Matt Lehtonen

Engl 134


Essay #2 Š Poly Canyon

            My alarm went off at 7:00 on Wednesday morning, giving me the perfect amount of time to prepare for my 7:30 hike through Poly Canyon. Or at least it would have if I didnÕt turn it off the moment I heard its incessant beeping. I awoke again about 20 minutes later when my friend Kate came to my room knowing she would have to drag me out of bed. After arguing with her briefly about the importance of going to class, I finally gave in and proceeded to stumble sleepily to the meeting place. I couldnÕt have been less enthusiastic as our group started the hike.

            As soon as I could hear the peaceful flow of Brizzolara Creek, my mood began to change. I stopped complaining to myself about being tired and began to realize what a beautiful day it was. The sky was nearly cloudless and recent storms had given the hills and plant-life a deep green coloring. The trees of the canyon began to close around us and soon we were engulfed in a tunnel of branches. Brizzolara Creek was rushing swiftly after all of the rain and there were small waterfalls on the hill to the right.

            The entire hike had been in the shade so far, but I began to see sunlight appearing on top of the hill to the left. As the sun rose, the blanket of shade on the hill began to fall until it reached the branches of two of the most soulful oak trees I had ever seen. The branches of the oaks reached all the way across the canyon, but their nearly endless cover was penetrated by beams of sunlight. A single bench sat under the winding arms of the trees and contributed to what was already the most peaceful spot of the hike. We then crossed a rustic looking wooden bridge and took a foot path through some pine trees and out of the canyon.

            When we began to come out of the trees the canyon opened up into a giant valley surrounded by vast rolling green hills. If it wasnÕt for this hike, I wouldÕve never even known that this valley existed. The student architecture projects scattered throughout the hills add some interesting flavor to the scenery. The one thing that stood out to me as we came out of the canyon was a single oak that sat on top of a mountain. The tree was completely surrounded by the blue sky and looked like it would be an amazing silhouette in the early morning.

            The[m1]  path changed into a small stream with rocks in it and when we started to climb the back of Poly Mountain we finally stepped into the sun. As we climbed upwards, massive ridges began to appear past the hills of the valley. The few clouds in the sky were rolling quickly over the distant mountain range as we stopped to gaze at the extraordinary landscape. When we made it to the top, the entire city of San Luis Obispo came into view and BishopÕs Peak and a few other mountains sat behind it. The giant green barriers surround the city almost completely. At this point, I looked back into the undeveloped valley behind Poly Mountain and began to realize the intense contrast between it and the bustling city on the other side. Despite all of the activity that was going on in the city, everything looked peaceful from above. Even Highway 101 seemed to be a part of nature as it flowed through the city like the creek flows through Poly Canyon.

            A fellow student must have been feeling photogenic as he went on ahead and perched on top of a ledge overlooking the city. With the sun behind him, all that could be seen was his silhouette with a beautiful view of San Luis in the background. On this note, we began the hike down the front of the hill, only to stop again to examine the Poly P. I decided against following the other students back to where we originally started the hike and instead, forged my own trail straight to my dorm room so that I could go back to sleep. It may have been hard to wake up for this hike, but it was definitely worth it[SM2] .

 [m1]I changed all this paragraph to past tense. I didn't even notice the change. I guess that's why it's good to have someone else read it. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect when I was writing this paper as I've never written narrative descriptions like this before. I was especially worried because I'm a journalism major and most of my major courses discourage flavorful writing. I was definitely blocked on the first couple of paragraphs, but I went for a quick jog and my mind started to flow and I started to really enjoy the writing. Looking forward to the hike tomorrow.

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 [SM2] A

good writing isnt a reason for not attending.