Anna Maria Locke

my backyard mountain

I live very close to the bottom of one of the more popular "mountains" here.

I put mountains in quotation marks because they look more like very large hills, but that's just because the Alleghenies are so old that they have been worn down through time!

I've been DYING to go hiking again ever since the leaves started changing more, and was so sad when the stupid snowstorm ruined what I still believe was the peak weekend for these color explosions :(

It's still gorgeous out though; I am going to blame central PA for my new-found autumn-love because I have NEVER seen such a mindblowing display of leaves, even though I practically grew up in a forest in IL.
I think the mountains make it more extreme. More trees! And also a view from a greater perspective, living in a bowl-shaped valley.
One Illinois or Mississippi River bluff vs. an entire mountain range...yeah. 
I don't know how to describe it, except for an explosion.
(You can get the idea, I've definitely posted enough pictures!)

Here is the view of my mountain I get from the parking lot every afternoon (since I have given up riding my bike in the chilly/nasty weather; such a lazy bikewimp alas.)


Since Sunday was bright and sunny (RARE, believe me) I knew I wouldn't be able to focus until I got some outdoors-time SO off to the mountain I went!
(At first I felt like I was crossing some inviolable safety line; do not hike by yourself, do not go into the woods alone etc. but once I got to the trailhead I realized you will never be hiking by yourself when it is a gorgeous fall day! sooo many annoying couples blecgh.)

I will be hiking/trailrunning more FOR SURE! It was soooo much fun. And gorgeous.  Redgold leaves, in the canopy, blanketing the rocks, glowing in the sunlight mmmm.  Camouflagued with the hair.

I was so excited, haha :)

But honestly, is there anything more perfect than a glowing gold forest on a sunny day???
(Not to THIS Professional Treehugger in training!)

Being by myself let my mind wander and let me appreciate simply existing

Here's the stereotypical overlook of campus:

I liked the mountain/field overlooks better:

(and check it out, Papa and Ben...they have put up these sweet maps at every single station so you actually know where you are haha)

Of course, before I knew of this improvement I had already prepared myself by bringing my OWN official map
that was even better
because it depicted the unmarked do not go there confusing trails that intersect the real trail alot
(AND had topo lines)

lalala, running through the sunny forest :)

I followed the outer blue trail, running (/jogging) the flat non-superrocky parts.
It's evidently 6 miles but it felt like 3??? I was out for a little less than 2 hours but it flew
I was thanking the hip god the entire way for letting me do this without ANY pain or even tiredness!
(Maybe I was too hyped up on coffee and excitement)

I could DEFINITELY become addicted to trailrunning.

It is fun.

the end