I intended to hike up Battleship Rock Trail, but when I got to the junction I was tempted by the Rock Garden Trail instead. The trail was, you guessed it, rocky, but the big rocks were quite beautiful and the texture intriguing.
I tried to keep moving as daylight was fading fast. The length of the trails wasn't posted on the signs, so I'd unwittingly added a mile to my intended hike, and as the bridge kept not coming into sight around each bend, my step got quicker and occasionally I sprinted flat out on the level portions of the trail. Even though photography was getting increasingly difficult in the low light without a tripod, I couldn't help leaning against the rock wall and getting a few shots of this great stairway.
Danger....icicles falling! I started looking up a little more often on this section of the trail as I abandoned the running and went back to walking.
Eventually I made it to the bridge and crossed under it. By now it was dark and I started jogging down the Original Trail hill, slowing only when I got to the stairways. When I was almost down I ran into a teenager with her parents and sang out as I sailed past, "I'm not supposed to be out after dark and my Mommy is going to be so mad at me!" It got the intended laugh, and I was quick to add that unfortunately I wasn't kidding...my mother is not the free spirited nature lover that I am and even in daylight spends her time worrying about me coming upon dangerous critters or walking off the edge of a clifff....and maybe she should since sometimes I do crazy things like run along new trails at dusk on mountainsides! I arrived back out of breath, sweaty, and oh-so-happy (endorphins are a girl's best friend!). Even though I still have a pulled muscle or two from running downhill for half a mile I think it was worth it!