As Lane drives, I contemplate our options for short hikes. The Pink Ledges Trail is a short nature trail. That is the trail I was planning to take, but now I see that another provides good views of the highway tunnels. Views of highway tunnels might be hard to pass up. . . but then we round a bend and there is the first “tunnel.” Soon a second is also visible. Ok, the nature trail it is.
The few other vehicles in the parking lot at the visitor center belong to frighteningly fit hikers and bikers, most of whom are lightly clad in spandex. Definitely not a crowd I can keep up with. They are loud and boisterous and I hope they are headed off on longer, more difficult trails.
The staff at the visitor’s center also recommends the nature trail, so we start off behind a family with rambunctious young children. Soon they disappear far ahead of us and we have the path to ourselves. It is lovely and serene, tall green trees tower above us, boldly colored rock form a dramatic background. A few late birds still twitter above us.
The sun has reached about the midpoint in the sky, creating a red glow along the top of the rocks, but leaving us in deep shade. Where there are slots and other spaces along and behind them, the rocks seem to glow from inside like giant red candles.
About halfway through the hike, we come across a minuscule slot that radiates soft red light – the most amazing light I have ever seen.
It is not even 10 a.m. and my day is already a complete success. It is all so wonderful.