The birds woke me up. A couple of birds in particular who seemed to be engaged in a spirited conversation. Emerging from my tent, a misty morning emphasized the serenity and added a mysterious beauty to the landscape. This is one of the magic hours of the day. The last of the nocturnals are heading home to bed, and the first of the day timers  are up and about. Nature’s shift change. I always feel privileged to witness it.

The sun rises and the mist dissipates, revealing the full vista of the alpine meadow. More beauty as I break camp, and head back to the main trail. Rays of sun perforate the forest creating bright spots and luminous accents in random places. The trail periodically bursts into a meadow or across a ridge before returning to the forest. Down the steep descent to the valley where the forest meets a stream and the trail meanders playfully beside it.

The biike rolled along almost silently, with just the sound of the tires on the rocky trail. Its horizontally opposed cylinders caressed by the morning air. The trail eventually ends at a paved road. I turn left toward town, and vehicles start to appear going hither and yon. I pull into town and stop for breakfast. It is nice enough to sit outside. The road, the vehicles, the town, and the people seem to be unaware of the natural splendor that is partially visible in the mountains surrounding them. Perhaps they take it for granted. Perhaps they long for the big city, the opposite of the familiar. Perhaps they are not like me, a visitor, in awe of what they consider ordinary.

I think I will return the way I came, and taste again the extraordinary.

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