Reflective Essay On Nature

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The experience of nature can be interpreted countless ways with endless attempted explanations. This indescribability makes profound moments within nature that much more individual and sometimes life-changing. For myself, I have been fortunate to work for land management agencies with the opportunity for these experiences on a daily basis. There are a few that stand out, seared into my memory, forever with me to reflect back on and experience again in my mind's eye. For me, my most profound moments within nature have been alone to reflect on the beauty, solitude, and small details often are taken for granted around me. In the summer of 2015, I had the great opportunity to work and live in Grand Canyon National Park with the task of cleaning …show more content…
The elevation of the ranch and the exposed rock of the inner gorge leads to temperatures similar to Phoenix during the summer. Due to the extreme temperature, I would wake at 4 am to avoid the unforgiving Arizona sun. I distinctly remember hiking with only the light of the moon and my headlamp to illuminate my path. This sense of uncertainty, trusting my footing, and the integrity of the trail below my feet would heighten my senses. As I hiked, I would often turn off my headlamp to immerse myself in the moonlit world around me. Soon after my hike beginning, only a few minutes from the bunkhouse, I heard yipping and howling among the prickly pear and honey mesquite. Instinctively I turned on my headlamp to the multiple sets of glowing eyes briefly looking and immediately running away. A pack of coyotes shared the trail along the river, reminding me I was foreign to the darkness, concealing them only to be connected to me for that singular …show more content…
Due to the sheer physical toll of this trek, I frequently stopped to catch my breath and rehydrate. While resting, it is all but impossible not to be amazed at where I was, where I came from and how much further I had to go, embracing the pounding of my heart and desperate breaths ever humbling me to the scale of this place. From Skeleton Point, there is a relatively flat section named the Mormon Flats that leads to one of the steepest sections named the Red and Whites. The trail is at a grade of nearly 30 percent, meaning it essentially has to be built as a cobblestone path to withstand the monsoons and mule traffic. After this strenuous section and 2000 feet above Tip Off and only 1.5 miles from the rim is my last stop, Cedar Ridge. The trail beyond Cedar Ridge reveals the grandest views on the Kaibab, revealing a perspective only gained through the intense gain in elevation and reinforcing the scale of my journey. When I finally reached the rim after hiking seven miles and gaining 4780 vertical feet in a matter of a few hours, there was a feeling of indescribable accomplishment and realization of one's capabilities, remembering the struggles and doubts I had initially when beginning work in the

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