While the rest of the world took exciting trips to London and Paris, my mother decided it would be more fun to stay within the United States. Colorado was the place she had always wanted to visit. I believed any place without a city life would be dull, but I had no choice in the matter. Plane tickets in hand, we headed to Miami International Airport in the last week of July. My sister was headed to New York that same day, I envied her. Five hours and a cramped window seat later, we arrived in Denver. As I looked out of the 30th story hotel window, snow-capped mountains were all I could see. We were alarmed; after all we are from Miami, the capital of flat, at sea level land. Now imagine us in an extremely elevated area, with mountains and other high earth formations that one could easily fall off of. Needless to say, this was not our element.
The next morning, to my dismay, my mother claimed that we should experience the real Colorado life. White water rafting seemed just up that alley. We found a small shack called “Rafting Adventures!” I couldn’t help wondering if this place was legitimate. The cashier happily told us that the next trip would be in thirty minutes, and to watch out for the chilly water. To say that I was scared was an understatement. It got worse when the guides mentioned the possibility of someone falling off the raft. Entering the water I quickly realized the irony in the cashier’s earlier claim. In a matter of five seconds my whole body froze and I quickly forgot my fears. Gliding down the river I left all of my negative thoughts behind and concentrated on rowing. It was relaxing to see the gurgling water, the swaying trees and wet rocks on either side of us. Even through turbulent water, I was thrilled to help maneuver the raft out of harm’s way. How elevating it was to let go of my fears and have fun, something I never did in the city.
Our next destination, The Cave of the Winds was located in Colorado Springs, atop a tall mountain. The inside of the cave was something from another world. Like miners from an earlier time we entered the ancient cave with helmets and flashlights. I was mesmerized by the beautiful stalactites that hung from the ceiling and the cave’s shimmering walls. I quickly saw that city lights held nothing to the true beauty of tall sparkling quartz crystals. However, the excitement was not over. Upon departure my mother, it seemed, had suddenly realized how highly elevated we were and panicked. I wanted to laugh, but I realized I had to be patient. An hour later I had half a mind to throw her into the car and drive down myself but she relented. Yet don’t be fooled, driving down was still no easy task; it took several stops and screams to reach ground.
By the end of my trip I dreaded coming home. I had finally come to appreciate the beauty in nature. I didn’t need the city or its hassles to enjoy myself. It was the simple thrill and adventure that allowed a person the chance to live. I can recall the beautiful Colorado sunset, the hues of orange, red and purple as they melted into the horizon; a sight that is nowhere to be found here in the city. I remember this and I know, soon I will return.
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