Since I am a high school student, somebody might say I have my entire life ahead of me, with all of its beautiful experiences. But despite being so young, I already have a personal breathtaking experience, which I am sure I will carry with me until my last days: my first hike to the mountains.
Though traveling is not a big deal for me today, before my trip to the mountains, I used to be a homebody. I had friends to hang out with, several hobbies, and I felt completely comfortable spending weeks or even months in my hometown—or sometimes even on my block—without going anywhere. All my demands of novelty were satisfied by the Discovery and National Geographic channels, and I seriously thought there was no difference between seeing something on the TV or with one’s own eyes.
The situation changed when one day David, my best pal who always has a couple of colorful bugs in his head (or, in other words, was always carrying out several crazy plans at once) tumbled into my room and proclaimed his disgust for civilization. I will not describe how he managed to persuade me to join him on his journey to the Rocky Mountains; all I will say is we departed in five days.
This was my first time in the mountains, so I was turning my head in all directions. Unfortunately, the weather was foggy most the time, and the higher we got into the mountains, the worse the visibility was. Even despite this fact, I still enjoyed the hike—I felt like I was Bear Grylls, whose show I used to watch with excitement: in the wild, with food and water in my backpack, carrying a flashlight and a knife. On the first day, we were making our way along the foothills; but the next day, we started to climb on one of the peaks. Though it was not that steep and high, I was still excited. I regularly hastened, and because of that, I ran out of energy long before we got to the top; David, on the other hand was more well-paced.
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When we finally got to the top, nothing had changed. The same fog was covering the surroundings, and even though I was teeming with positive emotions, I felt disappointed, because I counted on seeing the view from above and perhaps being able to take some photos. We spent a couple of hours on the top, and decided to turn back, when the wind suddenly dispersed the clouds, and the plateau we were standing on became illuminated with the sun. I saw a fantastic panorama in front of me, and for some moments, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Seeing all those mountain ridges, cliffs, and edges on my own, not on TV, was like a revelation for me. The strong wind blew right into my face, and I stood there and watched shreds of fog gliding over the ground far beneath me. At that moment, I realized that I won’t be able to live a life without visiting the mountains at least a few times a year.
The next day we returned—my legs started to hurt so bad that I could hardly walk. But every time as my face wrinkled because of an ache, I remembered the feeling of being high above, with my head touching the skies and the clouds swimming below.