Sometimes you just have to get out into the wilderness and do some exploring – all on your own.
Today was as perfect as it gets. First, I was alone and haven’t been for a while. I love hiking alone – it is a pleasure I will never forego. I walked up, down and sideways on all the trails on Maple Mountain I have never explored – I knew that I wanted to get to two places on the mountain: the lake and the top. Other than that, it didn’t much matter. At one point I hiked to the top of a bluff – end of trail – backtracked a different way and then took another interesting trail which dead-ended at a road. Excellent! Now I knew that these two trails could be eliminated from my internal map. On I went, following my gut feelings. I hiked through a dark wood (beautiful!) and onwards, always turning on to trails that “felt” right.
And after a couple of hours I got to the lake! Hurrah! Mission number one accomplished!
It was a bit of a bushwack around the lake but it all worked. Three hours after starting out I made it to the top. A mountain biker was up there having his lunch (I quickly tied Abby up) and we talked for a while. Nice guy, but you know what? I was so loving my solitude and peace that I was really glad when he left.
Oddly enough, I think the best part of the whole day was hiking back down the climbing route – it meanders and switchbacks down the warm, sunny side of the mountain. I soaked up the sun and because the going was easy, I fell into a deep sort of meditation. I never wanted that walk to end. It felt so, so good.
Okay, let’s be honest now – there was one thing even better: getting to the car and taking that first bite of chocolate at the end of the hike. Mmmmmm
Did I mention it was a perfect day?