The Beauty of a Disaster | My Family Travels
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The following poem is based on a hike on a summer family vacation during which we were caught in a snowstorm on Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park.  We took the Mount Washburn Trail to the peak of over 10,000 feet, and once we reached the top what had been a small yet surprising flurry of snow in August turned into a full-blown blizzard.  We camped out in the ranger station for a bit, but eventually decided we needed to head down.  Luckily, I had my Dad to help me, and a frightening and uncertain departure from the peak ended happily, turning into a valuable and, in hindsight, enjoyable experience.

â–º  quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

The cold touches my leg, causing me to flinch,
My pants wet with snow, my face feels frozen solid.
The wind will never end.
The wrath of Mother Nature is unleashed upon me,
For whatever I have done to her,
Bad is all she can see.

I have a guardian angel
by the name of Dad.
He lets ice cover a quarter of his face,
so for me, the wind is something I cannot trace.
With this comes the realization
That his love for me is unending.

My feet crunch the snow beneath them,
Leaving a trail that ruins the perfection of the white blanket covering the land,
A chip in a beautiful gem.
The chaos raining down from above immediately fills the tracks,
As if wax in a flawed statue.
Will my footsteps ever be visible?

The path I decide to take leaves me spiraling down, down, down
Around the edges of the mountain.
Never ending is the route I descended upon,
As is the gelidity in which I am trapped.
Using the predicament I have just unwrapped,
I have created a quagmire;
Still going to lower from higher,
It seemed the chosen course would never end,
Physical impossibility running into my head,
The mountain still streaming below forever and ever.

And now, as the snow falls hard,
I still flinch from the cold,
I still have a guardian angel, brave and bold,
I still have wax filling my footprints.
While my eyes fill with snow and tears
I ask, "Will my journey ever conclude?"

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