“Can we stop?” I breathlessly asked. We had been climbing for over an hour since our last break.
“No, we’re almost there.” my hiking guide said. Although he’s answered with that statement the last how many times I’ve asked.
“Not even for a small break? Like just to drink water?” He silently shook his head. I groaned loud enough for him to hear but continued following his steps.
We began this hike at a supply center, where there were seats and snacks galore. Now, two hours later, we were in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, with nothing but weedy, dry dirt to sit on and the only snack I had was a single pack of gummy bears in my pocket.
I looked at my guide, wondering how he was feeling. He had been hiking just as long today as I have – but he not once complained over sore feet or sweatiness like I had. How does he do that? Then again, beging a hike guide is his job. He probably does this daily.
I almost blacked out at the thought.
I closed my eyes as we walked. Although every part of my legs hurt, when I closed my eyes it almost felt like I was floating. Oh, floating. That would be wonderful right now.
With my eyes closed I took in the sounds around us. The crunch of our feet trekking up gravel. The singing of birds could softly be heard from trees a good distance away from us. I listened to my breathing; it was heavy and exhausted. It almost felt like my lungs could fall out of my chest.
When I reopened my eyes I found my guide was right – we actually we’re almost to the top. I could see the earth come to an even level a few feet in front of us. My body ached for it.
My guide glanced at me with a smile. He was probably thinking ‘see, I told you we were almost there.‘ I internally scoffed at the arrogance.
“Oh god, finally.” I said out of relief once we reached the top. After making sure I was 100% on flat ground I leaned forward to catch my breath, supporting myself with my palms against my knees.
“Look up.” my guide suggested after giving me a minute to breathe. I persuaded my body back upright and ambled over to stand next to him near the edge. “Wow…” I gasped. We stood on a cliff overlooking the city, the lights softly sparkling below us. You could see each seperated cluster of buildings separated by streets. Cars rode through them, each heading off on their own pathway.
“I get why you do this.” I told my guide. He chuckled as he pulled something out of his backpack. “While the view itself is a prize, here’s your reward.” he said as he handed me a package. Intrigued, I opened it immediately. Inside were chips, a new bottle of water, and a small sandwich all kept chilled by a small icepack. A smile spread across my face, I had never been so happy to see food in my life.