I’d like to begin by stating that I love my job. I really really do.
That being said, we’ve been working quite a bit lately, which means long days inside a concrete bunker that is The Egg. A concrete bunker with no windows. We drive in, sometimes before or as the sun is coming up, spend all day under unnatural lighting, and go home long after it’s dark. And after a couple weeks of this, back and forth between my home bubble and work bubble in a car bubble, the walls start to close in on me. I start itching for fresh air and sunlight. I begin to feel like if I don’t get outside soon I’m going to lose my shit and start slamming my head against the concrete walls.
I need to get out.
So when we had a day last week off, I informed Kyle that we were going to go hiking. Didn’t care that temperatures have been in the high 50’s. Didn’t matter that it was supposed to rain later in the day. Didn’t give two shits whether he even wanted to go hiking or not. We were going to fucking hike, and we were going to fucking like it.
And fucking hike we did.
Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. It was more of a regular kind of hike. A mountain we’d hiked a few times before and were familiar with: Black Mountain. It’s the highest peak on Lake George, around 2,600′, and boasts some fantastic views from the summit. Since we’d done this one before there wasn’t much in the way of adventures or surprises. I did a little caching along the way, but unlike our Crane Mountain hiking/caching fiasco, all the caches were well maintained and within 100′ of trail, (and easily found.)
There was the matter of mud. Being in a giant concrete building with no windows all week, we didn’t really notice the weather going on outside, and the fact that it apparently rained a great deal last week slipped by us. So it came to somewhat of a surprise to us when the hiking path was quite muddy. In some places the trail had been replaced with a running stream.
But not even the muck could kill my giddiness to be outside. It just meant that we had to be a little creative when choosing our foot path. (If anything, I found the squeal followed with, “Damnit!” that came every time Kyle stepped in the mud hilarious.) I was just geeked out of my mind to be outside. To see the colorful splendor of the leaves before they dropped. (Well, dropped any more than they already had.)
The air was chilly, but our speed and the incline kept our bodies warm.
The smell of the evergreens and the decaying leaves underfoot that I find absolutely intoxicating.
The fantastic views of Lake George that not even the misty, overcast skies could diminish.
Even many people’s least favorite part of Black Mountain, the fire tower at the top, somehow seemed romantic, like a lighthouse in the gloom.
We ended up taking the short route down, due to the impending rain. (That never came. Ahem.) But even though I missed the lovely view of the pond and exploring the lean-to’s on its shores for another hidden cache, I already had what I needed. I had some color in my cheeks and some fresh air in my lungs and some sunshine on my skin. I could now take on whatever the week had in store.