I went on another hike last night. On the way to where the trail starts, there was a young man who kept driving by me in an old brown 80s-model dodge. He pulled into a parking lot ahead of me and called me over to him as I passed by. He asked if he knew me from somewhere. I assured him that I didn't recognize him at all, wished him a nice evening, and kept on walking. About a quarter mile up the road from where we were, he pulled up again and asked me the same question... yet again I told him that I was completely certain that I did not know who he was and I kept on walking. This isn't the first time I've encountered him in this fashion. He did this earlier in the year too, when I was out on one of my foot excursions. I find it just a little unnerving that he seems to know me, but I have absolutely no clue who he is. I wonder if he's maybe viewed one of my online profiles and this is his way of trying to break the ice. Time will tell.
The hike was lovely... I started up the trail at about 8pm, just as it was starting to get dark. Fortunately, it was only raining in occasional, light snippets. The woods are beautiful at this time of night. As it gets darker, everything fades from various greens & earth tones to successively darker shades of blue. There were all sorts of noises as well... bats flying overhead, trying to snack on the bugs that were swarming around me; the occasional rustle of leaves as some unseen animal decides that I am too close for comfort and retreats further into the undergrowth; the occasional chorus of raindrops, dislodged by a gust of wind, falling on the leaves below them. Just off a side trail, I happened upon a large gorge with steep sides. It was too dark to judge the depth... Soon, I intend to go back there during the daylight to get a better view & maybe some pictures.
I finally decided to stop following the trail when it was pitch black and I couldn't read the trail signs anymore. I bushwhacked to the nearest road and started hiking back down the mountain. The view was impressive. I've never seen the town all lit up at night. The sky had hints of pink & purple in the distance. I wish I brought the camera.
I sat by the road in a little alcove carved out of the woods , on the edge of a field. I witnessed a strange scene at a nearby intersection. A large truck came to a screeching halt while some guy got out for a moment, screaming at someone over his cell-phone, then he peeled out down a side road. Not more than 20 seconds later, 2 more large pickup trucks came barreling toward the intersection with all their lights out (it was after dark), and ignored the stop sign, taking the corner at a dangerous speed... then proceeded to speed down the road that the cell-phone guy just took. I would love to know what that was all about.
I finally arrived home around eleven o'clock. Another day well-spent, another trail explored. I look forward to seeing it during the day.