Saturday, December 14, 2019

Mtn Muhly Trail - An Aura of Forbidding Mystery

Mtn Muhly Trail

Starting in a quiet corner of Alderfer Park, Mtn Muhly Trail descends into a steep gulch gouged by a little stream called Coneflower Creek. A grove of aspen sparkles in the late light as its long shadows tumble over the embankment and disappear into a ribbon of black water.

During winter, the cup-shaped valley is a barren landscape steeped in an aura of forbidding mystery. The confusion of branches and brush makes for a messy scene but there is a certain charm to be found in nature’s tangle of wild forms.

The slim ravine stretches easily through a dense forest of fir and spruce where only the tips of the tallest trees are lit by the golden ambiance of a setting sun. Climbing up and out of the chasm isn’t too much of a problem as the path empties into a rugged stand of lodgepole pine.

Weaving its way through a maze of old growth, a rocky route traverses the steep western slopes set below the Three Sister Peaks. Just as it begins to get dark, the ominous woodland gives way to a wide open meadow and a pink sky floods into the field of vision.

Once the dark curtain of a winter’s long night finally falls, the mountains get incredibly cold. There’s nothing left to be done outside except wait patiently for the dawning of a new day and hope that it will be warmer than the last one.

Starting in a quiet corner of the park

A steep gulch

Forbidding mystery

Confusion of branches and brush

A slim ravine

A golden ambiance

Coneflower creek

A setting sun

Slope below the Three Sisters

A wide open meadow

Winter's long night

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