I don’t know what the weather will be like tomorrow, but today was as near perfection as you can get. The sky was gloriously clear, the temperature just right for a mountain hike, and it is a weekday which means fewer people. It can’t get much better than that.
I had debated on going. I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve gotten a little on the lazy side and I don’t like being cold. But when the sun came out, it was almost as if I heard that mountain calling to me. I called mom so she would know, I got Molly inside, got the bag with water and bowl, and grabbing Bella’s harness and leash we headed out.
The second Bella sees that bag she knows. So when she saw the bag she starts getting excited. When I moved to put the harness on her she was wiggle champion of the world. Once I got her in the car she got quiet. Well, quiet until she saw which was we were going. We’ve been often enough that she knows the way. By the time we were less than a mile from the parking entrance, she was crying. By the time I was parked, if she could have opened the door she would have.
Soon enough, we were headed up the mountain. I don’t go up there often in the winter months. (Ya know, that cold thing) Today though, I couldn’t stay away. When we started up the trail toward the steps I could feel the excitement beginning to build and overflow. Bella did as well. She was almost zig zagging across the trail trying to make sure she didn’t miss a smell.
She did stop ever so often and look back at me, as if making sure I was okay. I’ll admit, there for a while the way I was breathing, if anyone had passed me, they would have been calling for help. Once I got my second wind though I was fine. When you go up the trail with the 300 plus steps, you have quite the hike first. You are constantly walking up at various degrees and angles. Some are pretty steep, especially when you are as out of shape as I am. Then, you reach the stairs.
I always go up the stairs and then down the other trail. Going up because its quicker, down the other trail because there are no stairs to slip and roll down the hill on. Going up I spoke with a lot of the people that I passed. Most everyone up there has been friendly, ever so often you get one who is there for the exercise alone and don’t want to be bothered. There was one person who had a medium size dog that wasn’t on a leash, which is required. Normally I don’t say anything, but this time I did. He didn’t say anything at first, but when he got a little farther up the steps he put the leash on the dog and apologized. I told him that it was for his dog’s safety and he seemed to appreciate that. Which I was glad because I didn’t really want to upset anyone.
At the top. There were so few people up there it was wonderful. I went and sat on the rocks that border the edge and looked out across the landscape. To be able to see so far, is awe inspiring and amazing. Bella realized I wasn’t going anywhere any time soon so she got comfortable and waited.
There is something special about that place. It is one of the first places I challenged myself to go to after my husband passed away. Once I made it there and back the first time, I felt incredible. I had accomplished something on my own. Something I had not done before. I remember that first hike up, how nervous I was the entire way. How much of a struggle it was as well. Now, the top of that mountain is like an old friend. I had to pay it that visit today.
I didn’t make Bella wait too long though. I made sure she got a drink and rested a bit, she’s put on a bit of extra weight as well so I didn’t want to push her too hard today. When we headed toward the head of the Tower Trail she knew, it was time to go.
Bella, thankfully is a fairly patient dog. She has to be as many times as I stop to take photos. I’d stop, tell her to wait, she’d sit down and wait until I was finished and off we’d go again.
I told someone after I got home, that it felt so good up there on that mountain, just me and Bella. I was even glad that my son wasn’t there. I had all the time in the world to walk down the hill and enjoy the day to the fullest extent. I could walk, I could stop, I could speak to those I passed or not. I felt this peace sink into my spirit and fill it to overflowing. I felt an intense happiness at just being alive. I had been given this moment in this day and it really felt wonderful. I don’t hurry hiking down the trail, I mean it is down hill and there is gravel on the road and I’m not the most graceful of people. So I take my time and lost of pictures and I speak to people.
And I did, I actually spoke to nearly everyone I passed. Because I have a new outlook and determination. It is okay to speak to people. It is okay to be friendly. I think that also added to the happiness of the moment. By the time we reached the end of the trail and started toward the car, I was happier and more at peace than I have been in a long time. I think I left a bit of the past up there on the mountain somewhere. I’ve done it before. Another reason to like the hike.
At home Bella stretched out on the floor to rest. At one point she realized that there were cats in our back yard. Even worse, they were stretched out on the steps sleeping. How dare they? She never made a sound, but she watched them through the window, very closely.
I found where to adjust the time zone setting on here so I have that right now. So day forty is actually day forty. My son thought it hilarious that I was so excited about finding something so simple. But ya know, it was a glorious day and I’m not going to let his good natured sarcasm spoil the moment much less the day
I hope tomorrow is as nice as today.