Frederique Vezina

Last trail: Mary Lake, Utah


I could hear the birds singing as I was making my way up the Mary Lake Trail this morning. First I climbed up alpine ski trails where employees were working with chainsaws to get the slopes ready for the winter. As I kept going, the trail headed to the forest where evergreens stood tall and contrasted the almost blue bird sky. As I was walking/ski striding up, the noise coming from the workers and the birds was becoming fainter and fainter as the altitude increased until it gave way to only the squeaking of the squirrels in my ears.

And then there was only the sound of my deep breaths, my lungs looking for more air. I looked around and figured I was alone, completely alone. The forest was so calm it was almost scary. So peaceful. Almost unreal. I kept walking up and paid attention to my surroundings. Nothing. Just me, some trees lacking of oxygen, and mountains. Enormous rocky mountains: pure nature! How splendid that was!

Was there any big animals around there? Did I have to be scared, all alone on an unknown trail heading to an unknown summit destination?

I kept going up telling myself it was a good challenge. I would figure all of that out anyway if it came to it. My hears straighten to the sound of voices. I wasn’t alone. Other people were hiking up too. They were chatting and enjoying the view in front of Mary Lake, where the water from the mountains surrounding it were drained. Beautiful! A smile drew on my face as I passed by them, today was going to be a good day. Climbing up a mountain, seeing incredible views while others are at work … And come across people that are enjoying it just as much as me.

I passed a few people on the way after my 30 minutes of contemplating the sights and silence. And then I came across this old lady that was about 80 years old. Backpack on, she was making her way up, just like me, and with poles. As I passed her, she greeted me with a big smile and the warmest ‘‘good morning’’. She was going to a decent pace, over 2500 meters high, she was enjoying it to the fullest, what an inspiration! Her positive energy was super contagious.

After that, the hard part started, the trail got more and more steep. I looked back quite often to enjoy the amazing views before my eyes. I kept going and going to a faster pace knowing the view would be even nicer from the summit. The path became surprisingly soft sand and very comfortable for the feet closer to the top. I finally got there and figured there was a peak nearby even higher.

It was not a choice, I had to, and really wanted to make my way up that one as well.

I got there a little bit later. It was amazing. My watched showed an altitude of 3250 meters and I didn’t even feel it since the view was taking all my attention. A 360 degrees panorama of pure nature: aspen trees in their yellow fall color, evergreens, rocky mountains, alpine slopes, and a panorama of mountains, and mountains beyond that in the background.


I could even forget my fear of heights on the top of that rock.

I got lucky today and I took a lot of mental pictures as well as real pictures. I also topped another peak, just to see if the view was nicer to the other side. It was kind of similar, but that’s how much I like it.

Until the next adventure,


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