Earth - Allie Kelley
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As a student at University of Hawaii I lived across the street from a valley where a mountainous trail lined the ridges. At the entrance to the trail, massive pine trees form a shadowy forest and a superb destination for hammocks. Intending to literally hang out here, I brought my hammock and a book but felt the pull of curiosity enticing me deeper into the woods. I followed my urge to explore and found my feet had no intention of stopping. Before I knew it, I was standing deep in the back of the valley looking out at my former school and the city of Honolulu. But the path wasn’t over. At a fork in the trail, I had three choices. I could continue in the circular shape of the hike and descend back to the road from the other side of the valley, turn around and return back to the entrance avoiding potential rainfall and muddy paths ahead, or go up. I went up. The trail ascended, ropes were used to climb more dramatic rock structures, and my clothes took on the color of the earth. Each step invited the potential of getting caught in a rain storm, but the lure of the trail was too strong to impact my decision. After hours of hiking, I summited Mount Olympus, high in the clouds, yet clear enough to see both the city and the east side simultaneously. I sat in the grass, let my feet drop over the side of the cliff, and admired a view I had never seen before.