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Tuesday, November 30

Did you see that?

Located outside of Colorado Springs, behind the Air force Academy's campus, stands a mountain called Eagle Peak. At 13,205 feet, it is not the highest peak in Colorado. Far from it. 481 mountain peaks IN COLORADO are taller! However, rising up in the center of the Sangre de Cristo Range, reaching the summit offers a 360 degree view of some of the most breathtaking scenery you will see anywhere. Many a hiker takes on the challenge to reach its summit each year. The trail is moderate to challenging, and the summit can be reached on a day hike. sort of.

The inexperienced hiker is usually told that the hike will take all day to go the summit and back down. They are told the journey will be rigorous and difficult. They are told to start out early in the morning and set a strong steady pace and to take plenty of water and some food. However, most inexperienced hikers, who follow this advise, become confused and angry when they reach the trail head. He can see with his own eyes that the hike to the summit and back will take less than a half day with little difficulty for even the novice hiker.

So, the inexperienced hiker changes all of the plans he has made. He begins a meandering pace up the trail and frequently stops along the way to take photos and observe native wildlife. Drinking water at will and snacking along the way, the hiker continues up the trail towards his goal. By mid-day he arrives at the "summit." However, his eyes have deceived him, for this is NOT the summit to Eagle Peak, it is a false summit which blocked his view of the higher summit far above.

Realizing his mistake, he looks at his watch and recalculates his time. He decides that if he pushes himself hard enough he can still make it to the summit and get back down before dark. So he sets off at a frantic pace, stumbling and sliding on the loose gravel and rock. He strains to climb the steep inclines along the way. Brush and rock scrape against his body as he recklessly climbs the trail. Sweat stings his eyes and thirst cries out for water he no longer has with him. His Lungs are burning, his heart beating rapidly, the sun is beating down upon him, yet do not keep him from his goal. At last, in the mid-afternoon, he reaches the summit. Sort of.

He has reached ANOTHER false summit. From this vantage point he can now see the true summit of Eagle Peak, towering above him. The second false summit had also blocked his view of the real goal. Tired, out of breath, out of water, and out of time, the inexperienced hiker turns and starts his descent down the trail. He would not make it to the top of the peak today. At the trail head, he takes off his boots and empties the dirt they had collected. other hikers are there, talking about their hike to the top of Eagle Peak. Sadly, the inexperienced hiker did not enjoy the outcome, simply because he did not listen to the advise of the experienced hikers. He allowed himself to be deceived, not by what he was told, but by what he saw.

Alas, it will be another day before the inexperienced hiker will have a chance to hike to the summit of Eagle Peak. Wiser for his experience, he will reach his goal next time because this time he will not be an inexperienced hiker.

Wow, the lessons we can draw from this story! Instead of me writing the "moral of the story," I would like to hear from you! Write what you have drawn from this story and email it to me, I will share them with everyone next week! My email address is: reeves.tl@gmail.com Hope to hear from you soon!


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