Me Against the Mountain

We are participating in the BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie Travel project. We will be posting once each day in response to a prompt given on the BootsnAll website. Leave your comments below and also check out their website for other bloggers joining in!

Day 10: At what point in your travels have you felt most in tune with the Earth? Share a story of how you interacted with the local environment or nature.

There is something surreal about standing on the summit of a high mountain you hiked or in the midst of a cloud forest. Jumping in a river or ocean that you have only heard stories of or sitting under a beautiful sunset for the hundreth time. I am in awe of how nature is able to hold its own against the constantly growing economies around the world. It is amazing that there is still a rainforest to walk through and I plan to get out and see as much as I can while it still lasts.

This year we were able to get out and enjoy nature at its finest. The moment that sticks out to me the most in 2011 isn’t a serene peaceful experience with nature but a battle with nature and my own frustrations. We decided to take a quick trip out to Breckenridge in January to hit the slopes. We are trying to commit to getting out and snowboarding at least once a year. Anyways, I hadn’t been snowboarding in quite some time, but I told myself that muscle memory would come back quickly and it shouldn’t be long until I was cruising along with Josh.

One green slope after another and you will be happy to know I was getting closer and closer to nature. By closer I mean I was consistently falling face first into the freshly fallen snow. Face plants going 25 mph downhill aren’t always graceful or painless. As much as I love being outdoors and enjoying the fresh mountain air, my connection with nature was off. The harder I tried to perfect my snowboarding the harder the snow fell and the less visibility I had.

My personal frustrations grew (I am in shape – I should be able to conquer this mountain) but at the end of the day the mountain humbled me, slowed my pace and truly kicked my butt. There was a point where I had fallen for my last time and I had given up, my energy was zapped and on top of that beautiful mountain I sat…exhausted. Sitting quietly by myself (Josh was 1/2 way down the mountain) I was able to look around and take in the endless mountain ranges and snow covered peaks. I loved how I felt so small on top of the expansive range, I had no pride, no place I would have rather been or words to describe my battle against the mountain in Breckenridge (and yes, the mountain won).

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