Running the trails during the day in the summer months poses enough risk all of its own much less running in the dark with icy snow packed trails in the middle of winter. The decision to brave the elements of the later came off the heels of an extreme arctic blast and my restless spirit was more than ready to be set free, so off I went bearing my headlamp into the winter darkness. I could say the early morning air was crisp and vibrant, but really, it was a damn good morning for a frosty trail run. I noticed as I rounded the outer trail before heading back into the woods that the down tree covering the trail had been removed, and though I was scanning the trail with my headlamp I experienced the sudden impact of meeting the frozen ground face to face. I must admit that I was a little jarred by this unforeseen acrobatic feat, and upon my investigation of the newly cleared trail I discovered that a fragmented branch frozen to the ground was the culprit of my demise. With caution freshly imprinted on my mind I slowly resumed my adventure into the woods. As I followed the icy snow packed trail to the mountaintop I discovered an absolutely stunning view. There I stood overlooking the lights of our little artisan town just as daybreak began. The eastern mountains were ablaze with the sun creeping over its edges. The leading edge of the sky displayed several hues of red that transitioned into the deepest color of purple. Slightly above the skyline was the outline of the blackest clouds one could imagine as if they were billows of smoke. The mountains were afire and it was absolutely gorgeous. As I stood breathless gazing at the scenery before me I was able to easily surmise that it was well worth the face plant.