Yesterday I went out and enjoyed the day by going on a 4-hour hike up and down a mountain in a near-by statepark. I drove up a very narrow, winding, and steep road to the summit of the first mountain in the park. At the summit is an observation tower. I got a chance to see much of the river valley...beautiful view, gorgeous day, but entirely too close to civilization, since there were loud noises coming from traffic, nearby construction, etc.
After enjoying the view, it was time for my hike to begin. The trail led down the south side of the mountain, an extremely sleep slope that caused me to slip, or near slip a number of times. Then I followed a more or less flat trail around the mountain to a section between the two mountains of the park. I came to the end of that trail to a split, one trail marked as going back up to the summit, the other heading towards the second mountain. Now I had printed out a map of the trails for the park, and it seemed as if the trail around the second mountain was a small loop, which I figured I'd explore before heading back up. Except, I discovered quite quickly, the trail was a whole heck of a lot longer than a simple loop, and it broke off into other trails as well. Aka, the whole second mountain was criss-crossed with a ton of trails, and none of them were on the trail map.
Well, I kept hiking. Didn't take long before I didn't know where I was. Not lost, just didn't know where I was. Got turned around a little which through off my natural sense of distance and location. But I was pretty convident that I would be able to turn around and go back the way I came if I felt the need.
The exploration did lead me to find some interesting sights. Going down one path, I came upon a dried up stream bed. There were dozens of such stream beds running down the mountain, but this particular one was special. It was covered in a coat of green moss, so it appeared to be a green path running down the mountain. It was stunning. The path I was on followed it for a little while, before crossing over it. At the cross over point, I decided to take a short break and climbed out onto the moss and just laid down on a bed of green.
A little while further down the trail (well, more accurately, "up" the trail) I heard a strange noise in the distance. It seemed as if someone was calling out. I couldn't make out any words, and it was too distant for me to get any idea of how to get to that area in the mass of trails to give any help, if someone was calling for it. I kept going on the trail, and the noise disappeared. Some time later, I hear another noise, something a bit different...like some kind of animal, of the likes I had never heard before. There is rustling in the trees, and more of the animal's cry. It is not very far away from me, and clearly coming from the direction I am headed on the path. Nervous, I still continue. I hear another noise now, but this one I know what it is. It is the baa of a goat. About 30 feet in front of me, a goat dashes across the trail. As I continue on, I see that there are two goats making their way through the woods, one making that weird noise I had heard earlier.
Besides the goats, I mostly saw (or just heard either rustling in the woods, or chittering at me) chipmunks and squirrels. I also saw a large woodpecker. Another neat thing I found was a tree, tall and straight, which was missing about a foot at the bottom. That is, it wasn't actually attached to the ground. It must have broken off a while ago, but, tall as it was, it has been held upright still by the trees around it.
Halfway through my journey, I was starting to get a little tired, and was hoping that the trail I was on would eventually lead me back towards the other mountain, or at least somewhere familiar. I come upon a divide in the trail, with one side going clearly down, the other seems flatter. I choose the second path, which, while it started flat, quickly started going up and up. As I hike upwards, I am regretting not taking the other path. However, before much longer, the path I am on comes to the crest of the mountain, and there is a beautiful overlook out. I pause here for a 'lunch' break, enjoying a fresh, local pear and gazing out from my scenic view spot.
Refreshed, I continued on, going down and around the mountain before coming upon the path I started up this mountain on. Followed that back down the rest of the way, back to the sign which pointed towards the summit of the first mountain. Slowly and painfully made my way up that steep trail to another scenic view of the river. Another long break there to enjoy the view, catch my breath, and cool off some (it was getting a bit warm in the day, and hiking up a steep mountain can make one a bit sweaty).
I was exhausted by that point, so got home and crashed out for an hour or two, before getting up and getting ready to go visit with some friends. We went to play pool, and my luck feat served me well. I don't have much skill or talent playing pool, but I do well enough just being lucky. After playing for an hour or two, we went out for some icecream. Yum. That is as near perfect a night as I could ever ask for.
Today I'm feeling the hike a bit... the legs were fine until I walked up a hill going across campus from my parking lot to the library. then I started feeling it. Now that I'm sitting, my ankles are feeling a bit unhappy with me. In general now I'm feeling a bit sore all over, I guess. But despite that, I'm feeling pretty good over all. I'm sore, but I enjoyed getting sore.
So now I'm working for a few hours until my pre-orientation meet up. Hopefully will find out what my TA assignment is, at last. I do know that it's not with the prof I had last semester, which i was REAlLY hoping for since I didn't mind TAing her. But I ran into another classmate and he said he was assigned to her, and I knew that she was going to pick one of the new grad students. I'm terrified they'll ask me to do language or something, and I am not good at spoken, which is what drilling is all about. I'm really feeling anxious about this now. What if I am asked to be a TA for one of the language classes? I am really hoping for a TuTh class, so I can for ONCE have a semester without a friday class.
I just went up and pulled down the next cartful of history books to catalogue. Most of history has been done, so I can usually get a full shelf or two done, just pulling down the books that are missing barcodes. I'm now at the point where there are only 2.5 shelving units left before I finish history. But the first half shelf consisted pretty much entirely of books that need to be catalogued. So much for my hope of getting the last of history done pretty quickly today.
My mind's too much on the coming semester at the moment, I think; I don't feel like doing much work right now. Just got to muddle through today. Might not bother working tomorrow. See what I can get done today, and how I feel tomorrow, I suppose.