Hobbitenango, Antigua, Guatemala
Taking a sharp breath and grabbing the arm of my friend, I braced myself for the drive up the steep hill leading to Hobbitenango. Keeping my eyes focused on the road ahead, I tried to distract my mind from my not-so irrational fears. Rafa was driving.
On Jan. 9 during interim, I traveled along with a group of journalism and graphic design students to Antigua, Guatemala. We partnered with Guatemalan students from Michael Polanyi College at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, teaming up to interview and write stories about the people and culture.
We had some free time, so our Guatemalan partner Rafa Parra decided to drive our team up a mountain and take us to a Lord of the Rings inspired hotel and restaurant.
The mountain seemed to grow steeper and steeper as we neared the top. There were people hiking on the side of the road. I marveled at their endurance.
After finally reaching the top and parking, we decided to grab a bite to eat. I entered the restaurant through a red hobbit hole and ordered a hamburger named El Troll.
After finishing our themed food, we split up to explore. I hiked partway down the steep hill to a clearing that boasted an incredible view of a nearby village and the mountains surrounding Antigua. I filled my lungs with the fresh air and tried to capture this moment in my mind forever. The crisp breeze, the blue sky, the rolling hills and variety of trees. I felt closer to God.
Eventually my team wandered down the hill and found me. We snapped pictures of the scene and of ourselves, never fully capturing the beauty and wonder of that magical place.
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
I was drenched in sweat, didn’t have enough water, and all of my joints were screaming at me telling me to just stop moving. The zig-zags of the mountain had made me thirst in a way I have never before. The inclination made my heart pound and the non-stop lifting of my legs made me want to give up on this 12 mile hike.
“Just wait until you get to the top,” my sister said.
During my Thanksgiving break of 2015 my family decided to travel to California and see one of the most beautiful National Parks, Yosemite. I’d been hiking before, I enjoyed it enough to think really positively about this trip, plus California is a beautiful State. The flight seemed quick and I thought most of our hikes would be as well. Little did I know.
12 mile hike I thought wouldn’t be that bad. I was staying in shape for year-round soccer, nothing could be worse than that. My family and I began our hike. Seven of us pumped, ready to go, with only five water bottles. As we continued to hike I began to get tired of repeatedly lifting and climbing my legs over rocks and dirt. Mile 5 was when I wanted to quit, however finally proceeding to the top, nothing made me want to leave. I had never seen anything so beautiful than what was displayed at the top of this Mountain. Everytime I look at pictures I deeply want to go back. Words cannot describe nature at its finest. I am so glad I can say I have hiked to see the Half Dome at Yosemite National Park.
However, I have one regret, I should’ve brought my own water.