I got the chance to hike the narrows again with our local scout group. Despite starting the hike with temps below freezing, the hike was much more enjoyable than the first time I went through a couple of months ago.
Why was this trip so much better?
(1) We had permission from the landowners to camp on the soft grassy meadow right at the trailhead.
(2) Water flow in the North Fork was much lower (I'd say close to half of the volume of what I had the 1st time), and clear! You could actually see the slimy boulders before stumbling on them.
(3) I wasn't in a hurry. The plan for my 1st trip was to do a 21-mile hike/10 bike loop in a day - this meant I literally had to run through the narrows. This trip took about 10 hours which seemed just right.
(4) Good company - kids and adults alike had a lot of fun and no one complained.
(5) Fall color - easily some of the best fall colors I've ever seen - a kaleidoscope of colors that pretty much covered the entire spectrum.
I think the pictures adequately tell the rest of the story:
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