If you’re friends with me on social media, then you might have seen that my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to go on a trip to Vail, Colorado last weekend, in honor of a friend’s wedding. Though I could gush about beautiful the wedding was (it was stunning), how the vows almost made me cry (are you really surprised, though?) or how it was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to, out of the handful of weddings I’ve ever had the honor of attending, that’s not what this post is about.
No, this post is about the mountains.
You see, living in the arguably flattest of all the states, stuck in the middle of the country, to boot, mountains aren’t something I get to see normally, unless I put in a lot of work to do just that. And by work, please translate that to: driving for a really, really long time. Yet, having my Mom hailing from halfway across the country, from the Blue Range Mountains, I have been lucky enough to spend my time within the mountains, every once and a while. I love them and you could label me obsessed with them. Hiking is not only one of my favorite forms of exercise, but one of my favorite activities to do, period.
So when I get an invite to a wedding with the tallest mountains I’ve ever had the chance to climb (+10,000 feet), you’d bet I ask my boyfriend to get up at 2am so we can make the drive and get there by noon, in order to fuel up and spend the rest of the afternoon hiking.
The sights were something to behold.
Though we didn’t get to hike as much as I wanted, thanks to my boyfriend suffering from altitude sickness (though he tried and that is enough for me), we sat on a bench near the top of the mountains, away from the hustle and bustle at the lift drop off point. In fact, for most of the time we sat, we were the only two humans around. We couldn’t hear cars or traffic. We couldn’t hear people or kids. We couldn’t hear phones or music. The only thing interrupting our comfortable silence was the trees moving against the breeze, the occasional bird calling out and the plethora of grasshoppers never letting us forget that we were in their territory now, so watch where you’re walking, eh?
Let me tell you, friends.
It was something to witness.
I’m generally a really happy person. Positivity is my number one strength and I live a really blessed, really fantastic life. But sitting up there in the clear air, looking around and seeing nothing but huge white clouds, tall peaks clear of snow and trees for miles and miles, until I could have convinced myself there was no civilization around at all…
I felt a peace I haven’t felt in a really long time.
I’ve always been a nature nut in my core. A day spent in the middle of the forest, hanging out by a river, swimming in the ocean, is always a recipe for happiness, in my book. But sitting there on the mountaintop, all I could think about, aside from feeling a happiness and peace that was a level above what my normal, day-to-day life creates, was picturing that as my everyday life. Taking my dog up and going on hikes, doing more challenging trails on the weekends, being awed day after day after day with views that have always been a rare treat, before, but now we’re my reality daily.
And now that I’ve pictured it, I know how badly I want it.
Are we in a position to move out into that environment? Not quite. But damn if, this time next year, when we’re getting ready to move, I won’t start looking to see how feasible it might truly be, even so soon. Because even though I know it’s said that, if I had that view every day, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I did on that trip. Perhaps they’re right.
One way to find out.
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” — J.R.R. Tolkien