Heybrook Lookout

My 40th birthday is on Monday. Let me repeat: my 40th birthday is on Monday. I thought a quick sunrise hike this morning would give me time to reflect on things and center myself a bit before celebrating for the next few days. It has finally been sunny in Washington after a very wet and cold January, so I figured I would be able to enjoy a nice sunrise. When I checked the weather this morning clouds have moved in, so I hit snooze. I still got up around 5:30 and headed up to the mountains near where I live.

When I got to the trailhead, there were two other cars in the parking lot. I was a bit disappointed because I love hiking alone and having the trail to myself. But two cars wasn’t too bad. The hike was short, only 2 miles round-trip, but it was a bit steep in places. I took off just after it started to get light and had no problem making it up the trail quickly. There was a little mud but no snow and only a few small trees across the trail that I either had to go over or under. Downed trees can sometimes be a challenge for me because I am really, really short but I just view them as an extra challenge.

I got to the lookout in less than a half an hour and there were three people already at the top. They said they were hoping for a sunrise as well, but the clouds ruined it and then they left shortly after I arrived. It was 87 stairs from the ground up, and yes I counted them. I was warm from climbing all the stairs and it was not too cold so I got naked and enjoyed the view and solitude.

After spending some time doing yoga and meditating, I put on my clothes and headed back down the trail. I only found a little bit of trash to pick up and most of it was actually clothing, which is very curious. As I got to the bottom of the trail I came across a few groups of eight people; they were obviously out there for some kind of training course. By the time I reached my car I had passed seven different groups of eight people each. I’m assuming this was an organized class, which really bothers me. It isn’t good for any trail to have 56 people on it all at once, and anyone teaching a outdoor class should know this. I didn’t say anything to the groups as I was a bit upset and didn’t want to be confrontational. I just hope they pack out at least as much trash as I did.


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  1. Congratulations on turning 40!! You look way too beautiful and young to be 40! I will be 40 as well this year, but mine is not until August. Cheers to fabulous at 40!!

    I absolutely love to go hiking along small mountains trials, and I think the best time to go is early morning. You’re less likely to run into people and can generally have the trail to your self. This is extremely favorable on a nice morning when you can take your clothes off and be one with nature. Living in East Tennessee gives me a lot of opportunities to hit small trails before work. My favorite is to hop on the Appalachian Trail and hike a few miles up to the top of the mountain to a wonderful area called Beauty Spot. On a clear morning you can see all the surrounding mountains in Tennessee, North Carolina, and even Virginia off in the distance. Always a favorite for me.


  2. Sounds like a great way to enter your 40’s, it would be great if Outdoor Recreational Guides and Instructors passed on those same points you raised in regards to small group numbers and take out the trash. Enjoy your 40’s


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