Hiking Mt. Handies

By Hannah Curtis (North Carolina)

Every week, typically on Mondays, we go on an adventure.

While living in a remote lodge with 33 fellow students, with little connection to the outside world, I find these adventures to be the icing on the proverbial cake. After a week of learning, discussing, working, and simply living together, Mondays rejuvenate us for the week ahead.

My Monday began at 2:30 a.m. when I awoke after too few hours of sleep I stuffed six Lara Bars into my backpack, filled my 42 oz Nalgene water bottle, and hopped into our beloved janky white vans. We headed for Mt. Handies. Within a few moments, all thirteen of us settled in for the three-hour drive, finding ways to comfortably nap while staying safely buckled.

A few hours later I awoke to the rhythmic bumping of the 15 passenger van as it courageously made its way down the narrow mountain pass.

After a safe arrival, we parked and began the 4.5-mile trek to the summit. The morning sun illuminated the golden aspens and the peaks of the mountains looming ahead. Two hours later, with only a few injuries but no casualties, we reached the top, 14,058 feet of elevation. We tried to take a selfie, but the 60 mph winds drove us off the summit.

This adventure, full of nipped fingers, quality music, and smiling faces (after they thawed out), was a reminder of what Dr. Paul Gould spoke about during this past week:

“We are not manufacturing truth, but finding it.”

As a kid, my parents often encouraged me to open my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me. Hiking Mt. Handies was a day of re-enchantment with creation which reflects the creativity and loveliness of God. I find this loveliness both in nature and the community at Summit Semester. The trek up Mt. Handies did two things for me – it refreshed my sense of wonder at the creation around me and revealed to me that I should never eat more than two Lara Bars in one day.