Childhood Memories of the Mountain Essay

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Spruce and maple trees wiz by as I look out the backseat window. Beside me is my twin brother, Tim, and up in the front are my dad and sister of six, Charlotte. Our destination is a mountain in northern Vermont, Camel’s Hump. It’s a long drive, the longest I’ve been on in my short three year life. My dad has decided to introduce nature to his children while they are young. We will climb this mountain this weekend, and many times in the future. My dad will take us up this mountain more than a dozen times in our child and adolescent hoods, once every summer. Unforeseen to him (or was it?) were the effects that these hikes, these lessons in nature and life, would have on me.

We arrive at the trailhead in the mid morning and we start to
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At unevenly spaced intervals we stop, just momentarily, to look at a plant or a rock or a view. At each stop dad explains the significance of the plant, rock, or view. He teaches us to recognize the red and blue berries of Clintonium, the white flowers of Turtles Head, the bitter taste of Wood Sorrel. We learn that Beeches have Beach nuts, Spruces have Spruce cones, and Maples have little tadpole shaped seeds. White rocks are Quartz, but sometimes it is pink or clear. Views are there to be looked upon and to be taken in and hopefully not forgotten. Along the trail we each get a dosage of natural history. Along the trail is where I became inspired by nature and its systems.

Another three hours pass and we come to another trail junction. We have four choices. We take the right trail leading to the East. I cannot read the wooden sign at the junction, but I trust that it is the right way. This trail quickly changes from open deciduous forest to dense spruce and fir. The trail was dirt, but it now only covers rock.

Pauses in the hike are determined by the occurrence of distractions. On this hike of which so much is new, distractions are in abundance. We make our way slowly looking at the trees and the mountains around us. On top of a rock we find a pile of scat. Dad identifies it as that produced by a Bobcat. We continue on listening to Charlotte warn of the vicious claws and ten inch long fangs of the powerful Bobcat. Tim and I make a

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