Vignette: Blue Pool
The forest is tucked into a thick blanket of moss. Roscoe runs ahead, scouting the route and looking back every once in a while to make sure we’re still behind him. He's happy and dirty and smelling all of the smells. We set out on the two miles to find the Blue Pool.
Things start out green and lush. As we get deeper onto the trail, the leaves being to change: reds, oranges, and yellows ignite the trees around us. They look like bursts of flame, like subtle reminders of the forest fire that happened close by not long ago, just across the creek.
We pass by a snake that quietly crosses the path. It's beautifully strategic skin blends it into the fall-colored surroundings. We almost miss it.
Roscoe pauses every once in a while to model for me. So I snap a few shots of him smiling. Like us, he celebrates getting dirty.
Across the bubbling creek, we finally see it: the remnants of the recent fire. It happened only months ago. Burnt reds and oranges paint the hill. They look strangely at home sitting on top of the bare, black lava rock.
It's a perfect fall day: lightly warm, with a gentle breeze. Roscoe still gets hot and needs to plop every once in a while in the shade. It's one of his signature moves.
Then, we finally reach it: this deep, blue gem hidden amongst the trees. As the sunlight hits it, it sparkles. We like to imagine what it would be like to stumble on it with no knowledge. It's this natural spring that produces ice cold, fresh water. It hydrates the forest. It feels sacred. And it is.
The water is freezing, but it's this inviting, sapphire color. At the surface, it's glassy. It seems to call out for us to dive in. We wish it was a hotter day, when we might actually be tempted to take the plunge. Today, we're not. The ranger told us that it was a cool 34 degrees. Hypothermia seems likely.
We hike down to the shore of the pool, where the water stars to rush out. We watch as the creek is being born. The area around it is rich with life, though insects seems to be the most dominant here. Large beetles, some that are even a few inches long, buzz about the ferns that coat a shallow cave on the shore.
We start our journey back after spending some time just taking in the surroundings. The sun is starting to dip down and cast shade on us. It still looks like fall, but we can feel like slight chill of winter hibernating nearby.
It's hikes like these that make me so thankful that we get to explore. That we get to visit these wild and beautiful places, that still feel pristine despite the occasional mountain biker or runner.