Ensign Peak, Utah

"Life's a climb, but the views great."

Have you ever seen unmistakable beauty? Surrounded by so much awe that you are almost unable to speak?

I’m not going to lie, when my sister asked me to tag along on her trip to Salt Lake City to help watch Noah, her 9 month son, I was excited to travel (of course!) but I was a little upset that it wasn’t somewhere more exciting, I mean, Salt Lake City? Really? In November?
My skepticism was quickly foiled only moments after landing, driving to the hotel.
I adore mountains, I’m not sure why… perhaps growing up in Michigan and only having corn fields and lakes to look at for the first 12 years of my life (when I believe I saw my first mountain range) have created something in my mind that mountains stand for: Adventure, traveling far from home, exploring.
I suppose I didn’t do my research on Utah before arriving, but I wasn’t expecting to see mountains. They took my by surprise, and I’ve never had a more happy surprise. Almost anywhere you looked you could see a stunning mountain range, watching over the city.
My sister was there for a conference, one that was held close to the airport and not the city, which translates into me being ‘trapped’ in a hotel room for an entire day with a 9 month old. If you know me at all, you may know that I’m not a huge fan of being bored, and unfortunately I get bored very easily.       Especially being in a brand new, beautiful place my heart wanted to explore.
Luckily, there was a nice pond right outside our hotel room! Noah and I went for lots and lots of walks. Even the small pond outside the hotel had beautiful views to take in, though I joked with my sister that if we didn’t go out and explore soon, the only pictures I would bring home would be of the exact same mountains, just at different times of the day!

Noah didn’t seem to notice the mountains too much, but was very much so enthralled by the all the ducks!

Now, let’s jump to Saturday when my sister had a break from the conference and we had a rental car…
The sun was shining, I was finally out of the hotel, and we were on our way to go eat tacos, How could this day be any better?
We dined at a cute little Mexican restaurant, chatting and dipping our chips in salsa while Noah through empty cups and passer-byers. After we ate way more tacos than we probably should have, we drove back to pick up some friends from the hotel, one of whom had found a hike close by!

So, up Esign Peak we hiked.
I’ve done a fair share of hiking in Michigan, mostly flatter routes in the forest. I do believe this was the steepest and highest hike yet (hopefully the first of many!) The peak is at 5,417 ft, it was certainly a doable day hike, I believe from our starting point it was about half mile up. Though a quicker hike, it was oh-so-worth it. I was a little hesitant of the idea at first, thinking that a half mile hike seemed a little ‘lame.’ How much beauty was there to see up a mere half mile? I quickly ate my words as we climbed, stopping every 5 minutes it seemed to take pictures! Once we reached the top, the only words that came to mind were “How Great Thou Art.”

If I could have pitched a tent and set up camp there, I probably would have never come down.
Such beauty cannot even be put into words. Looking to my right, there was mountains in the distance; even in early November one could see the white peaks covered in snow.

In the center of my view was Salt Lake City and all her majesty. Not a huge city in the sense of sky reaching towers, but wide and almost industrious. The Capitol building was especially prominent, stark white against the bright blue sky. Resembling our nation’s capital building, the dome on top glistened in the sunlight.

Finally to my left, was what I can only describe as rolling hills. Covered in waving, long golden colored grasses and old wooden fences. The sun glistened, shimmering off the gold the stretched for miles and miles.
What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? Close your eyes, picture it. Remember the feeling?        Was it so breathtaking that you didn’t even smile, because you were so filled with emotions and awe that you just stood there amazed? I cannot say that this is the one and only time that I’ve felt so, but it certainly is forever engrained in my memory.
What do you consider pure beauty? Is it the sun rise? The view from the top of a mountain? Staring across the ocean? Whatever it is, I urge you to pursue it. Life is big and scary, it’s so easy to just get caught in the flow of everyday ‘safe’ life. Sure, we all need to work and make a living, as well as think about others and not only our pursuit of happiness. But life is short, so why not spend it doing something you love?



Happy Adventuring!