Sweetie and I took a trip this past weekend - just a 2 hour drive southeast - to hike in Natural Bridge State Resort Park. The leaves were not in full autumn glory. In fact, the spots of bright red, orange, or gold, were few and far between. A late autumn? Or no autumn at all?
Although I wasn't the only one huffing and puffing to make the almost straight up climb to Natural Bridge (a .75 mile hike), I realized how out of shape I am and my body was tired that evening. We hiked a lot, ate too much (they don't serve small servings or small meals at the Hemlock Lodge dining room!!), and didn't sleep well at all the night we spent at the Hemlock Lodge. (The Lodge was fine with every room having a balcony surrounded by trees, but the fan kept clicking on and off all night and I never sleep well the first night in a strange place.)
Since we didn't sleep well, we rose early the next morning and took another hike (this curving and downward moving path was much easier, ending at the lodge pool area and pond first so the hike back up didn't seem so hard on our legs). The early morning mist on the water and sunlight streaming through the trees was beautiful and we were the only ones out and about. Quiet, beautiful nature at it's best.
Everyone down in southeastern Kentucky says their fall is late in coming. I wonder if a day trip, just to drive down and hike and return home at night, is in order later? Maybe a phone call first to ask about the leaf colors. Autumn may just not come this year. They are predicting snow this week!
There is something completely rejuvenating (even if you're pushing yourself physically) about nature. There is a special joy and contentment that comes from walking in the woods, hearing birds singing, seeing and hearing little streams racing down rock faces to create mini waterfalls, crunching through leaves that cover the ground path, just hiking and looking around, breathing in the air. I could live in the woods.
What about you? What place makes you happy?
Are you a woods person or a seaside person?
Do you need a mountain view, or a small, secluded valley blanketed with early morning fog?