At 4:10 in the morning I was getting in a car. As I began driving only a few cars greeted me. I drove next to a train for a few miles until I veered off into the mountains.
By 5:45 I was walking.
5:56 and the sun was rising. I sat on a boulder with an opening overlooking nature. An orange backdrop was in front of me. It was enough light to see the world, but not enough to show all the details of it. There was no distinguishing the individual branches of the pine trees or the multiple slabs of rocks that made up the whole picture. As everything around me kept becoming brighter, I got up, and I kept walking up the mountain.
For the rest of my hike the only noises were the chirps of birds, my breathing, and the step, grind, crunch of my shoes on the rocky ground. After passing a path between two boulders a valley came into view and my hike took a short break at 6:40.
In the valley is a cabin and not far from the small house are narrow stairs with 143 steps leading up to a fire watch tower that rests at the highest point of that area called Devils Head Lookout. From there I climbed the huge slabs of rocks across from that lookout. I reached the top of my ascend and sat in silence soaking in the view before climbing down and then up the stairs to check out the view from the watchtower.
I then began my way down the mountain at 9am, undoubtedly content. Full of gratitude.
After I got back to the campground at around 12:30 I was sitting on a log thinking back on the morning hike up the mountain. As my thoughts wandered, a blonde boy in my camp started softly strumming on a guitar the song blackbird by the Beatles. Another boy with dark hair and a mustache then grabbed another guitar and started singing about not being able to find your way and falling in love. His voice had a slightly imperfect tone and pitch, and it made the song real and authentic and organic. I was inspired by the mornings adventure , but someone casually putting music into the universe is a cherry on top. The simple moments that aren’t forced and are natural, are important. It was one more highlight of the already beautiful day.