As I walked the steep gravel covered ground of Longs Peak, my legs were burning, my heart was pounding 140 beats per minute, and my stomach felt like there was a tsunami
lashing all of its might on me. Even though I felt like I was being held down by an anvil on my back, I keep going and proudly exclaimed “ No stopping now I have to keep on going.” I was about an hour and a half into the hike. Even though I was out of my fierce melon flavored Gatorade, I had the will and dedication to keep on going and to not stop, which almost took away my life.
The day was September 19th, 2015, the perfect hiking day from my perspective, the weather was a perfect 79 degrees Fahrenheit with tailwinds almost like a cool summer breeze except in autumn. I sat down n the back of my dads Honda pilot and gulped down a meatball marinara subway sandwich whole like an ant eater eating they’re most beloved food, ants. “ When are we going to head up longs peak?” I questioned my dad. “ What do you mean by we?” My dad questioned back as if he didn’t understand what I meant. “You know, me and you.” I answered back with a state of confusion. “ Alek, your 16 now, I think your old enough to hike by yourself.” My dad answered back as if he was persuading me to hike by myself. I then agreed with my dad with the slight feeling something wrong was going to happen without my dad by my side.
My dad then drove his Honda Pilot away back to our two story cabin Breckenridge. I then started walking up Longs Peak, slow with one foot up the peak at a time like a sloth climbing a steep banana in the Amazon rain Forest of Brazil. As I walked past miles and miles of blue sprucer trees, my feet felt like they were lit on fire, my breathing became much harder, and I felt light headed. I stopped to take my second break about two miles into my hike though my by now I was already done with half of my food supplies including my cool ranch flavored doritos and my peanut butter flavored power bar. I took a small sip of my fierce melon flavored Gatorade and continued on.
By now, I was already past the frontline (forest) part of my hike and moved on to looking for a very dangerous, but a really exhilarating part of the hike, called the key hole. I stopped for a breather and soon realized my arm was internally bleeding. I tried to find my dearly needed medical kit, but unfortunately I realized that I had left the kit in my dads Honda Pilot. With the throbbing pain weighing me, I had to try my hardest to keep on going.
By now, my legs were burning like they had been bitten by thousands of one centimeter long fire ants, my arms skin was deteriorating at a rapid pace, and my lungs have taken so much breathing they have literally shrunken. I was coughing so hard it seemed like I had bronchitis, I was hacking blood, and stumbling like I had been spun around 30 times and was then told to walk up a flight a stairs. I was already over halfway done with my hike and felt like I was about to pass out. I then walked onto a meter long walkway about 1,000 feet in elevation from the ground. I looked down and took a large gulp followed by a slight dizziness, making me feel as light as air. I had the urge to jump off the pathway because of my large experience in bungee jumping, though I knew I wanted to live so I decided to try my hardest not to think or even take a slight glance at the 1,000 foot drop. To ensure my safety, I gripped the wall to my left with both of my hands and put my back against the wall, and then marched one foot at a time to my left as if the pathway was three inches wide.
I was drenched with fear (and sweat) from my head to my toes, I took a step every three-seconds, each one filled with fear and shaking. When I finally reached the end of that pathway, I felt the equivalent amount of fear I would have felt if all of my nightmares were packed into one ten second dream. I then fell to my knees and cried out tears like wolves lost in the cold, dark, wilderness night. I soon weeped out my last tear and put back on my perky smile.
At this point of the hike, I was a mile away from finishing my hike and I felt as though death was creeping up behind me waiting for me to die. Once I felt that feeling I immediately collapsed. I could see a bright white light staring me in the face, I tried to walk away from it, but something was pulling me towards it. I then used all my strength to pounce back like a mountain lion facing an equal opponent. I blacked out at that point.
I woke up an hour later, on a sheer rock with my head almost combusted and gushing out blood. I could though see the top of the peak just 100 yards away. With all the strength I had left I pushed my self up and started to crawl on my hands and knees to the top. Even though, my stomach was eager to get food and my throat had swelled up I keep going and didn’t stop. About half and hour later I reached the mountain peak and immediately blacked out.
I woke up a week later in a hospital and realized I had fallen into a comma. I saw my family at the edge of my hospital bed and some unfamiliar faces. A man who looked like he was in his thirties and a woman who looked like she was in her forties. I soon realized that those two were the ones who had found my body and brought it to the hospital. Even today I still hike with the thought of the fateful day.
From this hike, I learned to always be cation when doing something that could be dangerous and to pay attention to your surrounding. I also learned that you must always come prepared for what might ever happen.