|A subtle climb through the gap|
Lake Valhalla is nestled in the gap between Mount Lichtenberg and Mt McCausland of the Cascades. After about 2 miles, it intersects with the Pacific Crest Trail at Union Gap, so there are always a handful of stinky and smiley through hikers along the way. I shuddered a little at the thought of sleeping out there this late in the season. The air was already pretty chilly since the elevation caps out at over 5000 ft.: 6000 or more if you climb McCausland for the aerial lake view. Snow will probably be on the ground within 3-4 weeks.
|Falling into Autumn|
The root word Valhöll translates to “the hall of the fallen,” and is related to Valhallr, “the rock of the fallen,” a namesake title granted to certain hills and rocks in Sweden where the dead were thought to retreat after life.
Watching the summer fizz out and come to an end along the hillsides and ridges of this hike was beautiful. Autumn is ebbing it's way in steadily and surely. Many trees were displaying orange and yellow underbellies, and the entire gap was shifting slowly towards a more warm, red tone rather than cool greys and greens of Summer. I adore living in a place that reflects true Seasons, where each quarter is markedly different than the one that came before. Despite it all, this is one of the greatest things about the PNW. The death and resurrection of each Season is as intriguing as the light and dark of sunrise and sunset. It's mystical and mythological at once. These changes in nature seem easier and lighter than so many others we face in life since they are dependable in their timing and reliable in their inevitability.
"Seasons change, mad things rearrange" -Lauryn Hill