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Hiking the Appalachian

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:02 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 77.7 
  • Words: 1200
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It was a warm, breezy day without a cloud in the sky in the summer of 2001.   The soil was cold on my hands as I pulled myself upward, grabbing roots and rocks wherever I could, trying not to slip and fall onto the person behind me.   As the trail leveled out, I could see everyone ahead of me.   Jordan, Storm, Sam, Shashi, and Callie were still scrambling up the incline.   Ahead was Jimmy, Ross, Marina, George, Sara, and Joss, all covered in dirt and sweat, but looking more alive than ever.   Panting, I wondered who in their right mind ever thought backpacking through the mountains could be fun.   Looking back, I realized that my backpacking trip changed my perspective on life and taught me a new appreciation for nature and perseverance.

Jimmy liked to lead the way because he was the man in charge and was a very experienced woodsman, although he looked more like a soccer player in build.   Shashi stayed to the rear, playing mother, encouraging anyone who fell behind and making sure no one strayed.   The middle of the succession consisted of the children, including myself, all age fourteen.   All those included in the trip were in a nature class at Eagle’s Nest Camp.   Our excursion was to last four days; it was a grand finale of all the things we had done during the three weeks at summer camp.

We had been hiking up the mountain already for two hours when finally we reached the river.   “That’s a river?   It looks more like a creek if you ask me.   Back home the river is so big you can’t swim across it.”   I was baffled that someone could call this four-foot stream a river, but I had to admit it was beautiful.   I tried to imagine something else being in the river’s place, but it seemed unnatural.   The mountains were very different from the coast, as precipitous and the coast was smooth.   You couldn’t see anything ahead of you because there was a massive, looming mound of forested land in the way.   All of the plants were incredibly diverse.   There was an abundant...

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