The set of hikers panted as they climbed the overgrown path. Their conversation light, and their footing careful, they made their way up the stone stairs. Each upward step bringing them closer towards the white stripe on the tree ahead. Their pleasure at being in the woods reflected in the spring of their step and the speed of their ascent.
Winding its way through the forest, the hiking trail was shaded, covered in roots and mushrooms, and alive with the sounds of birds and animals. The chattering of a woodpecker above sparked conversation on biology, the fungus sprouting from the bark of a tree a divergence into poison, tea, and pizza. With each new beauty of nature unfolding, the group found inspiration, as well as motivation to see what was beyond the next fork in the path.