The clouds are closing in on the valley this morning, swirling in misty circles over the mountains. Imagine if you will the Lonely Mountain from the Hobbit or the Led Zeppelin song. I walk along the creek looking upward, then head over to the main lodge to see if any of the guides are around. I think I’ll try and go on a hike.
A large gent with an even larger beard asks me what type of hike I am looking for, and after we discuss a few different options I settle on Eagle’s Point. The trailhead is only a few hundred yards from the Backcountry lodge, the distance isn’t too far, and it seems relatively safe for a solo wanderer. He hooks me up with trekking poles as the low clouds are covering everything in a fine mist making the ground slick.
I dress warmly in layers to protect me from both the cold and the rain, then head out from camp to find the start of the trail. I cross a small creek and some abandoned shacks from another era, then stumble upon the trailhead.
It begins by going through a large thicket. I can barely make out anything more than a few feet in front of me. The mist that was clinging to the bushes drenches me quickly as I take the trekking poles and whack them against the branches, trying to make enough noise so that any animals that may be in the bush will hear me and not be startled by my presence.
After the first mile I emerge from the thicket, soaked to the bone but glad to be able to see more of my surroundings. I felt like a real hobbledehoy for a spell, but then relax as I survey the area.
It is now an almost a straight vertical ascent to Eagle’s Point. Why do I put myself into these situations I wonder? Is it a death wish, a spiritual awakening, a challenge I look to conquer so that I have a story to tell no one?
These are questions that have no answers. I do think that one can only be content if they can recognize and accept this truth. One foot in front of the other, I continue slowly up the lonely mountain.
The clouds slowly start to abate and wither the closer I come to the summit, almost as if they were covering some elusive treasure meant only for me to find. I emerge from the last of the Dragon’s breath and see the world below me.
Sitting in silence on cold stone, staring out into the unknown as waves of satisfaction tingle my skin. I have no other way to describe the sensation.
Alone atop Eagle’s Point and I feel that all of the proverbial and literal roads I have taken were to lead me here. Why I do not know……
But I don’t need an answer to that question.