The brightest fall color that we saw yesterday while hiking Crawford Path was the sphagnum moss. The Notch was cloaked in rain clouds and fog so the fall foliage, which looked brilliant on the lower slopes, was completely obscured. Heavy rain overnight and a steady light drizzle on Saturday made for a wet and muddy hike to Mizpah Hut. We hiked in full rain gear while some people we passed were in shorts and t-shirts. It was one of those weird weather days - far too warm (in the high 50s) for October 1st.
Every river, stream, gully, and hollow was full of water. The last leg of the trail to the hut was especially wet, the surrounding spruce-fir woods lush with a carpet of sphagnum moss that seemed to grow taller as we passed, soaking up moisture as fast as it could.
We knew this was a popular route, but we were surprised by the number of hikers given the rather lousy weather. There were several groups of hikers from Quebec. A group of parents with their 6-8 year old daughters and sons that whooped and hollered when they reached the hut, drenched from head to toe. One boy was carrying a muddy shoe that got sucked off his foot when he stepped in a muddy spot along the trail. Fortunately it happened only a short distance from the hut. Another group of teenage boys with their leaders happily plodded up and then down the same way we did. Despite the rain and lack of views, everyone was in good spirits. Kodi was only unhappy when he couldn't go in the hut to see and smell what was inside. Especially when we went in to dry off and devour the leftover buckwheat pancakes offered up by the hut cook.
One always hopes for blue sky and no rain for such a hike. But sometimes wacky weather makes for a more memorable hike. We will remember this wet day on Crawford Path.