I gave up on sleeping at 6:00 am, got dressed and decided to take a walk. I pulled out my map of the park and picked out a path: Laurel Trail to Razor Ridge to East Ridge to Staghorn Trail looked like a nice circle that would bring me right back to my cabin. And it did--three hours later.
The walk started promisingly enough. Laurel Trail was steep but it was early in my hike so I was okay with it for a while. After 30 minutes of climbing up and up the zigzag trail, I was not so sure this walk was a good idea. Then I saw this:
Ah! Not only the sun peeping through to light up the huckleberry bushes, but also the top of the hill! Or so I thought. The trail did ease a bit when I turned onto Razor Ridge, but I was still going up...and up...and up...
This streak of sunlight through the green canopy was not visible to my eyes, but showed up in the camera lens, like an errant bit of rainbow hovering in the forest:
I admired what I could see of the view--I hope the park folks get up there to trim the trees a bit so hikers can actually see the view. I believe I was looking across to Big Ridge; I could see a house or two in the distance, between the tree branches.
A jutting rock provided a resting place and another opportunity to enjoy the views peeping through the trees.
A bit further down the trail I found one of my favorite flowers, the Mountain Laurel, in bloom. These little umbrella flowers bloom is clusters of pink and white; it seems earlier than usual for them to bloom, but perhaps not. We don't have this flower in my area so I am always happy to be in the places where it is in bloom.
The end of the trail that morning was a nap. After coffee, good conversations with a few family members who stopped to chat, and after making my pasta salad for the reunion dinner, I was ready to find the sleep I'd missed the night before.