A week ago to the date while descending from Wallace Falls, I asked Holly to form a list after the hike of things she didn’t care for regarding that particular journey. I found the list interesting to say the least. However, this time I asked her for a list of things she liked of today’s Sauk Mountain hike. Again, I found the list interesting.
As I began to walk this trail, I began to recollect the days of when I was a kid playing in the woods, the birds chirping and the squirrels running free. The trees interlocking each other as if I am walking through a tunnel with the smell of fresh pine and a hint of oak all around me; a hint of sunshine every now and then is gleaming down on the beat path. This path is not like your ordinary path, it has been used quite some time, as if hundreds of soldiers have marched this very path.
The drive to cross the Kentucky border had taken hours and hours of strenuous patience to finally arrive in another state. The view was by far country like as hints of cow manure could be smelled far from a distance. We drive through small towns, half the size of our hometown of Glen Ellyn had been the biggest town we've seen if not smaller. The scenery had overwhelmed us, as lumps of Earth from a great distance turned to perfectly molded hills, but as we got closer and closer to our destination the hills no longer were hills anymore, instead the hills had transformed to massive mountains of various sizes. These mountains surrounded our every view as if we had sunken into a great big deep hole of green pastures. Our path of direction was seen, as the trails of our road that had followed for numerous hours ended up winding up the mountainous mountains in a corkscrew dizzy-like matter.
Imagine walking down an ancient path amidst a forest of tangled and twisted trees, some of which have existed since before a time even great grandparents can remember. The air echoes with sounds of life, and the fragrance is that of cedar or juniper… or something not quite either. The living things that dwell here, bridge a gap in time that many are totally unaware of and for the reasons about to be explained, may never become so. The beauty that surrounds this place is unexplainable in the tongue of man, yet its presence can be felt by all who choose to behold it. At least for now…
We slowly crept around the corner, finally sneaking a peek at our cabin. As I hopped out of the front seat of the truck, a sharp sense of loneliness came over me. I looked around and saw nothing but the leaves on the trees glittering from the constant blowing wind. Catching myself standing staring around me at all the beautiful trees, I noticed that the trees have not changed at all, but still stand tall and as close as usual. I realized that the trees surrounding the cabin are similar to the being of my family: the feelings of never being parted when were all together staying at our cabin.
Her spry, Timberland-clad foot planted itself upon a jagged boulder, motionless, until her calf muscles tightened and catapulted her small frame into the next stride. Then Sara's dance continued, her feet playing effortlessly with the difficult terrain. As her foot lifted from the ground, compressed mint-colored lichen would spring back into position, only to be crushed by my immense boot, struggling to step where hers had been. My eyes fixated on the forest floor, as fallen trees, swollen roots, and unsteady rocks posed constant threats for my exhausted body. Without glancing up I knew what was ahead: the same dense, impenetrable green that had surrounded us for hours. My throat prickled with unfathomable thirst, as my long-empty Nalgene bottle slapped mockingly at my side. Gnarled branches snared at my clothes and tore at my hair, and I blindly hurled myself after Sara. The portage had become a battle, and the ominously darkening sky raised the potential for casualties. Gritting my teeth with gumption, I refused to stop; I would march on until I could no longer stand.
I wandered around the path near the lake because it was always peaceful and quiet there in the morning and the trees that hung over the wide walkway only drew me in more. The cool wind blew continuously, and some of the leaves that barely hung on to the branches were pulled along with it. They floated while dropping slowly, and one of the leaves chose my head as a landing spot. I brushed my hair with my hand, not caring if doing so messes up my hair, since the wind already accomplished that job the second I took a step outside my house.
One would think the highlight of the trip was the concert, however, one could not be any more wrong. The highlight was literally the highest point in the trip. Inching our way up Pike’s Peak to an elevation of 14,115 miles (“About Pike’s Peak”) proved to be quite the adventure. I will never forget how a number of mundane occurrences created such a wonderful memory: my mother’s dislike of heights, my father’s horrible driving, the scenery, and the arrival to the