The editor of the Chico Enterprise recounts eight days in the South Warner Wilderness of Modoc County, way up in far northern California:

I got to sit at the base of a frozen 300-foot waterfall and listen to it break apart, like a calving glacier, as the sun hit it in the morning.

I got to take the coldest bath of my life, in a little stream that was frozen solid the day before.

I got to sit mesmerized by the aspens in their fall colors. They seemed to become more golden every time I looked. The combination of sagebrush, conifers, aspens and colorful rocks of green, red, orange, gray and light blue left me assured that Mother Nature is an artist.

I got to hike to places where I’d feel like I was the first person to have ever set foot there. On one ridge, gazing out over a beautiful meadow, I looked down at my feet and saw shiny pieces of flint and obsidian like something in a museum. Hundreds of years ago, Modoc Indians used to sit right there making arrowheads and watching the deer herds.

Notably, they were out there for eight days hunting mule deer and didn’t see any. I often wish the deer around the Bay Area were so wary of people.