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Vignette: Drew Samuelson '20

Trying to catch your breath at an altitude 9,600 feet is about just as laborious as trying to fit a bed frame through a doorway. I don’t mind it though. I think of it as the price for entry in order to see the chiseled out mountain ranges. The view looking in every direction could act as a perfect a desktop background. The warm beams of light that burst through the trees give the same grandeur that spotlights give on the stage of a play. My brain struggles to fully take in the view almost like how phone buffers trying to play a video. It’s like looking through binoculars in the sense that I can’t focus on the broader picture.

Being atop the Colorado Rocky Mountains gives me the same sense of achievement that I get when I deposit a large paycheck from a week of work. The negative effects of the high altitude feels like I have a weighted vest on while I hike up the mountain. The uneven terrain that challenges my ability to navigate up the mountain is another roadblock that deters me from reaching the summit. Looking out from the peak of a mountain is one of the few views that isn’t littered with human occupation. Buildings and other signs of people inhabiting the area make the area look fake. I find that I don’t truly appreciate the beauty of mountains until I am in the car on the tiring trip back to Omaha. I think this is because the view is so overwhelming that I can’t appreciate it’s raw beauty until I comprehend it fully.

I hear a lot of people say that they want to move to Colorado when they are older. I think there is some sort of magnetic attraction between people that live in a bland place, like Nebraska, and Colorado. Why is it that people think that Nebraska is like an unfinished basement? Are people saying that looking for Nebraska beauty in the wrong place? Is Colorado actually better than Nebraska?

There are many places in Nebraska that give me the same, warm feeling that The Colorado Rocky Mountains give me. One place where find Nebraska’s hidden beauty is when I go fishing in Lynch, Nebraska. There is a stream that I fish that looks cartoon-like. The backdrop is filled with deep, brown boulders and fluorescent trees. The stream attracted my eyes the most because mirror-like surface. If the sun hit it just right, I could clearly see my reflection. Cloudy or clear, the sky act as the cherry on top of the beautiful view. Through Nebraska lacks mountains, there are still views that strike wonder and awe into my heart.

-Drew Samuelson '20

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