Thursday, November 3, 2011
After 3 days straight of hiking with my 8×10, I decided it was time for a break. Today’s plan called for a hike into the Narrows with my friend Bob Ross. I went lightweight, taking only my small backpack, Gatorade, snacks, and my video kit. Bob and I agreed on a leisurely 9AM start.
Last year, Bob and I hiked to Subway together. His schedule didn’t allow hiking the Narrows, so this was our first opportunity to head there together. I offered to be his “glow guide” and get him to the best spots at just the right time. I brought along my notes, and we hit the trail.
I sensed a change when we set foot in the river that morning. The water was murky, and the current was swift. The river was flowing at nearly 100 cubic feet per second. The National Park Service prohibits hiking in the Narrows when the river exceeds 120 cf/s.
I was disappointed to find that most of the trees within the narrows were well past prime. Many trees stood bare, while others had a dismal showing at best. Cold temperature and wind forced the trees to shed their leaves prematurely.
Two days earlier when Shane and I hiked the narrows, we scoped out several locations that depended on peak fall color. Today’s hike revealed that these locations were well past prime.
I got Bob to three of my favorite spots at just the right times.
By the end of our hike, one thing was clear. I was done with the Narrows on this trip. The fall color photos I planned deep within the Narrows would need to wait until next year.