As the month of October rolls around, the aspen trees of Coconino county put on a spectacular show of color. I head on up to the Arizona snowbowl to hike the Aspen loop and immerse myself in the annual beauty of changing leaves and crisp air.

The Aspen loop, I discover, is a short trail more for families to walk and enjoy the beauty without having to exert much energy. Not what I was looking for exactly, but with hardly anyone around this early in the morning, I relish in the quiet. A small snake wriggles past me and disappears into the tall grass. Perhaps the elk may make an appearance. I find a lean-to shelter to sit in for a spell, watching to see what Nature may do in the wooded quiet.

Birds fill the silence with their morning songs. I sit on volcanic rocks and read, passing the time slowly as the sun rises up in the sky and slowly over the aspens.

As morning starts to turn into mid-day, the area becomes more crowded, which is the sign for me to move on. I decide to circle around the mighty Mount Humphrey to see if I can find a more challenging and less crowded trail…..

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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