February 9, 2016.
I had a brief window of time for a hike before my morning appointments, so I got up early and headed to the park just after sunrise.
Today I just needed to go. I needed to be outside, to feel the cold air on my face, the spongy ground underneath my feet. I needed to hear the quiet, feel the solitude.
And although I’ve been here dozens of times it felt like the first time. It was the first time I’d seen a fiery red sun rise up through the tree trunks. The first time I’d seen these exact shadows falling across the trail. I moved in a meditative state. Because I did know these trails, I remembered each turn and carried along without thinking. My feet moved underneath my body, effortlessly. I broke into a jog.
I stopped briefly to savor the vista on the top of the Section 36/Powderhouse Loop, in the place I’d always stopped. The clouds hung low in the valley, opening up to a clear blue sky above. It was going to be a glorious winter day.
In a little over an hour I jogged the final stretch down the forest road to the parking area. It was time to start my day.