Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Climbing a mountain...

I had a four day weekend and spent the majority of it cooped up in my room reading, watching movies or listening to music. Today, I couldn't stay in. Behind the barracks there are some large hills (maybe they qualify as mountains, but I don't know for sure). Since the day I got here, I've been wanting to climb them. I won't bother going into the details, but there is one mountain that anyone who knows me has heard the story of. It involves me, Tanner, my father and one really long night. (Maybe I'll post about it later).

I originally thought I would just climb the shortest one closest to the barracks and packed a book, my Ipod, phone (in case I got bit by a rattle snake), and a bottle of water and took off. The sky was amazingly blue with a few clouds that gave me some nice shade. I made it to the top of Reservoir Hill (the small one directly behind me) fairly quickly and turned around to see the view. It was an alright view, but I soon noticed a small dirt road that seemed to wind its way to the next peak...a little further, a little steeper, but, it seemed, well worth the travel.

I turned again and headed further south along the ridge line and made it to the second peak only to find yet another road leading me higher and further. I hesitated again, wondering how far I'd gone, how long it had been and how rough the going would be. I turned to take in the view and, while it was nice, I knew there would be a better view, possibly even with someplace nice to sit and read. I continued upward to the next peak realizing that the odds were high there would possibly be another enticing road and was proved correct upon reaching the "top" again. At that point, I made a decision...I wouldn't look back to see the view, nor would I ask how far I should go or how high, but just to continue walking until I reached the top.

I kept going for however long the hike was and the road got steeper and rockier. What began as a vehicle path turned into what barely had room for me alone and wound its way up the hill/mountain. Eventually, I reached the top, sweaty and out of breath, and turned around to see an amazing view of the desert. I could see all of Fort Huachuca, Huachuca City and Sierra Vista...all of which was dwarfed by the awesome expanse of the desert surrounding it. The mountains on the other side of the valley resembled a sepia toned photo due to the sun getting fairly low on the horizon and the dust in the air.

I can remember a time when mountains didn't entice me to climb or trails to hike. I couldn't help but think of the whole thing allegorically as I climbed. There was a time when I attempted nothing and didn't push myself. If I never tried, I never failed and, for some time, I was happy with that. I don't know when things changed, when I decided that I wanted to see if all the "potential" my parents and teachers had talked about was true, but it has changed. I may not run marathons like Chuck or otherwise prove myself to be among the best of the best, but I have goals and it's nice to know that I have the faith I will achieve them.

(The photo above was taken by a friend of mine the morning we were released early from PT. The sunrises are beautiful here. This is a view from the second "peak" I walked to looking in the same direction at an opposite time of the day. I didn't have my camera with me, but you can imagine how it looked this afternoon also.)


Blogger Alex said...

Take off the quotation marks, Adam. If that's how it made you feel, it is definitely a real mountain.

8:45 PM  
Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

What a great adventure...climbing mountains IS an allegorical exercise, i think.

Here's another idea: when you get some serious leave, go to northwestern Belgium and bike the Flanders Fields/Ypres salient. There are innumerable monuments there, 140 military cemeteries and several terrific museums. Everyone in Ypres rides bikes all over--it's very friendly. It would be a chance for you to inspect firshand some significant military history, and the Great War battlefields are an infinitely moving experience.

8:01 PM  

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