I have lived in New Hampshire my entire life, first a small, pocket-sized neighborhood in Merrimack, then a secluded property in Fitzwilliam, and now, finally, in the city of endless squirrels, Keene.

In the summertime, I used to love going on vacation to see my grandparents in Florida. I loved Florida; so many plants, palm trees, lakes, and oh, the glorious sunshine! So, when I found out that my fourth grade class, instead of going somewhere exotic and vibrant, was going to climb up to Lonesome Lake in the White Mountains, I was tremendously disappointed.

On the following Monday, I was ready, backpack overfull, heavy woolen mittens, and way too much of Mom’s homemade, gluten-free granola. We all piled into the bus. Some were excited for the hike, “ It will be so pretty. We can learn all about the different kinds of plants that grow on mountains!” Others, like myself, were not as thrilled, “What is  the point of this? I can go outside and see the same exact tree in my front lawn! This is just way more exercise!” I was sure that they were just trying to trick me into being “healthy”, but I was not falling for it. My teacher assured me that it would be different, “The leaves will have changed color! It will be beautiful! Here, have some more granola.” Under my breath I grumbled, “ I can see stupid orange foliage any time I want to.”

That day we hiked up the mountain for a time that seemed like forever to me. My legs ached and my belly rumbled. As to be expected, I slept well that night. The next day when I woke up, low and behold…it was raining. Pouring actually. Long, grey sheets of icy water crashed down on our log cabins. “What are we gonna do?” I asked my teacher. “We are going on a nature hike!” she responded cheerily. I moaned and groaned and huffed, but when the time came, I slipped on my boots and raincoat and grudgingly stomped outside into the the pouring sky-waterfall.

I wasn’t the only one upset.


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