BQ_3gRjCAAAkSUtAs I’m driving through the flats of Utah, I can’t help but feel a twinge of excitement, “I’m going to Colorado!” The last time I’d been in the Rocky Mountain state I was holding on to a pole outside of an airport trying my best not to be blown away by the high gusts of winds that were tearing through the area. Of course, I was no more than 9 years old at the time, so I probably wasn’t the heaviest kid.

Now at 22 I’m heading back. The first thing I notice is the clouds. The clouds ripple, float and play in the sky almost as if a kid were dripping paint over paper in art class. The shapes in the sky frame the high peaks jutting from the earth thousands of feet tall and, despite how fleeting they are, look just as in place as anything else.

I had the opportunity to hike up Smelter Mountain just outside the small town of Durango, and the view was unlike anything that I’ve seen before. Surrounded by nothing but more hills and mountains, sunflowers heralding our arrival to the summit, one can’t help but feel as though they’re in a spiritual place. Humans can visit this place, but nature still rules all. I guess that’s how natural places are; all different yet the same.

By James Kennedy


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