There are moments when all is still, and all that’s felt is pure peace and serenity. Moments when just the surroundings can take a breath away, moments that are meant to be cherished. Nothing can bring that feeling like standing at the top of a mountain, with nature all around you.
It all starts with waking up early, determination set in my mind. At the beginning of the trail, I am a different person. There’s one goal for the day and that is to make it to the top. I set out knowing my adventure has just begun. My body is pumped and ready to take on the trail, with my dad right in front of me. As we press on, I look about myself appreciating the beautiful sights and sounds. The birds chirping, trees towering tall, flowers scattered here and there. Sometimes we come along huckleberries along the trail and we eat them. That is one of the glorious things about living in Montana. You can always have a little treat as you walk. I walk along the trail, stepping over sticks and rocks. Plants brush my legs and tickle my face, I occasionally run into a spider web.
My dad and I are at the halfway mark when we take a break. We take a snack from our packs, drink some water, rest for a few more moments, then we keep moving. I can feel the strain of my muscles as I push them to their limit. I have scratches and I’ve been bitten by mosquitoes. I am tired, but I know the results will be worth the hard work. My excitement builds as we draw nearer to the end, almost there.
I push my hardest until, finally, I’ve made it. I see beautiful mountains lining up in front of me, all different in their own unique ways. I fill my lungs with the cool, sweet mountain air. I lay down, my head on my pack, knowing I’ve accomplished my goal. As I lay, I shut my eyes and feel my surroundings. Everything is so peaceful. I feel the breeze on my skin and the sun shining in my face. I smell the sweet smell of trees and flowers. These are the moments I cherish. The moments that take my stress away, that make me feel like nothing matters except being there on that mountain.
(Courtney Bowe is a sophomore in high school. She enjoys running cross country, reading, and spending time outdoors with her family and her dog Tikka.)