- Getting up before dawn to drive up to the mountains. Watching the sun create a kaleidoscope of colors in the sky before stopping for a scrumptious cranberry walnut pancake breakfast, in portions fit for a lumberjack. And yes, I ate them all.
- Starting our hike through the forest and immediately feeling the calming effect of the smell of damp earth and pine trees. The air was crisp and the sky a deep blue, with big white puffy clouds. We couldn’t have ordered better weather.
- I had been worried after we realized that we had picked a weekend that included Halloween, concerned that there might be some strange folks in the woods, but the only people we encountered all weekend were a family with two young kids early on Saturday. I do love seeing kids outside hiking.
- Watching an eagle dip and soar and ride the wind, for hours.
- Lying on a beach, awestruck by stars.
- In September I was in a black hole that I finally climbed out of. But still, feelings of anxiety and sadness and funk clung to me. Now, after a couple of days in the woods, I feel wholly re-energized and re-calibrated (and a very sore and stiff). I once thought that a group of men took everything away from me but now I realize that there are so many things that can never be taken away. The awesome beauty of nature will always fill my soul.
I didn't take any of these pictures as I don't carry a camera or even cell phone (no service) when backpacking. But these were in the public domain (I hope) and show where we were. However they don't come close to capturing how the wilderness impacts all five senses in such an amazing way.