December 23rd, 2016 ~ Day 273
Another dark and cloudy morning on the trails. My hike began heading east on the Circumference Trail at Deem Hills. The city lights shining all around me glowing brightly off the clouds in the sky. The trail was still wet from yesterday’s rain and as I hiked, I maneuvered myself through the mud hoping not to slip and fall, after already sliding once.
I was completely alone out there on the trail. Hearing noises and not sure of what I was hearing off in the distance, focusing on the sound, I realized they were owls hooting. The closer I came to the mountain, the better I could hear them.
Being alone on a quiet dark mountain had me on edge. When a bird decided to fly out of the bushes next to me, I immediately screamed. My scream was so loud it echoed off the mountains behind me. Laughing at myself and embarrassed now, I really hoped I was the only one on the mountain.
My fears never gave way as I continued hiking in the dark, I came to the saddle and I saw a pair of eyes glowing at me from my headlamp. I froze, trying to make out what kind of animal it was, there became two pairs of eyes. Frozen, I tried to make out the eyes glowing back at me. Two bunnies! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself yet again.
Once at the saddle, I decided to go a different direction than I usually do. I continued east on the Basalt Trail. I’ve been this way once before and thought I would make it to the top of a small peak, then turn around and head back the way I came. It didn’t work that way, I came to another crossroads and wasn’t sure where I would go, so I decided to turn around there. I didn’t want to get lost and be late for work.
City lights still glowing across the valley as I headed back down the mountain. The sky was becoming brighter and I began to see a little color in the clouds.
Finally it was bright enough, I didn’t have to use my headlamp and I could see other mountains off in the horizon. I’m not a huge fan of hiking in the dark, but it’s necessary for me to complete this journey. It was definitely an adventure hiking in the dark today. I ended up with 2.25 miles and hiked a new trail on this adventure. A great way to start my day!