Top of the World

By Eva Likhtar

My First Hike

"Are we there yet?"

I groaned ready to be done with the hike. I had never been one for strenuous physical activity and this was no exception."Stop asking me that," my brother snapped," I told you, we'll be there soon." I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. That was exactly what he said 30 minutes ago. Unlike me, my brother looked relaxed and was barely breaking a sweat. He actually enjoyed this. To be fair, at the beginning of the hike, I was enjoying myself too. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and a warm breeze combed through my hair. I felt as if I was Pocahontas, or some kind of nature fairy.

However, as we neared the end of the trail, my muscles ached, my face was sunburnt, and I was sure my feet sported at least a thousand blisters. Sweat poured down my face in bucket loads. Not exactly fairy-like. It was hard to believe that just this morning, I had been looking forward to the trip. As we trudged on, the hike became more and more unbarable.

The cloudless sky that had seemed so beautiful before only caused the sun to beat harshly on my head.

Before I could complain some more, my nose collided with my brother's back. The turned around with a grin. "Prepare to be amazed." I gave him my sourest look. As if anything could make up for that tortuous hike. He ignored my look, sweeping his arm out in front of him, as if to say, ladies first. The cliff loomed menacingly in front of me. I stepped forward, ready to get this hike over with.

I didn't want to give my brother the satisfaction of being right, but as I looked out at the view, I couldn't help but gasp. It was breathtaking, making me feel as though I could fly away from it all. I felt a sense of calm suddenly wash over me as I lifted my hands to the azure sky, my aching thighs long forgotten. North Carolina stretched out below me, a dizzying palette of green. To my left, lavender mountains with peaks crowned with snow rose into the clouds.

I turned to my brother with a smile. He was right, the god-awful hike had been worth it. It really is true what they say, the best view really does come after the hardest climb.