Yesterday morning I rose with the sun and hit the trail with no particular destination in mind. I had no agenda, just purpose. My only goal was to breathe and be present in the surroundings, honoring the beauty that can only be seen after knowing hardship (see yesterday's post). I ended up hiking roughly 18 miles with a full pack, pausing periodically to look around and absorb the solitude. On my way home I stopped to take a photo of the valley from a spot known as "The Perch" - just a simple, expansive view of what lies out my back door and beyond. It was a good day to reflect and appreciate the gifts of the natural world.