Top of the World

Adventures always begin in the dark. I scrambled together lots of snacks, plenty of water, and warm clothes for a long day and stuffed them in my pack. “Oh yea… a head lamp, don’t forget your head lamp” I thought as I ran out the door. I drove to the base of the Wasatch mountains and looked up. This is going to be a long day. Darkness shrouded the world for the first 2 hours of hiking. When I  turned around to see how far I had come I enjoyed a sea of burning lights. The valley seemed on fire.


Eventually I reached the pines. The smell of alpine forest filled my soul. Something about the smell of dirt, mud, and pine needles makes me happy. Carefully I traversed the rim of the mountain working northward. The trail leveled off significantly from the initial ascent.  I  continued onward and upward until I came to a beautiful clearing. To the right, tucked under some majestic pines a funny object caught my eye. As I approached, the outlaw cabin came into view. This spooky little cabin was built years ago by two brothers. It has saved peoples lives who have been caught on the mountain in unsuspecting weather conditions.


I continued onward leaving the cabin behind and heading straight up the hill toward the ridge. I crossed over in to the next valley and then the next. Upon scaling the next ridge the Lone Peak cirque exploded into view. Thousand foot walls of granite overpowered my senses.The seamed so close yet so far away. For another hour I slogged onward an upward. The trail slowly faded. Only the occasional rock cairn reassured my path.  I navigated by sight. I could see where I wanted to end up. Snow patches littered this magnificent valley full sleeping granite giants.


I finally started the strenuous ascent up the ridge line. Climbing the granite staircase for what seemed like eternity. My legs burned. I wished I had better shoes as my feet frequently slipped on the snow pack. Eventually I reached the ridge and traversed across sketchy boulders till I reached the summit. Casually Curtis and I sat on the summit and admired the beauty around us. Admittedly the exposure was mildly overwhelming. As I ate my peanut butter sandwich Curtis looked at me and said. ” Two feet to my right is a thousand foot drop” I replied. “Three feet to my left is a 800 ft drop.” When I got back to solid ground and away from the boulder hoping near the summit. I was grateful to have stable ground under my feet again.


As my heavy legs carried me down the mountain. I remembered how grateful I am. I am so blessed to have the strength to do hikes like this. I felt extremely lucky to have seen the view from atop Lone Peak. I reflected upon the triumphs of life. How I have done hard things and overcome them. Curtis said something about the hike when we were getting started. When you do hikes like this you must pay the price. The price of this hike was getting up very early and having very sore legs and feet. But in the end it’s always worth it. Pain means growth. I give thanks for my trials. Even though they suck. When we endure our trials with gratitude; the growth found from the achievement is always worth the pain.



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