I headed up the mountain trail early today ready for a chilly hike.  I wore a hat, gloves and several layers under my jacket.   I was ready for the wind, drizzle and nippy cold air.  All I could hear was the redwood branches swishing and far below in the ravine the rumble of a flowing creek.   I could not see the rushing water because of the dense trees and the massive moss covered boulders that blocked my view.

During the first hour I saw no one.  It gave me the opportunity to dream with my eyes open.  I was delighted to see a deer leaping up a steep trail in front of me; she was so graceful and agile.  I faintly heard young voices down below.  Three girls eventually passed me, all cheery with a “good morning!”  I continued and took lots of photos while catching my breath as I climbed the steep trail.

I looked ahead and sprinting down the trail I could see a tall woman walking four beautiful dogs.  She was being pulled swiftly by an Irish wolfhound, golden retriever, and two small terriers.  The dogs had shinny groomed hair and seemed well mannered.

I decided to head back.  I passed several men out of breath; they were hiking uphill as I was going down.  As I rounded the path I could hear flute music in the distance.  I could see a man in a T-shirt and sandals, playing a wooden flute.  He looked like a character in a movie.  He was almost dancing as he said loudly “lovely morning!”  I smiled and agreed.  He surprised me as he made his own path through the woods.  He did not take the trail.  He seemed happy.  As I watched him I wondered if he was cold and where was he going?

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