Sunday, August 18, 2013

Uphill Battles

Single Track for Days
It's happened again... I've fallen in love with the mountains of Utah.  The trails, the vistas, the summer nights - there is so much to love about this beautiful state.

Four weeks in Park City renewed my desire to mountain bike and hike the endless trails that weave through my "backyard".  Just out my door is the Mid Mountain Trail, a 26-mile single track path that meanders through the Deer Valley Ski Resort and on to Park City Mountain Resort.  The trail maintains a rolling 8,000 foot elevation and winds its way through aspen trees, pines, scrub oak and wildflowers. Along one summit of the path is a park bench that faces out toward the amazing views of the Uintas and down onto the PCMR alpine slides and historic Main Street below.  It feels like you're on top of the world.
The view from the park bench on Mid Mountain Trail

My ventures out onto the trail were mostly solo, which is fine by me.  I don't slow anyone down and can go at my own pace.  I'm not the best mountain biker on the trails, so I have to periodically stop, get off my bike, and push it around a tight corner or down a hairpin turn.

As I was riding one afternoon, I started grumbling to myself about all the hazards on the trail.  There are exposed roots and tree stumps.  There are sharp, dangerous rocks that jut out like razors ready to puncture a tire.  There are uneven paths that are filled with broken rocks that would throw even the pros off balance.  "Why are there so many rough spots on the trail?" I thought.  "This is horrible!"

But then I rounded a corner and found myself overlooking the most beautiful vista I had ever seen.  I could see the peaks of Timpanogos in the distance and the lush green mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the foreground.  The wildflowers were in abundance - vibrant purples and yellows.  Red berries dotted the grassy hills all around me.  Overhead the billowy clouds floated along in the lightest shade of blue.  And the world seemed perfect.

The journey up to that view was difficult.  I was sweaty and tired.  I had ridden up and past those treacherous hazards - and the reward was this amazing scene in front of me.  I could see Heber and Midway down the mountain.  To my left were the big wind block panels at the top of Bald Mountain in Park City.  And faintly in the air, the music of a Deer Valley concert was tinkling in my ears.

I knew not everyone could make it to this overlook.  It was not an easy journey.  If the trail had been soft, comfortable forgiving dirt all the way up, it would have been crowded with cyclists and hikers.  But in this quiet moment, it was just me in the most beautiful place I could imagine.  It wasn't luck that got me to this place.  It was work!

In life, it's those who put forth a dedicated effort of hard work that reap the greatest results.  You can't sail through life and expect to be handed the view from the top.  No one's personal path is easy.  Yes, you can take the chair lift up to the top of the mountain.  But you'll miss the small things along the way: the colors, the animals, the waterfalls, the feel of the trees enveloping you in their surroundings.

Choose to go uphill.  Choose to work for something you think is unattainable.  Chances are you'll get there and surprise yourself.  You're stronger than you think you are.  Your amazing view awaits and it may just change your life.

And I promise you --  it's worth it.


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Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.