Saturday dawned bright and beautiful. The sun was shining and the weather was relatively warm. All great news for a night hike! I was very happy to accept the generous offer from No-wah-pee and her husband, Token Male, who welcomed us to their lovely home located adjacent to the trails. She and I enjoyed scouting the 5 miles Friday evening before the Night Hike. It is always good to spend time with a friend! I spent Saturday cooking up some beef stew (thanks Pinterest!) and it smelled great! I also mixed up a big batch of corn bread and gathered the supplies for s’mores. I was excited about the number of people who were planning to attend the Night Hike. I really liked that several of my son’s friends that are girls wanted to come. I determined that they are the Dirty Chicklets and invited them along! The girls convinced my son and one of his guy friends to come. Fun times! I love that this crazy idea is involving so many different people, different ages and from different walks of life. 16 hikers arrived to hit the trail in the dark! We started at 6:30 which was early enough to see some of the sights and get our footing on the trail. The fall colors and setting sun are especially gorgeous around the lake.
It was FUN!! It got dark fast! We moved along pretty quickly given the fact that it was dark and chilly. We found ourselves becoming hot and a little sweaty rapidly. We used positive self talk to encourage ourselves, “I’m hot! I’m really hot!” Dirty Girls always take advantage of self esteem boosters! We took a couple of breaks for photos and some quick and invigorating beverages! (Thanks! Who knew I would love Buttershots?) It was cool to see the head lamps glowing along the trail. We spread out and goofed off along the way. The crazy kids tried to run ahead, needless to say they were nearly lost a few times! We also took turns being in the lead and at the end. In some ways, the end was maybe the best. Everyone’s light contributes to lighting the trail and there is no light behind you to throw shadows. We had a few stops to turn the lights out and just enjoy the darkness. There are still enough leaves on the trees that we couldn’t really see the stars although they were up there and very bright!
We ended up finishing the 5 miles in about two hours slightly sweaty but very happy. The two Dirty Camp Fire Dudes had the fire blazing, the music playing and the dinner was warm and ready! Everyone changed clothes or added layers and gathered around for some post-hike festivities. I love that these twinkle lights are looking so pink!
Many marshmallows were toasted and many more were caught on fire! You really can’t beat an evening around a fire.
We decided that a larger fire pit is going to be added! We loved the music and the time to talk around the fire. Turns out everyone liked the beef stew – several had seconds so I believed them! It was the perfect thing to have after a hike. The weather was pretty cold so it really hit the spot. Beef stew, a fire and some s’mores pretty much create a perfect ending for any fall hiking adventure!
It is very exciting to me to have the chance to do so many things that are near and dear to my heart! Going outside, exercising, cultivating positive relationships and socializing with great people, sharing my love of hiking and bonfires and s’mores and wine!! Can’t wait for the next big event, the next small event and launching the Dirty Girls Club! I will also note that Dirty Girls love Dirty Guys and having them along with us! Stay tuned for more adventures!
Denise ~ The Original Dirty Girl!