The combination of the cold of winter, a move into new digs and the end of life issues with Sweet Pea have resulted in a much longer than desired departure from my usual hiking regimen. I vowed yesterday to take advantage of today’s good weather to put that behind me and head up the mountainside for my first outing that I can remember in a very long time. 7:00 a.m. came around and I could see the sun hitting the peak through partly cloudy skies and I knew it was time to put on my hiking boots, but I crawled back into bed anyway. Spring Fever soon overtook my winter laziness and I got back out of bed and went about looking for my camera. By 7:30 a.m. I was out the door and headed towards the Pike National Forest trail to Bald Mountain.
About a mile into my journey I stopped to take a good look at Pikes Peak. Sure enough, the vernal equinox has shifted the sun into position to light the north face of the peak. This is always a welcome event for me as it means pictures of the peak once again have the possibility of color and contrast that hasn’t been available since the sun ducked behind the mountain near the time of the autumnal equinox.
The first day of spring this year turned out a bit anticlimactic with quite a bit of cloud cover to dull the experience. I shot the picture anyway, if only to document the state of the peak on this special day. The lighting was a disappointment but fresh air in my lungs, the sound of the breeze in the pine trees, happy birds singing and the feel of the trail beneath my hiking boots were worth leaving the bed behind early on this day. I could tell that my legs have lost a lot of strength since last fall and I was not able to make it all the way to the summit of Bald Mountain, but at least I know I have turned it around. I am now one day closer to the summit than the valley that I walked through this winter.