I was breathing hard as I reached the top of the first hill, my three friends right on my tail.As we coasted to a stop at the crest for a quick break, I took a swig from my water bottle and turned to the east.The view from the top of that hill was unlike anything I had ever seen.The sun was just setting over the endless expanse of Lake Superior, and its red glow reflected off it to form a broken band of light extending all the way to the waves crashing against the cliff one hundred and fifty feet below.I took another drink from my bottle and thought to myself; this is why I am here.
We had been dropped off at the town of Two Harbors, Minnesota about a half hour before, our bikes loaded up and ready for anything. Our mission; to have one last weekend of fun before our last year of high school started.That first evening was a spectacular one, and though we didn’t arrive at our destination for the night, GooseberryFallsState Park, until well after dark, we were pumped from the exertion and excited for the days that lay ahead of us.That is, until we saw the sign that read “Campground: FULL”.We skidded to a stop, gaping at the sign in frenzied disbelief.The nearest town was a good hour’s bike ride away, our car that dropped us off that morning was already back home, over two hours away, and we were uncomfortable with squatting on someone’s land for the night.We decided our only option was to beg the park office for a site, and hope to get lucky.When we found out that they had emergency campsites for bikers, we thought we were the luckiest people in the world, and when we saw the campsite, we knew that this was beyond luck.The site was situated a stone’s throw from the lake, open to the sky and secluded from the hubbub of the rest of the crowded park. Looking out over the lake, I was greeted by a view vaguely reminiscent of the morning.At first the night was so dark I could scarcely tell where the rocky shore ended and the glassy lake began.I could hear the waves gently lapping ashore and the light breeze rushing through the trees.The radiant full moon slowly rose, throwing a reflection on the water that echoed that of the sun that evening.Again I thought to myself; this is why I am here.
I am here because this is freedom.There are no adults telling you what to do, there is no one watching your every move, there isn’t even a car to keep you on a specific path or keep you from hearing and smelling the world around you.Here you can look into the distance and see the sun setting and just stand in awe.Here you can take all day to think about life and enjoy the world around you.Here you can live your life to the fullest.Here is in the saddle of a bicycle, riding down a lonely road alongside a lonely lake with my best friends, and here is where I long to be every hour of my life
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