"There is no
Life I know
To compare with pure imagination
You'll be free
If you truly wish to be"
Lately the song Pure Imagination from the classic film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been playing in my head over and over, perhaps due to the sad news of Gene Wilder's passing last week, and perhaps due to the two Josh Groban concerts I attended the week previous, both of which Groban opened with his lovely rendition of the song.
These lyrics call to mind the scenery in nature most comparable to the wonders of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory: Pacific Northwest alpine landscapes resplendent in all the hues of autumn.
Blue Lake ranks among my top three favorite hikes of all time, and I had the good fortune to explore this relatively short trail in the North Cascades during the height of autumn last year. The larches were neon green, mellowing to gold; the huckleberries were flaming crimson; other vegetation burst into yellows and oranges. It was the most colorful, magical scenery I'd ever encountered, and left me feeling like I'd stepped into a childhood crayon drawing, an imagined wonderland manifest in reality.
How lucky are we to have this wondrous scenery within reach? Autumn is quickly approaching and the high country will soon be transformed into a scene that could only be contrived from pure imagination. If you haven't witnessed the spectacle in person, be sure to head for the mountains in late September to mid October! You'll leave with feelings of awe, enchantment, and exhilaration that persist within longer than an Everlasting Gobstopper.