by Aidan Z., Age 16
, Grade 10, Amery High School, Amery, WISCONSIN USA
Teacher: Mrs. Ruehlow
At 6:30 in the morning at Two Medicine, the valley that my family was camping at, I woke up to get ready to go hike and climb a mountain. The mountain, whose name is Spot, is over 7,000 feet in elevation. The whole round trip is a little over seven miles long, but I was ready to do it. It would be my second mountain that I’ve summitted. My Dad, Uncle, Aunt, and I went to the truck to drive to the trailhead.
The sun was just rising when we left. The sky was filled with bright colors of reds, yellows, and oranges. After thirty minutes of driving, we finally arrived. We grabbed our packs and trekking poles and started the hike.
Unfortunately for us, it was in the mid-80s in temperature and it was very sunny. Since the beginning of the trail had many trees, we enjoyed the shade. It had many flowers too, but no bear grass. The air smelled fresh from all the greens along the trail. Next, we had to go down a steep hill, which was easy, but we knew that it wouldn’t feel good to have to go up on the way back. Then we stopped to take pictures of the valley.
“This view is amazing,” I said while I was taking a few pictures.
“Isn’t it?” my Aunt replied.
We continued to hike and then we got to a tiny lake. It was like a bowl; it had trees and logs everywhere around it. There was a family of ducks on the pond. The trail got very muddy because of the water, but we eventually hiked away from it. There were many more hills to go over. Whenever we would feel tired while going up a hill, I would yell Serrano’s. Serrano’s is a Mexican restaurant in East Glacier, the closest town to Two Medicine. We also used it as our bear call. Eventually, the trail disappeared, and we had to bushwhack through a forest. After an hour of hiking, we finally got to the base of the mountain.
“Let’s take a water break,” said my Uncle.
We took sips of water while looking at all the surrounding mountains. There were probably mountains in every direction you looked. When we hiked a little more, we could see the whole Blackfeet Indian plains. Right in the middle of nowhere was the town of Browning. We then started up the mountain again. After a few more water and snack breaks, we got to the steep part of Spot. It had many red rocks at the top, along with mountain vegetation too. I wanted to get to the top quickly, so I jogged up part of the mountain. When we got close to the top, we ate lunch. We had peanut butter and jellies, Ramen, jerky, granola bars, and trail mix.
“We’re so close to the top,” I said.
“I think we have around a half-mile left, the summit should be somewhere over there,” my Dad said pointing over to my right.
We hiked more and got to the coolest place I’ve ever walked on. At 7,000 feet in elevation, we got to a field that had a type of mountain grass with little purple flowers shaped like bulbs and orange flowers. It was like in a little bowl, surrounded by sides of mountains. There wasn’t any wind either. The air smelled different too; it was like the faint scent of wildflowers and grass.
“This place is incredible,” I said. I took a panorama picture of it, and then we eventually got to the summit. When we got there, we took a bunch of pictures and placed our rocks on the Cairn. We took the moment to look at the surrounding views. There were about fifteen or more mountains in sight, all in our 360-degree view. Then, it was time for us to climb back down.
Most people would think that hiking up a mountain would be harder than climbing down, but for us, Spot was not one of those mountains. We didn’t know which way to go down, and the mountain was also very steep, so we had to climb down slowly and carefully.
My Dad decided to go down the mountain to see if the ledge dropped off. My Uncle, Aunt, and I slowly kept hiking down and we tried to shout to hear if that direction worked.
“Are you okay?” my Uncle shouted.
We kept hearing his voice, but we couldn’t make out what he said. Then when we got closer, we heard that it was the right direction. We met up with him and continued on. Later, we ran into another problem. We couldn’t find where we bushwhacked earlier, so we tried to locate a trail. We luckily found one, so we only had one more hill left. I wanted to finish strong, so I ran up it. Then we got back to the truck. We threw all our stuff in the back and went back to the campground.
When we arrived back, we immediately went to Lower Two Medicine Lake for a jump. It was freezing cold, but it felt nice. We went back to the campsite to see my Mom, sister, and brother, who’d been fishing and kayaking during the day, and we finally went to Serrano’s.
At Serrano’s, we had a thirty-minute wait, but we finally got a table. Most of us ordered a chicken or beef burrito and we got nachos. The nachos were really good. They had mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, and many other vegetables. We talked about our hike more and we all agreed that the hike was worth it for Serrano’s. Hiking and climbing Spot was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned to never take anything for granted. All the views and moments I had that day will be with me forever.