My first Breakneck hike by Ling Wang, written at 4:22 PM on Friday, Nov 11 2011

Heng is a student of mine from China. He is a poet, that is he feels and writes like a poet. (I have to ask him if he writes poetry in Chinese.) He and many others climbed Breakneck in October. The weather cooperated - it didn't rain; moreover, the sky opened just for us when we climbed the second peak. There was no one else on the trail, just our group and a family of eagles in the sky...

                                        My first Breakneck climb    

        Last Friday, we went on an amazing trip, and in fact, it turned out to be a climbing trip. But let me start from the very beginning.
        At Grand Central there were so many people I thought they must have been tourists.  “Perhaps,” I thought, “they are going on the same trip or simply taking pictures of the ceiling which is beautiful.”  The Grand Central is so huge and magnificent that I can see even now just closing my eyes…
        Then we got on the train, and the trip started. Anywhere I looked, I saw the trees, many of them, and on the left – the river.    I was looking at the sky – the shallow blue ink. 
        We finally arrived at the destination, Cold Spring, but it was just a start, and I felt the mountains were not far away. At the Little Stony Point, our group was divided into two to begin exploration, finally!   I was happy all my friends were with me. Actually, everyone from our class joined our teacher for a more difficult hike, as she said. 
        We bravely jumped over the rails and a narrow stream that separated the highway from the railroad tracks.   Reeds and other plants under our feet were so lovely!   We walked for some time, and a train passed us, and then, we got to the trail head.  We were all prepared to start climbing. I immediately saw a group of rocks and climbed them fast. That is, started, because it was an easy start, I thought.   The rocks soon became bigger, and my pace slowed.   But my friends and I were still climbing fast leaving others behind. 
On and on we went, and then we reached what I thought was the peak of the mountain.    Although there were a few steep rocks, difficult to climb, we only stopped to help those who needed help. We were helping each other - the climb wasn’t an easy one! Still, we believed we would be fine.   I saw what seemed to be the last peak was the first one, and Ms. Dikovsky confirmed that.  “I’m not afraid!” I kept telling myself, and forward I went. The trail was taking us still higher even though we had been climbing for about an hour!  We were stopping to wait for others and also to look at what was beneath us. I didn’t feel like stopping; I just wanted to climb to the top…  
        After so many efforts, we finally reached the peak.   I had the feeling I was standing on top of the world!   The road – from where I was standing – looked like a small worm. The blue sky and the colorful high mountains were in sharp contrast.  I felt proud and like a giant, too, that’s how high I climbed! I was higher than the highest peak!   The river beneath me was winding and then disappearing from my sight. Turning back, I saw a great forest show in front of me, where the trees were actors.   I closed my eyes and lifted my head, taking a deep breath, embracing nature and its charm.   I imagined I was an eagle flying free in the vast sky.  Listening to the voices of the nature, and river, and the streams, so soft and powerful, I heard them saying to me,   'Welcome to the nature! Be joyful!”


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