When we reached the top of the pass, we were level with the clouds. I was so grateful to be able to see mountains for miles in either direction. Christy bought us all Snickers bars to eat at the top, and chocolate has never felt more rewarding.
Going down the other side was hard. It felt like an ending, and my body was aching. The rest of the way down was scary and beautiful. We walked along a rocky pink river, which we had to cross over twenty times to access the paths on either side. The rocks were beautiful- pink, purple, green, and everything in between. Crossing the river the first few times was nerve-racking, as my legs were as shaky as the rocks beneath my feet. The current was so strong, the sound filled my ears as we leaped across. At the beginning, I could not shake the thought that if one of us were to make a mistake, the rest of us would have to carry on for hours, knowing that one of our friends had expired. In the end, it was the uncertainty of each step that made it the most memorable. By the tenth crossing, I was gleefully jumping across the rough waters. A huge piece of motivation was a family of blue sheep I observed galloping across a wide point with three baby blue sheep stumbling along the way. The youngest, which had waited for the whole herd to cross before it attempted to, fell on its face just before it could reach the other side. It jumped up immediately and followed its parents along the rocks. I feel uncomfortable comparing our situations, the baby blue sheep and I, because they were likely crossing the river to escape the foreign species (us) forty feet above.
I am so incredibly lucky. I am tired, my body aches, and I miss my family. I also just spent the last week in the most beautiful place I have ever been, completely disconnected from the “real” world. I now have three mentors I know I can turn to when I’m in need, and eleven new friends I will miss dearly. I wish there was some easy way for me to put this whole experience in my backpack and take it on the plane with me back home. But there isn’t. This month has gone by incredibly quickly, and I am so sad I have to leave this place in just three days. I will miss the butter tea, the incredible mountain views, the jolly “julley”s everywhere I go. I hope to take with me my newfound adaptability to people, places, and plans. I also hope to bring home my curiosity, confidence, and capability to accept what is to come.