October 21, 2015.
8 mi | 1000′ ele. gain | 3:30 hr.
Before taking a group out on a hike, I like to walk the route myself in advance. Even if I’ve hiked it in the past. So, I struck out on these familiar trails on a cool and gray fall day.
There is something soothing about hiking a known route. There’s little need to pull out the map or question your navigation skills. You just walk, look around, breathe and think. Sometimes my mind ponders big questions and other times it weaves a path between silly little thoughts. Today it was a mixture of both.
The clouds felt heavy. They filled the sky with moisture, darkening all the shadows and creating a moody vibe. I walked alone. Quickly.
As I reached the meadows at Fitton Green, I got a surprise: the remnants of a fresh burn. Apparently this was the result of a controlled burn designed to “improve habitat.” While I don’t understand how that works, I trust that someone does.
The blackened ground just added to the murkiness of the day. I finished the loop without fanfare and returned to where I began. No matter how many times you hike the same hike, it’s always a different experience.