I swung wide into the pull-off for the Hunt Fish Falls trailhead, giving a good ‘ol hoot to my best bud, Alex. In town for other matters, I had just enough time to squeeze in a quick adventure. I was filled with the joy that only comes with a pre-dawn foray into the hills and a groovy ride up a single-lane gravel road that is strewn with memories. There was no better place for me to be in that moment. We shucked layers and shouldered our packs in the oddly warm February air for our third try at the Bee Mountain Loop.
Over the course of three years, Bee Mountain had beaten us in one way or another. The first time, we had another pal tag along who got sick a few miles into the hike so we turned around. The time after that we lost the trail in the final miles at a creek crossing which resulted in bushwhacking through rainy mountain laurels and dog hobble on no trail at all. Not to be defeated, we started down the hill toward Hunt Fish Falls.
This day was a success. No one got sick and we found the trail where we lost it before. The sun shined on us all day and we fell back to our childhood ways of climbing trees and tip-toeing on slippery rocks through the creek. It was exactly the way two pals like us should have spent the day.