Wednesday was my day off from the 6-day work schedule I had in the kitchen of the Island Inn on the island. It was the one day for me to explore, rest, create and breathe. Sensing that the weather was cooperating for a while, I decided to go on yet another hike to a spot on the island I’ve never been before. After consuming a light breakfast, I packed two cameras, my water bottle, a map of the island, my phone and some crystals into a small bag and off I went along the dirt path away from the inn.
Walking past the only school on the island, I was stopped by three children and inquired about the time. After they thanked me for answering, I proceeded on upwards, but was momentarily stopped by the sight of a large pheasant roaming near the school. The bird was a gorgeous sight, its feathers a blend of red, black, tan, brown and its head, a silky pine green with red surrounding the eyes. It noticed me staring and returned the gaze, wondering why a human was watching it pass by. We eventually parted ways and I continued with my journey.
A sudden rain shower forced me to take cover underneath a large tree nearby, but the moment passed as quickly as it came. I continued along the path and discovered small cottages nested away near heavily forested areas. One even had an elaborate garden in the front and a small boy was running around in it, his bare feet moving through the wet ground. A small memory of me playing in mud puddles while wearing a bright orange swimsuit came to mind and I grinned.
The path soon became shaded as the many trees blocked the majority of the sunlight from streaming through. The chatter of kids playing and adults working faded away into the occasional chirping from birds out of sight and annoying buzzing of the many bugs flying about. Flinching each time something buzzed past me, I regretted not stopping at the shop yesterday for bug repellent, but it was too late for me to turn back. I steeled my nerves and hurried along the path.
I made a detour into the private area of someone’s home and took refuge among the various rock formations near the ocean. The morning was visible over a slightly dense fog that hung over the ocean waters beyond my vision. My ears caught the sounds of the many seagulls flying by and as the soft waves smashed into the rocks below, my nose filled with the saltiness of the water. Just like being at the beaches in Florida, but without the seashells and people nearby.
After resting a couple of minutes, I pressed on. The path became more rough than usual and fear gripped my nerves once more. Was I getting lost? Where was I going? If I did lose my way, how soon would someone find me? I yanked out the map from my bag and discovered myself along the path to a site named Black Head on the edge of the island. I decided then and there that Black Head would be my destination and after breathing for a minute, continued on.
The path got rougher with various roots from long standing trees emerging from the earth, large bushes blocking my sight and more bugs flying about, filling my ears with a continuous BZZZZZZTTT. My sneakers were not accustomed to the rough terrain and many times I slipped, but no injuries were had. I felt my right thumb itch for a while and after scratching at it, I realized that a mosquito secretly bit me when I swatted at the buzzing sounds. I cursed quietly for not packing my ointment and tried to avoid scratching at the slowly forming bump on my thumb.
But what amazed me the most was the silence throughout the wilderness. Many times I stopped to listen for anything, but heard nothing beyond the trees. It was mind blowing to be in such a place where you could actually hear your thoughts, your breathing and the sounds of your feet crunching against the earth. I smiled at the silence and mentally thanked the Universe for allowing me to experience such a moment of peace, even within the wilderness.
Eventually, my ears picked up the sounds of waves crashing against the shore and I beamed. Black Head was close! I was almost there! I nearly ran forward, excited at what awaited me, but as the path got less paved by foot traffic, I found myself climbing over large rocks and sliding down steep hills, struggling to gain traction in my feet. Nonetheless, I pressed forward, eager to see what awaited at the end of the trail.
The sound of waves became louder and I soon arrived at a clearing atop a large rock that overlooked one side of the island. I had officially made it to Black Head and oh, how gorgeous the sight was! Seagulls perched on small rock slabs sticking out from the side of the large rocky hill to my left while large waves crashed into the rocks in the ocean. Plants and trees were everywhere, some growing through the slabs of rock, others stretching their branches to create small patches of shade and to tangle among each other. A slight breeze was blowing and sunlight filled the area, turning the wondrous hiking spot into a natural beauty. I laid down my bag, jacket and water bottle on the rock before cupping my hands over my mouth and bellowing a scream of victory for surviving such an excruciating hike.
My body was sweaty to the touch and my shirt clung to my damp skin, but that didn’t stop me from pulling out my cameras and capturing some photos of the majestic sight. I then collapsed on the rock and took a long drink from my bottle before breathing deeply. The breeze was still present and as it swept over my sweaty body, I felt cooled and relaxed. I smiled as I listened to the waves far below.
This place is amazing. There are such beautiful natural environments like this out there that I haven’t seen yet. I could stay here for hours and enjoy some peaceful alone time while doing whatever I wanted. Why couldn’t places in Florida be as gorgeous as this? Images of the Florida landscape filled my mind and I shook my head. Based on what I’ve seen, they just simply don’t compare to Black Head’s untouched, unmarked beauty. This was something that had to be protected at all costs. I couldn’t imagine someone or something ruining this place.
With my love for nature strengthened, I thanked the Universe for allowing me the opportunity to view such a beautiful place, gathered my items and bid a silent farewell before exiting the clearing. Time for me to return back to town and wash the sweat and dirt off my body. Black Head lingered in my mind throughout my journey back and I made a silent vow to keep exploring and discover more places like that in the future for as long as I lived.