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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Walk in Beauty

A couple weeks ago Mr. Finn and I had an extra day off for MLK Jr.'s birthday. We had decided that we would hike the entire island trail system. We've been meaning to do this for the last four years and having a three day weekend gave us an extra day of recovery, so we woke up on Sat. and promptly forgot all about our plans. Until, like, noon. Then we rushed around getting everything ready and didn't get on the trail until after 1:00. Undeterred, and mildly delusional, we started off in high spirits. 8-9 miles? No problem! Sun setting around 4:30? Great! It was a brisk day and we were moving, though I kept stopping to take photos every five minutes. We took a detour to look at the old cellar holes on Rich's Head, marveling at all those hardcore settlers living out on that windswept peninsula a hundred years ago. Eagles were soaring overhead, the wind was picking up and we were about halfway there. No problem that the sun was already beginning its decline.

We got to Bluff Head, just a bit past the halfway mark and it was so gorgeous we just had to stop to take a bunch of pics and climb around on the rocks.

Looking toward Southwest Point, still about 3 miles from home. Notice the darkening sky. Yes. This is the last picture I took as the light quickly faded. Did we, two outdoor enthusiasts, bring a flashlight? Naaaahhhh! We're hardcore! The temps quickly dropped and we stopped to put on more layers. Okay, so I put on more layers. We came stumbling to the salt marshes as the last of the light faded completely. We could not see each other so we were stomping along, feeling for the trail. I'm not even kidding. We discovered that the trail felt different since it was more compacted. We would tap around feeling for it, all the while keeping our hands in front of us so as not to lose an eye to the stray branches everywhere. There we were tapping and giggling at the absurdity, but loving every minute of it when I hear Doug call out from the ground, on hands and knees, "Hey! It's one of the wooden boardwalks!" That was heartening as it convinced us that we were not completely bonkers with the whole Zen of the Trail exercise. Finally, we could see some light up ahead and popped out from the trees to follow the road back to the house. The sun had set at 4:30. It was 6:30. And turned out to be the coldest night we had had all winter. We can cross circumnavigation by kayak which we did in a snowstorm in December, and now the circumnavigation by foot. As usual, a memorable time was had by all.

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