When I got off work today, it was sunny and nearly 70 degrees. I was frantic to get out to Clear Creek, but there were Cat Issues. By the time everything was settled, it was 6:30 pm. The sun was going down and the temperature was dropping.
I went out to Clear Creek anyway. I needed to walk off my agitation, and I wanted to get another shot from Observation Point--I figure if I take one photo from the same spot at the end of each month, by the end of the year I'll have a nifty photo montage. Tomorrow I have to work late and Wednesday it's supposed to rain (plus I have to await the new cat).
I don't know how long the hike to Observation Point is--not long, probably, but it's very much uphill. It was getting dark and the sky above the river was already turning gold and orange with sunset. I went as fast as I could, wheezing and panting and sweating, and it got darker and darker and the sunset peaked and started to fade.
Finally I staggered up one last slope and the log pavilion at Observation Point was ahead of me, silhouetted against the western sky like one of Rivendell's outbuildings. I made it to the bench and collapsed.
The view was just gorgeous. I'd forgotten that they light up the dam at night; and the sky gleamed pewter in the river. I took a bunch of pictures, but my hands were shaking so much that they were all pretty blurry. The one above is the only decent one of the bunch.
I went slower on my way back, enjoying the walk (especially since it was mostly downhill). The sky still held some light and a crescent moon was high in the sky. That particular trail is picked out in many places with pale stones washed down from the hillside, so I never had to worry about losing my way in the dark; the stones shone faintly like starlight at my feet. It's been a long, long time since I hiked in the dark. I'd forgotten how different it feels from daytime.
I got back to the car at 7:30, and I can't have gone much more than two miles an hour overall, so I guess I probably only hiked about two miles--maybe less, since I spent some time trying to get a decent picture. Still, it was a good workout and a perfect way to cool down from a frustrating day.
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