The gray days of November

November is the real in-between time. Time for gear repair, maintenance and sorting. And reflecting on the time ahead.


The foothills in November. Still beauty to be found. Always.

The high country has fresh snow, but not enough to ski.

The days are becoming cold and gray. The foothills are soon going to be icy on the trails.

November, for me, is  a tough month in many ways.

The true in time in-between.

The last leaves of the cottonwoods are falling off the trees. The hill sides go from a brilliant collage of red and yellows to one of brown mixed with the gray sky.


View from Casa Mags

There is still beauty to be found…but sometimes it is tempting to indulge in a lazy Saturday. A pot of coffee is put on. I pick the last of our fresh herbs and make breakfast for my someone and I.

And then I go into the gear room and make the best of this gray and lazy day.

Much like April when I tend to do something similar, it is a time to sort out, purge and repair gear.


After about six months since the last time I did this type of day, my nicely sorted bins are no longer as nicely sorted.

The clothing is resorted. Older shirts are placed for Goodwill or thrown away outright. The “catch-all” become a proper desk again. Our pre-staged camp food is again sorted, neatly organized and stacked.

And along with this day is some needed maintenance.

But it is not all about repair and maintenance. November is also the time for red rock country. That wonderful mix of sublime scenery and deep history.   A four-day weekend is almost upon us.  someone and I are planning our Thanksgiving deep in Utah.  We will celebrate the holiday under the night sky. No black Friday for us..but plenty of hiking deep into a canyon will be on the agenda. Our maps are looked over with eager anticipation.


November is a time to end one season and to being another.   The weather may be gray and cold. But to me it holds a promise of things to come.

And even on the gray days, there is always time for a small hike. And sometimes even the sun comes out.

From later in the day when I wrote this article. A short hike on Flagstaff Mountain.



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

No need for off time. Just head to Texas. It is till plenty warm out especially down south.

Matt Keenan
Matt Keenan
9 years ago

I loved this post the whole thing had a poetic vibe all while being informative and inspiring. It reminds me of my December routines for the cost of California. Utah should be magnificent, hope you get some good fall tramping weather. If the winter blues get you down you can check out my pics of the sometimes sunny New Zealand where it is currently late spring 🙂
Happy Trails