On the Trail: The expected turned unexpected

Abby Margulis
On the Trail

When I decided The Aspen Times was the perfect newspaper to fulfill my semester-long internship at DePauw University, never once did it cross my mind on where I would be heading. It’s no longer cornfields and flat country roads.

I flew into Denver and began my drive through the mountains completely in awe. I did not expect to be surrounded by the monstrous Rockies, and at the time I was looking at just the foothills.

Surrounded by this new environment where countless trails are at my disposal, I decided to embark on my first hike Sunday morning up Smuggler Mountain.

Slipping on hiking boots, dressing in layers, filling my water bottle and packing my backpack, I set out. I began my trek uphill quickly to discover I had no idea what uphill meant.

“What is this?” I kept thinking to myself. I was no stranger to hiking after various hiking trips in the Blue Ridge Mountains and DuPont State Forest in North Carolina, so this should have been easy. To my dismay, it was not.

I encountered a hiking buddy who informed me the observation deck was still over a mile away. This I could not believe.

Starting to breathe heavily, hamstrings burning and back drenched in sweat, I continued to put one foot in front of the other to finally reach the observation deck. Looking out, I was glad I made the grunt up.

Before my new friend and I parted ways, he left me with one piece of advice.

“Get lost, explore, have fun,” he said.

After what it took to get up to this point, I figured an extra mile would be nothing especially with these kinds of views. And I was right. It was my second best decision of the day and I can’t wait for my next adventure.

Abby Margulis is an editorial intern working at The Aspen Times. She is a junior at DePauw University in Indiana.