Seems I’ve got a new fascination with night hiking. Two weeks after the first night hike in Shenandoah National Park, we were out for another in Forbes State Forest. We set out two hours before sunset. I knew that would be plenty of time to get out there and setup to enjoy. I’m starting to get to know Forbes State Forest well, at least the Wolfs Rocks area. This little section leading out to the overlook always seems darkly enchanted to me. Maybe it’s the mountain laurel that gives away to prickly thickets? Maybe it’s the wind that swirls through the tree tops? Maybe it’s being at the top of the ridge? Whatever it is, I tend to want to hike as fast as possible to the overlook. I can never seem to make peace with the wilderness here. My intention is not to be an outsider in my home wilderness, maybe it’s that I need to spend more quiet outings here. Maybe setup camp and spend the night to learn the ways of these woods?
I watched Dana trot off in preparation for her race. I knew this was the case leaving me alone in the woods where I’m still looking for solitude. I walked along listening for sounds of trickling water, which surprised me here. My head on a swivel looking and listening hoping at any turn Dana would be coming up behind me, finished with her training. This didn’t happen, as expected until almost at the overlook. Clouds rolled in dropping some rain. The clouds added much needed interest in the sky. We got to the overlooks and I found a neat spot to which I wanted to photograph sunset. Wolfs Rocks is a neat formation with unobstructed views, 180 degree into the Laurel Highlands. I got setup and wanted to make good use of my platty pod. I really love this little thing for its low angles. As soon as we got settled, we were treated to a beautiful sunset. I couldn’t have been happier. Maybe the Wolfs Rocks wilderness in relenting a little?
The hike back was a little long in the tooth. The final rays of the day set past the trees and started to plunge us in the darkness. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the trail but there were some stars over head. Funny enough, when we got back to the car, we had a $5 ticket waiting for us for parking in the lot after sunset. Missed DCNR by 15 minutes … sigh!