It took me most of the afternoon to decide that I actually was going to go climb the little mountain outside town. Alone.
I was relieved when I pulled into the parking lot and found it half full of cars. (Any hiking spot in State of Happiness that is within close proximity to a metropolitan area is going to be full of people on a non-freezing, non-raining day.)
It was perfect: there were just enough people that I walked alone on significant portions of the trail, but I still encountered a person or two going the other direction every few minutes. There was no long, silent stretch to make me nervous.
I walked steadily up to the top. Up on a rock, I sat facing the half-hidden sun, eating my snack of pistachios. And then I turned around and walked back down, cursing myself for wearing shoes I like in the mud, but exhilarated by the fact that I had gone out into the woods without accompaniment.