By: Joe Attanasio 2011
The drive up from the valley was long,
But I am here in the mountains at last.
As I exit my car at the trail head,
The dawn is just breaking.
My muscles are stiff from the drive,
The cold clean air invigorating.
On with the boots, on with the pack,
Hitting the trail at last.
The slope is steep, muscles slowly waking,
My mind already empty, troubles gone.
My eyes excited at a fresh new world.
The sounds are such a comfort, never nagging.
The smells ever changing so vibrant.
My heart reminds me to slow my pace.
The world here familiar yet always changing.
Life abounds around me.
The manzanita bushes that grow so tall in the valley,
Are almost like grass here, stunted by the elevation.
The wild flowers grow from rocks.
The skunk cabbage rustles in the breeze.
The wind carries my cares away,
The sun raises my spirits ever higher.
The scrub gives way to the timber line,
The world unfolds in all its beauty.
With the hardwoods and conifers below me,
I feel so free and vulnerable on the rock.
My mind gets dizzy from the vastness.
The open vistas are all around me.
I feel so small and yet so big.
I belong and yet I am a stranger.
I am relaxed but must stay alert.
I cautiously plant my steps.
I feel the adventurers thrill,
I feel the conquest.
I make the summit,
I own it all, but I own nothing.
I sit to rest, to ponder.
Not many make it here.
I am satisfied, an inner peace flows through me.
I never want to leave.