I remember the first time I ever climbed a mountain. Spoiler alert: it wasn't this mountain - this mountain is in Washington.
I had just graduated from high school and was on our senior trip in the rocky mountains in Colorado. One afternoon, our chaperones took us up to Cottonwood Pass where there was still snow so we could spend the afternoon sledding. As fun as that was, the area of snow wasn't very big, and I'd been sledding on bigger hills than that, and the "sleds" we were using were just garbage bags. Needless to say, I got a little bored.
But just off to the side, I could see the peak of the mountain. It wasn't very far away, we'd already done most of the hard work driving to this part of the mountain.
But it was there, and it was steep, and there was no easy path to get to the top.
A couple of my friends and I decided to abandon the sledding attempt in favor of tackling that peak. It took us about an hour, and the last 8-10 feet we actually had to use some legit rock-climbing skills and pull ourselves up the peak to reach the summit.
But when I reached the top and stood there looking around at what seemed to be the entirety of the Great Divide spread out before my feet... I had this sudden thought:
"Now I know why they do it."
I've done some rock-climbing since, and I've hiked up a few mountains, but I've never reached the top again. Not like that.
Someday, I hope to recover that feeling of accomplishment and adventure... but until then... I'll continue to enjoy the climb.
For more of Jenelle's adventure stories (from different worlds), check this out.