Fall is my favorite of the year. Overall it’s the best season in my opinion, not only for weather but especially for photography… surpassing the beauty of late summer mountain wildflower blooms and snow-capped winter scenes only slightly. This year I had planned to head back east and visit New England as I had done for years while living on the east coast. Extensive research was performed into specific locations, this trip was to be substantially longer duration then my typical extended-Columbus Day weekends. It was a bit overwhelming, but also a lot of fun to learn more about spots I have not yet gotten a chance to visit.
However, the weather didn’t look to be terribly good. And I was keeping a close eye on Matthew… at the time many of the models were predicting a brush or even direct landfall in the region. Since my plans were to be mostly camping and backpacking, the news was less then ideal. I’m certainly familiar with the difficulty in predicting tropical storms, this one being particularly difficult with the weak lows and steering currents influencing it’s direction (or lack thereof).
Last minute, I decided to cancel/change the trip as it just didn’t feel right to me. I had briefly toyed with heading to Colorado but to research areas would have taken too long and based on their weather, several of the interesting passes were closing or already shut down. Instead, I headed out to a more local spot and spent time getting better familiarized with the eastern Sierras. Since they are so far from the Bay Area, I had first visited as far south as Bishop only recently on a Kearsarge to Whitney backpacking trip over Labor Day (that deserves another post itself) and explored the more well-known canyons only briefly.
Overall the trip was quite enjoyable. Some aspects were great, some less ideal. Next year I definitely plan to execute on the New England trip, or possibly Colorado instead. Both are enticing options.
- Now more familiar with many of the good spots. Visited several that were new to me. Got to spend more time in others. Even found one or two secret spots just by wandering around.
- Enjoyed some good fall hiking and photography during the week without the usual weekend crowds
- While I may have missed out on the extensive vibrant reds in New England, instead there were plenty of yellow & orange Aspens set against high mountainous peaks that you don’t get on the east coast.
- Foliage timing was a bit on the early side for some spots
- Unfortunately no luck on any shots with snow-capped peaks
- Weather hinted at snow, but instead mostly wind came which did knock off foliage in a number of areas. In June Lake loop area, even green leaves were falling off in spots, due to drought-related stress I’m thinking.