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A Meaningful Place

Once I read the prompt to this blog, I knew exactly what to write about. Pretty much ever since I can remember, I have always loved the winter season. Behind my house, there's a small hill where me and my brother used to make mini jumps to go off with our plastic snowboards. After a few years, I wanted to upgrade, possibly going to a real snowboard or ski lodge. In seventh grade, I took my first ski trip to Welch Village, and I absolutely loved it. Ever since, I've been going to Welch, Buck Hill, or Afton Alps, a few times a year.
Since I have a love for snow, cold weather, and the speed of going down a ski run, I always had the image of Colorado in the back of my mind. My uncle lives in the mountains, about forty-five minutes away from Vail. So one summer my dad, my little brother, and I decided to go take a camping trip to Colorado. The scenery of the whole area was spectacular. I would have liked to have gone in the winter to go skiing, but that wasn't a possiblity at the time. So my dream ever since was to return to the slopes during winter because I know it would be the most exhilerating time of my life.
The time I spent in Colorado was densely comitted to the hiking portion, and capturing images of the surroundings in my camera. Some of the hikes were on mountains, and some were on flat ground. I will first explain the hikes on the flatter ground first. Thick forests, and open grassy/marshy areas rotated while we walked through. It was sunny 4/5 of the days there, so it was a wonderful time to go. The mosquitoes weren't that bad, unless you walked through shady, moist areas. All you see is lush green grass and trees; I could never quite put my finger on one reason I enjoy nature, but it just makes me feel relaxed. We saw a couple pretty big lakes, but the most memorable site was the big hole. This was a river, where it dipped down into a little waterfall right into a turn, which created a massive and thunderous site of crashing water against the rock wall we stood over. I could just feel all the energy and excitment in that place.
Although there were other sites on that hike, I'd rather talk more about the time we climbed Flat-top mountain. I can't remember exactly how high it was, but it was a good day hike. There wasn't too much to see over the trees going up the first third of the climb because we just weren't high enough. Going up further and further, I certainly was drinking much more water, which proved to me that this was going to be a challenge, and I love physical challenges. Towards the top, the trees became more scattered, and the ground more rocky. It was interesting because the trees were mainly pine trees in the rocky areas and you could easily tell it go too windy up there because they all were slightly bent in one direction and bare on the side where the wind came from. It seemed like a whole different culture up there. Even the people walking around us were mainly people in their mid-to-late twenties, and here am I with my dad and my brother, who's twelve, it didn't seem like we were the typical hikers on that trail. It gave me a sense of accomplishment, that most younger people wouldn't think of climbing this mountain, and we were doing just the opposite, taking a dive into the risk. Just the thought of trying something new like this always pricks my ears in interest. We eventually got past the trees, and a long trail of rocks only remained until the top. It was steep, but right before we got there, there was a blanket of white snow. It was quite a memorable moment because we were in shorts and t-shirts having a snow-ball fight in the snow. On the top we could see mountain peaks over peaks, it was one of my favorite sights I've ever seen; it certainly was a place where the mountains set their spirit free.
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On the way back I found perfect shots to take pictures, it felt like I was standing on top of the world. So high up, and I got there myself, it's an achievment that I'll never forget. While walking around, the sound of birds chirping and squirrels running up so close as if to touch my shoe, just gave me the feeling of belonging in this space of tranquility. The sight of wild elk grazing near the mountain roads and the mountains in the background really do give the place a surreal look. I might not see these same images again, that's why I dream of going back to this Colorado wilderness.


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