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Backpacking - A great way to see the fall leaves

David Bloomfield

Backpacking is a great way to see the leaves as they change! Backpacking is when you bring all the stuff you need and spend a night in the wilderness. I like backpacking because I get to spend a night in the wilderness. Dad and I packed up our food, water, and sleeping bags into our backpacks and headed out to the trailhead outside of Woodland Park. There were only a few cars in the parking lot. My Dad and I set out on the trail and hiked about two miles. The narrow trail headed into the forest of aspen, ponderosa, and spruce. The aspen leaves had small tinges of yellow – a sign that fall is coming. This trail followed a stream and had four crossings which made it challenging. One crossing had a log bridge to cross on but another one had just a four inch diameter log to balance on as we crossed. I had to lean to one side to keep my backpack from tipping me off the log. I saw some minnows swimming under my feet. We saw a rounded dome rock and other huge rock formations that people climb on.  We also saw a tree trunk that looked like a face!
When we were deciding where to camp, we left the trail and began looking for a flat spot for our tent. The spot we found already had a rock ring fire pit, logs to sit on, a rock to use as a table, and a flat area for our tent! It was next to the stream too and I stuck my feet in the stream to cool down. The stream gurgled and rolled around the rocks. The only other noises we heard were birds and the rustling of leaves. After dark, the stars were very bright – much brighter than in town.
We cooked our dinner on our backpacking stove and ate dinner under the stars. We played some cards – no TV – and talked. The next morning we hiked a little farther down the trail and then packed up our tent and supplies and trekked back to the car. The trail was uphill to get out and I was getting tired but it was interesting to see the scenery from the opposite direction. We had an up close view of part of the Hayman fire burn scar.
Fall is the perfect time to backpack. It’s not as hot and the leaves are magnificent! Get out and explore the colors this fall!