Today is the last day of the run of recent "steamy" summer weather we've had. Charlie and I have been hanging out in the cool shade of the backyard lately and not doing too much hiking because of the hot weather, but I decided to go hiking really early this morning before the heat of the day got too bad.
We hit the trail at 8:00 am and quickly immersed ourselves into the tropical feeling of the forest.
It was blissfully still and quiet with wafts of foggy steam floating through the tree canopy. The only sound was the alternating 'squish' or 'thud' of my boots on the varying terrain of mud and rocks. I hop-skipped along the rocks and roots protruding from the trail and started getting into a good hiking rhythm, enjoying our quick pace but still absorbing the beautiful landscape.
Foliage was dense and overgrown on some parts of the trail; dew-drenched fern fronds soaked my bare shins and provided cooling relief to the scratches received from raspberry bushes that were taking over the trail. The warm-moist heat released intoxicating scents of late-summer flowers and grasses, while the high keening sound of cicadas signaled the beginning of the end of summer.
We took several short breaks to throw sticks and splash in the stream, and while we didn't cover a lot of distance, we spent a good hour and half romping in the woods. As we back-tracked to our starting point, a delicious breeze picked up and swirled around me, rustling leaves in the treetop above.
Refreshed, invigorated but also tired, Charlie napped on the front seat on the drive home. We had a great time enjoying the outdoors early before the heat of the day took over, and now we can "veg" out and relax for the afternoon!