Sunlight danced across the clear river as the crisp wind rustled the leaves of a nearby aspen. This cool wind carried the last memory of winter as it descended down from the mountain peaks, making the trees whisper at the excitement of the coming summer. I paused for a moment to simply take in this natural beauty of the landscape around me.
Early that morning, my family had left our campsite near Telluride to embark on an all-day hike that would lead us to a snowy lake nestled in the mountaintops. This particular trail trudged almost directly up the face of the mountain, which at this time of year, was speckled with snow.Shortly after our break, my family of five continued to hike up the mountain. Before long, the sound of running water caught our senses and we came to a wide river.
Since it flowed directly across the path, there was no other option but to cross. So, cautiously jumping from the protruding rocks, we slowly made our way to the opposite shore. The icy water lapped at our boots as it carelessly danced along the stones; indifferent to our efforts.
Nevertheless, we soon made it to the other side without error, except for a few wet socks.However, as the hours passed by, the hike became increasingly difficult. The trail started to incline more steeply and became muddy from melted snow. It wasn’t long before our boots were caked with the earth that, at one point, made a trail.
We also came across fallen snow in the middle of the path that we were forced to gingerly wade through, soaking our pant legs. So, despite the fact that I loved to hike, I found that the higher we trudged up the trail, the lower my spirits sank (as did my boots in the muddy snow). It seemed that we would never reach the top, but be doomed to wander through tiring switchbacks till nightfall.Then, just as we were about to turn back, because the path was now almost completely covered with snow, our company emerged from the trees and came to a wide, snowy valley.
Immediately, all of our doubt and exhaustion seemed to waft away with the sight of our destination. Our group quickly trudged through the remaining patches of snow to the top of the hill beside the frozen, crystal lake. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking pictures, sledding, and participating in family snowball fights.
Then, allowing us enough time to make it down the mountain before dark, we gave one final glance at the beautiful white landscape and walked over the hill. Then, as we walked, I realized that if we had turned back earlier that afternoon, we would have never seen the clear mountain lake or had the fun that awaited us there. It was that day that I decided never to give up on a task because it is difficult, because what you accomplish will be more than worth it.
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