If you noticed the picture, the lake shown is dubbed Dewey Lake. This glacial lake is something right out of the book Heidi, with bright pink and purple flowers and crystal turquoise waters. If you look behind you snowy white mountains stand towering in the cool air, and a tiny sliver of sea is visible in the channel. But while the view is serene, I must have died twice on the way up.
To begin with, the trail is only two miles. Looking at the trail map I remember thinking "Huh, this won't be too bad. Piece-o-cake." However, what I didn't realize was that crammed into those two miles would be an elevation change of four thousand feet. Me, being naive as I was, thought we would back in half an hour. How much I wish that was the case.
The hike was six hours of seemingly vertical wet, muddy, slippery trail. Imagine the steepest, most difficult set of stairs you've climbed. Now dump a bunch of muddy water on those steps, make them steeper and farther apart, and multiply the number of steps by about five hundred. Pretty much half of how difficult it was.
While this trail was insanely hard, it was beautiful. Waterfalls came swooping over the tops of the rocks before plunging down and exploding into a mass of white foam. Wild blueberries dotted the trail the farther up we got, giving us a sweet respite and staining our fingers purple. Silver-white trees and furry green pines poked out from the mountainside.
I remember asking my dad once we reached the lake : "Do you think the cardiac arrest was worth it?" He let out a grunt, his hands on his knees, and gave me a withering look. I was the one who had suggested the trail.. Sweat was streaming down our foreheads and our legs were shaking-- but yes-- I think the cardiac arrest was worth it. To have such an incredible experience, to see such beautiful views and prove to myself that I could do it? Every second.
And maybe that's just how it is. School, success, and life in general. On the way up, it is extraordinarily difficult. You think you'll never make it and you'll just keel over and breathe your last breath. But once you get to the top and see how far you'd come you'll realize that it was all worth it. The pain, the mud, the sacrifice. To be honest, after you've struggled and gone through pain, the beauty at the top will make you wonder why you ever questioned yourself in the first place.