I woke up this morning feeling restless. I feel restless a lot. This probably means I need to exercise more or be active, but I don’t see how. I walk or bike everywhere, and I’m not still a lot. I fidget constantly and my mind races at the same pace I would imagine a thoroughbred might.
I woke up at a reasonable hour and immediately put on my trusty Asics. This pair is still stubbornly white (I like my shoes to look like they’ve been well loved). After I filled my Nalgene, quickly ate some breakfast and brushed my teeth, I set off.
Chris and I had hiked a little bit in the area exactly a week ago. And yet, it felt almost alien. It was chilly and quiet and damp feeling. There was nobody around, and I had the whole trial to myself. I quietly walked, letting the sound of a stream and of leaves rustling with birds create the perfect acoustics for my adventure.
I held two cameras in my hands- the film will come later- and tried to navigate around mud puddles. My roommate went to church this morning at the same time I did and I realized that we were both in our own way worshiping. I felt leaves and touched tree bark and made the experience a thorough one. I went off trail back to a stream Chris and I had explored a bit earlier. The stream was a tiny bit lower, enough that my shoes didn’t get as wet last time. The sun was peeking in and rising and I wished I had packed breakfast to go so I could sit by the stream and just relax by the rushing water. A squirrel announced to the world I was there, and I moved on.
Climbing higher, I realized how heavily used the trail was, and how lucky I was that I hadn’t seen an alma yet. I like being alone or with people of my choosing in those quiet early morning hours- it feels almost destructive to disturb the perpetual quiet that the woods settles over the land like a blanket. Who likes having a blanket roughly pulled off them in the morning? Nadie, that’s who.
Eventually the earth started warming up. I saw more and more people. I turned around after maybe 2.5 in, and made my way back. I petted several dogs, passed multiple trail runners already drenched in sweat, and a school group of international study abroad students with mixed accents and experience.
I left at the perfect time. Getting to my car, I informed some men about the lack of wildlife and the wealth of people and told them that it was much better earlier in the day. They responded, “It always is.”