Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Climbing

Bugs flew around my face. The humid air was tempered only by the clouds that kept the air fairly cool. The path was basically a creek bed. An almost straight uphill shot. We were climbing Prospect mountain. A peak that would overlook the beautiful Adirondacks. I had no idea what lay ahead. Every stop we took was an opportunity for the bugs to settle around our faces, trying to bite us. But the mountain was steep and the terrain often challenging. To make it to the top was a difficult prospect—pun intended. But we persevered, each step reminded me that if I found a sure footing for just that one step, I would be ok. We clambered up rock faces, huge slabs of untextured rock. Water would trickle down it, covering it in a slimy growth that made it slippery.

Finding sure footing wasn't a sure bet. But we kept going. Each step getting me a little higher. I couldn't see where we had come from really. There was barely a trail, it was more a vague path that people may or may not have climbed before. I could not see where I was. It was a sea of trees that obscured the sky as well as the environment around me. I was stuck in the moment, trapped in my space with flies buzzing around me.

I had company though. My parents and Ciera, partners in the difficult climb to the top. And a couple we met along the way. These two became our unwitting allies in the struggle to the top because they started about the same time we did and their pace was almost identical to ours. We were close to the top when Ciera and I decided to race. We got ahead a bit and thought we were almost at the top. We sat in a small clearing that gave me a glimpse of the view. A stunning landscape that stretched off into infinity. But it was obscured by trees, and I knew it wasn't the top.

We kept hiking. The flies stopped buzzing around our heads. A cool breeze hit my face. The clouds opened up a little and shed light on the path. We made it to the top. And it was beautiful. An enormous vista with 360 degrees of view. I could see most of Adirondack State Park as well as Saratoga County. All the struggle melted away. I was at the top, and enjoying it thoroughly. Eventually we had to descend, if only to climb another mountain.