Friday, December 3, 2010


This year I felt most alive with the wind whipping through my hair, 3,899 feet in the air.

For Seven miles we walked through various terrain, up small hils, scrambling around large rocks, over and through rushing creeks. All the while we breathed easier- the air was fresh, the day was ours for the taking. Out in the wild I feel as though I am living more fully than I ever could indoors- there is something about hiking that brings the truth out of life, the beauty. When I am hiking I feel in tune with nature and with myself, I feel the strength of my legs, I marvel at my mind solving problems and making decisions.

The last half mile is the best simply because it is the most challenging- our jaunt through the woods takes a steep turn and you have to climb most of your way. My boyfriend made it up easily, and asked if I needed assistance, which I resisted- I needed to do this on my own. I stared at the sheer rock-face in front of me and then pressed my body against it, it was wet with runoff, and cool to touch. The trickling water was clear and beautiful, but also dangerous for my climb. The rough notches carved with the hands of time and the smell of earth filled me with respect. I needed to know this rock before I could climb it, or was it climbing it which would teach me the rock's inner secrets? The hoots of my boyfriend's joy at making it to the top snapped me back into reality: I backed away and thought ahead a few footholds before beginning.

"You can do it," I told myself, and began up. I stayed close to the rock, and worked hard to pull myself up, my muscles were burning but my adrenaline was through the roof. . .

As I pulled myself to the summit I was greeted with the view of a lifetime: untouched, natural beauty as far as the eye could see- pines trees, lakes, mountains, and blue skies went on forever. We had conquered the mountain and our reward was the great unbroken wilderness set before us. I sat myself at the edge of a small cliff, overlooking it all and basked in the sunlight. The pristine beauty of our surroundings made me giddy with excitement and awe- my boyfriend and I felt as though we could be the last humans on this beautiful planet.

Life was good.

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