As much as I love the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, as an actual physical experience I beg to be excused from anything more than the briefest encounters. Oh no, you go on and enjoy your hike. I'll just stay here and shoot some photos before heading in for a nap. Well, a beautiful October day spent at Chestnut Ridge State Park (for our annual staff retreat) has me thinking I might be missing out on a lot. The view above is from the lodge where we met for the day, and on our lunch break I began the walk around the lake I'd been waiting for all morning. The sky was blue and the air was clear and crisp. There was a chill for sure, but it disappeared only a few minutes into my walk. The commotion of 35 co-workers eating lunch faded quickly, replaced by... well, nothing really, other than the crunch crunch crunch of my footsteps. It was interesting to experience the various personalities different sides of a small lake can have. As I began, the path was through dense trees, dark and quiet and secluded. It felt like wilderness. About halfway around, the path became wider and more open, with unobstructed views and less of a sense of isolation. Back at the cabin was the lake's public face, it's best side, it's most dramatic view, as if it knew it was posing for our photographs. Note: I had to tweak the color on this photo a bit. The foliage shows up more vibrant than it was in real life, but the sky and water were even more dazzling than they appear here.