Hike to Self-Glory - My Family Travels

"You can see to the border of New Mexico," Dad said as he talked me into going hiking with him.  "I used to go out there all the time. It's my favorite place in the world."

At first, I must admit, I wasn't too excited about going to the Witchita Mountains that day. I'd been there before, but not with the same mind-set. The last time, I went to go rock climbing. This time was different, though. We were going to go hiking all the way up a particular mountain.

On the way there, I was jittery. In the car was my dad, my cousin, and I. But, despite the fact that the music was blaring in every direction inside the car, I was somehow compelled to ponder about the upcomming events. All I could think about was the sight of myself on top of the monsterous mountain, facing the rest of the world–seeing as far as to the border of New Mexico. Not only would it be nerveous-making and frightening, but it would be the thrill I needed. The one escape into nature that gave me the same sensation that it did last time, the reason I went back.

As we edged further, my insides started to rumble around as if they were butterflies in a cage. The robust, healthy, green grass was surrounding the road on both sides for as far as I could see. I was beginning to wonder if the mountains would ever appear in sight.

"Alex! Hayden! Look!" My cousin and I both minded my dad and gazed in the direction of his pointed finger. There they were! The Witchita Mountains.

It took but 5 minutes to arrive at the parking lot infront of our chosen mountain. I took a deep breath as I got out of the car, inhaling the nature and beauty surrounding me. The blue sky and the tall, hovering trees almost  grasped my attention, but then I saw it. The mountain. This monstrosity that I would be forcing my muscles to endure themselves and guide me ot the top. My     

My dad, my cousin, and I proceeded to the start of the path up the mountain. As we hiked along the path, my dad shared stories of his adventures on the very mountain we were on. The stories began to facinate us and we listened closely as we further explorered the mountain. But, as I listened, I began to lose concentration and I tripped over a stick and stumbled to the dirt-covered ground. I picked myself up and we decided it was a good place for a water break. All of a sudden, my dad and cousin started bursting out into giggles. Thinking that they were laughing at my fall, I laughed along just to hide the embaressment. My laughs were short-lived because I suddenly saw what they were really laughing at. A group of forgeiners were argueing in a language that we could not quite make out. The funniest part of it all was the children following the argueing group looked angry and bored. Their faces were undescribable and you couldn't help but laugh at it.

After our water break, we proceeded along the path. When we reached what had seemed to be the top, I was a tad dissapointed. It was just grass and little rocks everywhere. My cousin ran off to explore, and I decided to follow him to see what else there was to this mountian. After what seemed like a few minutes, we came across a bunch of giant rocks clumped together. There was a giant one sticking out, but there was a gap from the rock we were on to the larger one. This is where our rock climbing skills came in handy. My cousin took a lucky leap and clinged on the side of the larger rock. I wasn't as rambunctious as he was, I was a little more careful. I used a skill, almost similar to what they call "crack-climbing". I put a leg on one rock, and a leg on the other. I was standing between the two rocks and as I looked down, I saw a bunch of little rocks. I didn't know what would happen if I fell. Would the rocks collapse and would I fall thousands of feet down into nothing? I wasn't going to take the chance, so without hesitating I threw my body unto the larger rock. I let out a deep breath of relief. I had made it. I got up and walked over to my cousin. It was a beautiful sight! You could see all the mountains in the entire Witchita Wildlife Preserve. You could see everything. It was beautiful. But it hadn't quite captivated me.

We continued to explore the surface of the mountain. We climbed on rocks, leaped from boulder to boulder. We even saw a few buffalo, but nothing could  compare to what we found next.

"Alex! Look! I found a tunnel!" Hayden said.

"No way!? Can we go in it?"

"Yeah! Come on! You're going to love this!"

So, then I crouched down, and crawled into the tight, carved-out rocks. It went down wards, then upwards, then downwards again. I was on all fours, in the dirt, crawling up and down these hills. I saw an opening, the light was shining through. I got there and I crawled out. I had to be careful standing up, though, because it was almost like a small ledge. I stood up and looked out. The sun was shining from behind me, lighting up everything as far as I could see. I saw everything. From edge to edge. And at that very moment, I knew.  I knew why my dad was so giddy to bring us here. I knew why this was his favorite spot in the world. I finally knew what it meant to him. It wasn't about being free, being able to see til the edge of Oklahoma and the start of New Mexico, and it wasn't about nature. There I was, looking at what could've been the entire world. And I just knew. I knew the feeling of being alive.

Everything was quiet. There was no sound, and you couldn't find a care in the world even if you wanted to. I could see how big things were, and how small we are compared to them. Being there, at that very second in time, made m realize the little things. I realized what everything meant to me. My familly, my friends, my life. All my values came to mind just by looking at this big, amazing, captivating world from a new perspective, from a higher perspective. It made me realize how little we are in the world. Things may seem so big to us sometimes, like a big family, or a big car. But, nothing is bigger than the life surrounding us. Nothing is bigger than life. It made me value and care for myself, and others alot more.

I would most deffinetely advise anyone to go to the Witchita Mountains. It changed my life. Our lives are so small compared to the billions of other lives around us. The beauty of life, the worth of it all is taken for granted. People die every second, and eventually we all die. But now I know what it means to value my own life and family.

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