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I got really high this weekend. About 14,265 feet high about sea level at the top of Quandary Peak. My first Colorado fourteener. I was on top of the world. Not shown are the dozens of other hikers around me who also had set out to conquer a mountain. Up there, I could see how far I'd come by the downward curve of the land, the deep valleys below, the clouds close enough to reasonably reach for, the unending view of earth. Part of me felt bitter about how populated the summit was, but the more welcoming part of me was open and genuinely delighted to see other people all with the same motive. To get high on thin air and the beauty of our surroundings. To have stretched, pushed and challenged our bodies until it felt like we couldn't take another step upwards. To have reached to the top anyway. To appreciate brief exchanges and courtesies with each other. To share peanut butter crackers at the top. For me, the intent of hiking this weekend was not just to check one off my list. Hiking Quandary was to start my list of many more mountains to come.


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