It is a cold, wet Tuesday afternoon. David just finished with the eye doctor and wants to go on a show adventure. We travel home to have a quick bite to eat and get ready for a hike. We load up and hit the road. David naps in the car as I drive the back country roads to get to Bells Mountain. I pull into the Moultan Falls trail head parking lot. I stir David awake and grab Beauty the pitbull out of the back.
Beauty leaps to the ground as David sleepily stumbles out of the car. He collects himself and lets me know he has to pee. I lock up the car and we walk over to the port-a-potty. After taking care of business, we venture towards the trail head. It’s raining pretty good and the wind is starting to set in. It’s definitely your standard winter afternoon in the PNW. It’s about a half mile hike to get to the Bells Mountain trail head from the parking lot.
We get to the trail head and David is ecstatic! He remembers we hiked this trail before but skipped Bells Mountain last time. He bursts off up the narrow mountain path. It’s fairly muddy so he is sliding back and forth up the path. Shortly up the path, it’s too slippery for us to make any traction so we go off the path to find walking sticks. We were lucky to find some stiff oak branches. I broke them into some nice walking sticks and began trudging up the mountain. Slipping a handful of times, we finally made it to the half mile marker.
We sit on a moss covered log. I take off my wet hood and enjoy the cold rain on my shaved head. I pull out a bottle of water and we both take a drink then carry on. David is excited as the rain picks up. He thinks we are getting closer and closer to snow. After awhile, we made it up to the 1 mile marker. We drank some more water and I checked the time, It was a little after 4 and the rain was coming down pretty good. I decided we should head back down pretty soon as it’d be getting dark soon. I made a deal with David to do a couple more switchbacks then head back down. We made it up to a clearing, snapped a picture to remember how far we came and turned around to head back down.
This is a fairly difficult hike, David is fairly new to hiking so this was a big accomplishment for him. About half a mile down, David really wanted to take a break because his feet were sore. It was close to 5 now and I could see the darkness creeping up on us. We made it to that moss covered log and sat down for a blueberry fig bar. I crafted a pee bottle out of our water bottle, used the bathroom and continued our journey.
As I assumed, the darkness got to us before we made it back to the car. We let Beauty lead the way and David stayed close to me and held my hand. The forest is so different at night, you can hear all the night creatures moving. It is so dark, you can’t see much in front of you so you rely on your hearing. It’s almost like my hearing gets better as one of my other senses are challenged.
We made it back to the car, David immediately removed his boots so he could get more comfortable. I loaded up the pup in the back and threw the backpack and poncho on the back seat. I fired up the car and plugged in my iPhone to tune to my favorite Jarren Benton album. David is sleeping before I make it out of the parking lot.
It was a good day for hiking. It helped me get in touch with a different part of nature. Traditionally, I wouldn’t hike on days like this. However, I’m going through these life changes and I’m on a spiritual journey. I’m opening myself to new things and new adventures. It allows me to connect deeper with myself and the planet we’re living on. David and I made an achievement today, we shared energy and made memories we’ll both remember forever. Always treasure the time and memories that you make, chase happiness and always live in the moment.