Climbing My Mountain

Our second hike of the trip was to a destination that I had been to a couple of years ago.  It's a terribly rocky drive in the jeep to where we would enter the trailhead for our hike.  My last attempt at climbing this mountain wasn't very good.  I made it half-way to the top and just couldn't go any further.  It was a combination of my asthma, the altitude and my fear of heights.  But this day was different.  I was there to conquer my mountain both figuratively and literally.

I am a determined person. Some might even call me stubborn.  I really didn't know where we would be hiking this particular day until we got there and it looked familiar.  But I do know that I had somewhat of a rough morning emotionally so walking it out would be good for the soul.

As I mentioned, the path on this particular hike was very rocky and uneven so we brought walking sticks to help with the climb.  The view along the way was gorgeous but I must say that I have never climbed any mountain that was quite as difficult as this one was for me.  I learned what switch backs were and as we came to more and more of them and climbed higher and higher I soon realized that this mountain was kicking my butt!  But you see, that's the thing; I was not willing to let it win.
        This is the road that we came in on and the mountain we climbed is in the background.
               There were streams and waterfalls along the way that we stopped to admire.

We made it half-way to the top (same place I turned back before) and I said, "WHAT?!  This is only half-way??" (HUGE sigh, lots of heavy breathing and possibly quite a bit of whining too.). Anyway, Hubby asked if I wanted to continue or turn back.  I kept standing there looking up and finally said, "I'll go up."  I wanted to make it to the top.
As I stopped along the way to catch my breath, I always sat back on a rock and kept saying, "This is so beautiful."
On one of those stops, we took another couple's photos and asked it they would take ours as well.

My breathing was very labored, but I kept going.  Stopping quite frequently to catch my breath and let other hikers pass by.  As people were coming back down from the top they would stop to encourage me to keep going, saying it wasn't much further and that if I was that close I had to press on because there was a beautiful lake up there.  And so I pressed onward.

I believe the entirety of the hike, there and back, took us about 3 plus hours.  But WOW...When we reached the top it was gorgeous!

On the hike back down, I, of course, began thinking again...because I find that hiking is a great place to sort out your thoughts.  And my thoughts were focused on climbing  mountains metaphorically as well.  You see, I compared climbing that mountain to life.  We often times have these huge mountains to climb that seem so overwhelming.  Situations that appear so difficult that we don't think we can make it.  We stop to contemplate that and along comes someone who encourages us, cheers us on.  We then take a deep breath and continue.  Because, although the journey may be long and difficult, when we reach our destination, it is beautiful.

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