discomfort only accentuated it all. It was wonderful to don ski caps, fleeces and Gore-tex after the swelter of recent months. And move in the cold.

The only thing more perfect is the toaster oven Elaine got for her birthday. The caboose has no oven. Or make that, had. It may seem minor to most, but being able to feast on an incredibly yummy homemade baked mac and cheese, after a very crisp, very wet and very fall-like, appetite rising hike was a gift. Perfection indeed.

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Non county-approved bridge.

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Up the wall. 1,000 feet gained in 20 minutes.

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The trail grows fainter as the Wilderness begins.

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We're small out here.

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Stark and beautiful.

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We don't need no stinkin' trail.

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Vibrant evening of ski caps, fleece and rain coats. And soaked pants. And wet boots. And loving it all.

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Rivers running through a sea of moss.

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In a few months, this will be frozen.

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