Today’s the last day of my at-home vacation. Since it’s too cold to sit outside and watch the garden grow, I opted to use my final day off to go hiking with my husband. When he asked this morning, from under the covers, before the sun came up, “Do you still want to go?”, I felt the house shake as cold mountain air buffeted it. I nestled lower under the down comforter, and said, “It’s so windy.”
In the end, I got up. I looked out the window and saw the water in the bird bath was frozen. I pulled on running tights and wool socks under my hiking pants, and I layered on top with a long sleeved running shirt, a fleece, a hooded windbreaker, gloves, and a slouchy hat. We drove an hour to the Blue Ridge Parkway soon after sunrise, and we were only the second car in the Sharp Top Mountain lot. It’s a fairly popular hike, so we wanted to go before it got crowded.
The wind was very cold. It blew hard enough even in the shelter of the forest that it whipped my hair and froze my nose. But that was nothing compared to at the top of the mountain, where we were higher than anything else around, where we had 360 degree views, where we could see for miles over the mountains, and where nothing between us and the horizon obstructed the wind. The gusts were strong enough that they stuttered my footing.
I didn’t get swept off the mountain. Luckily. My photos don’t do the day justice, though; everything looks washed out. I need to figure out how to get the exposure right to show the blue of the sky, the white and grey of the clouds, and the colors on the earth, all in the same photograph.
I’m glad I got out from under the covers. The air and views and boulders were worth it. And the ice that got pushed up out of the earth along the trail. That was worth it too.