Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make me the happiest. The sun shining on a leaf, the wind rustling tree branches above my head and the sound of my feet crunching through the dirt on an empty trail are just some of the simple things that help restore my sanity in troubled times. With heavy thoughts still weighing upon me I headed to a familiar place for a little relaxation.
I decided to hike Morgan Territory this weekend. The quiet and lack of other hikers most days appeals to me and I picked a loop stretching the length of the park. I headed out Volvon Trail picking up Blue Oak t=Trail a short distance from the park staging area. I would then hike along Miwok and Manzanita trails before picking up Volvon for the long loop back. It measures out at nearly 9 miles hiking through secluded groves of trees before a short trip across the grasslands.
I had made a hike on these trails earlier this year so I decided to mix it up by hiking in the reverse order of trails that I normally do. This would give me a look at the same trail but with a different view with the light at a different time of day than the previous hike. Looking forward to a slight change of scenery I headed out on the dry and dusty roads and began my hike through the trees.
Morgan Territory is often described as desolate but to tell the truth I enjoy the solitude. The quiet was briefly punctuated by cattle calling in the distance and the sound of my own footsteps on the trail. Sunlight filtered through the rows of trees on either side of the trail casting menacing shadows on the ground. Poison oak glowed in the shadows at the edge of the trail. The quiet and patches of darkness scattered about almost made parts of the hike surreal as I wound my way to the edge of the loop for a look across the valley.
A descent to a dry creek bed was followed by along climb up and the return walk to the staging area. The temperature was warm but a breeze and the plentiful shade opportunities kept me from overheating. I took a leisurely pace as I admired the display of branches arcing to the sky. The dry grasses and trees will soon be draped in the colors of fall and another magical time will rise on the trail for my camera.
At times like these I am thankful for the simple things that I can find behind the camera. The simple and quite moments help me moving forward to better times.