I think it's fair to say that mine is an excitable nature. Nonetheless, I have difficulty imagining that anyone would have been unmoved by the truly splendid hike I went on last Friday in Marin.
Gorgeous sunshine for the first time in days, and a winding way along some cliffs. Blissfully alone.
Along the way, I rubbed the rough felty pods of lupin not yet in bloom.
In places the trail was wide and obvious, but when it dipped into the forest it was often overgrown. The air was warm in these areas, and damp, and thick. Then I came out into a narrow stretch where California poppies and dandelions were clearly in competition with one another for Most Cheerful and Exuberant Wildflower. (Also, did you know that dandelions sometimes get strangely foamy?)
When I finally got to Wildcat Beach (nearly six miles from the trail head), it was gorgeous (in that cold, scrabbly, Northern California way), and disappointingly, if unsurprisingly, devoid of wildcats.
It did, however, offer the persistent hiker a gorgeous waterfall.
The benefits of hiking alone include but are not limited to: walking as quickly as I like, not getting mocked for laughing at things like funny beetles, and singing as soundly as I want (doubles as a good defense against mountain lions). Also, a great way to get some space back in my head.
I ate good snacks whilst hiking, but the beat-tired exhaustion after twelve miles makes me realize I must give serious consideration to my vague plans to hike a good ten or twelve days or so of the PCT. Not that I won't/shouldn't, just a reminder that hiking uses different muscles than my other extracurricular activities.