Rocky Mountain High

April 16, 2012
As soon as I stepped off the plane, the mountains were there to greet me. Their vast, lofty peaks stretched toward the sky, their snowy caps mingling with the clouds above. As I exited the terminal, I stopped to take a deep breath, drawing the clean, sweet air into my lungs. I dropped my luggage into the back of the rusty van, the springs audibly squeaking under the added weight. We piled in and made ourselves as comfortable as we could on the coarse bench seats. Out the window, the gorgeous Colorado landscape swept by, revealing deep gorges and majestic pines. After what seemed like an eternity, we turned on to a long dirt road, the red dust making its way through the open windows. The earthy taste was caked in my mouth by the time we arrived at our destination.
What I saw took my breath away. The simple cabins were set like a small village in the middle of a peaceful aspen grove. The trunks of the trees shimmered silver and gold; it was unlike anything I had seen in nature. The gentle wind rustled the leaves, creating a sense of wonder and enchantment. The breeze carried over to me, tickling my face and carrying a mixture of laughter and voices with it. Everything emanated with a sense of calm and tranquility, making one feel at peace with all that surrounded them. Off in the distance I could clearly see the mountain range, standing like a giant sentry, sheltering us from the outside world. I simply stood in amazement for a while, trying to take it all in. Eventually I made my way down a small path behind the Lodge, which twisted up into the hills. I walked silently, just listening to the call of the birds and the forest teaming with life all around me. I reached the top and sat down on the cold, smooth rock. From here, the camp stretched out before me, a safe haven in all the chaos of the world, and I truly felt at home.

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