A spring hike in February.

On Saturday Minnesota was blessed with a beautiful day of full sun, blue skies and a high of nearly 60 degrees. This meant I was in my car by 6:45am to go for a hike! The best hiking near me is William O'Brien State Park, which is about a forty minute drive. I would have loved to see the sunrise from the park, but it was so magnificent that I didn't mind viewing from my drive. Red and orange to the right, blue and purple to the left. Not bad! :)

The wide parts of the trail were covered in what looked like snow. Turns out it was all ice. It made the hike more of an adventure, slipping and sliding down the hills and stomping up the steep inclines. No one else was out so early. The spring birds were singing to me. The air was incredibly crisp and felt warm compared to the scenery. Within an hour I was down to just my long sleeved top.

I swear, these woods were the happiest place on earth. At least for the couple of hours I was there. Or maybe it just felt that way ;)

This was my first hike of the season and I was stoked. All I wanted was peace and wildlife. And I got those things. As I was going through the meadow, a big male pheasant erupted from the tall grass and flew right by me. He was beautiful. A little bit before, I had made friends with a lovely deer. We got very close to one another in the quiet tranquility of the morning. It's an amazing thing when the land is still. You feel a closeness with nature that disappears as more beings rise.

The most exciting part of the adventure, for sure. Meeting Douglas the deer.

The trail was very different from one turn to the next. I took advantage of the grassy areas by trail running. Something so freeing about that :)
While I don't plan to journal about every hike I do, I think the first of the spring required a special acknowledgement. A cheers. It's something to celebrate. We've made it through another breathtaking winter. And now the land will burst forward in color and life.

"Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment." -Ellis Peters