Saturday Hike

How’s that for a fancy title?  Saturday morning I got up and went with a friend to a local trail in hopes to capture the beginnings of fall in the trees.  I can hardly remember the last time it was cloudy and rained here but wouldn’t you know that as we drove towards our destination the mountains were almost hidden beneath black clouds.  We decided to go anyway and it ended up being the perfect hiking experience.  We got out of the car and I began my love/hate relationship with the idea of a jacket.  Not thinking I would need one, I didn’t bring one.  It was pretty chilly when we got there but of course as we started hiking it became hot and I was glad I didn’t have one.  Then it would get chilly again.  And back and forth it went between being cold and hot.

We quickly realized the clouds were a godsend because full sun would have been sticky and unbearable.  But the clouds would part on occasion allowing for some great pictures.  It did rain a couple of times and even hailed.  Yes, you read that right I said it hailed.  Little BB sized pellets came down at one point.  But none of these episodes lasted for more that 15 or 20 seconds and they all seemed to come at a point of the hike when we were starting to get a bit heated so it was a nice refreshing break.  I think one of the best parts of the whole thing was that even though there were tons of people hiking as well, none of them were going in the same direction we were at the time we were going.  On the way to the falls it seemed like everyone was leaving and as we were leaving throngs of people were coming.  So we would go for long stretches without anyone around and that was heavenly.

Ever notice when you’re out in nature like that people are usually happier?  I don’t think we passed one group without someone saying at least hello.  Even the kids we passed were friendly and polite.  I realize the area I live in is dubbed “happy valley” (seriously, it really is referred to as happy valley) but I think it has more to do with nature itself and leaving all your stresses and worries in the parking lot and enjoying the view at the top.

The hike took a little over two hours to complete and was better than going to the gym.  It wasn’t so extreme  you thought you were going to die but it wasn’t a flat sidewalk either.  We definitely had to exert energy at different parts along the trail but then it would level a bit for us to catch our breath.  Even still I’ve been running a couple of miles regularly the past few weeks so I wasn’t completely out of shape.  At least that’s what I thought.  Sunday morning I went to get out of bed and just about fell flat on my face.  Man, I wish I had that on video!  My right calf muscle is so incredibly tight you would think I just started using my legs for the first time that morning.  As I walked around it loosened up and was fine but two days later it still hurts when I stand up after sitting for an hour or more.  No clue what that’s all about.  I’d like to think my muscles are bulking up at such an alarming rate the rest of my body can’t keep up (as I sit here shoveling M&M’s in my mouth).

Overall the morning could not have gone better and it was the highlight of my entire week.  As usual here’s a teaser picture but others are posted here: