I find shady riverside trails are always at their best on a sunny day, but they're even better with good company and good conversation. On the Saturday our group met for the May Alpine Trails Book Club hike, we lucked out and had both! Arriving at the popular trailhead at 9 AM, we were surprised to find the parking relatively uncrowded. It might have been a clear, dry morning, but signs of our wet spring were all around. Towering boulders that rimmed the trail were decorated with dripping moss and ferns and the dew drenched trail glittered in the morning sun.
The Boulder River trail follows the river closely, never far from the sight or sound of the roaring ribbon of water. As we hiked along, we took every chance we could to follow side trails dropping down to the river for a closer view of the milky water and occasional falls tumbling down the rock wall.
Soon we had reached my planned stopping point for the day, a lovely spot about 3.5 miles from the trailhead, just before the trail leaves the river to wind through muddy woods. Our chosen lunch spot overlooked the river where it narrowed to rush between jutting boulders. While reading Our Endless Numbered Days, Claire Fuller's poetic writing had brought this particular spot to mind.
In the middle, the river was a deep green, scattered with rocks poking their noses up for a breath. The water charged around them, creating eddies and whirlpools.
While I found the ending of the book a little jarring, I loved the vivid images the author's writing brought to mind. After discussing the book over an early lunch, we turned back for the trailhead and found the crowds we'd expected. It seems that the bulk of hikers using this trail still prefer a late start!