Tyler Jacobson



English 134


On Hiking

            Consciousness was slow to come that morning. Although the wail of my girlfriendÕs alarm clock had surely shocked me into a state reminiscent of being awake, there were still too many things left unclear for me to be truly conscious. I had no idea why this was happening, where I was going or why I had to leave the comforting arms of this warm, beautiful creature lying next to me.

And then suddenly it all clicked. Yes, that morning I was to depart from this place of utmost solace and make my way up Poly Mountain with a group of people that I didnÕt even know. Eventually accepting my fate, I got out of bead and after clumsily slipping into my shoes I threw on a sweatshirt, gave a half-hearted kiss goodbye and stumbled out the door.

As I made my way down the road towards the entrance of Poly Canyon, the incessant droning hum of the power station was almost enough to lull me back into a state of sleep. But then, suddenly I tripped over a rock and as I quickly snapped back awake I finally began to truly take in my surroundings for the first time. There was something distinctly lacking from the air that morning. For the first time in what had seemed like an eternity the sky was devoid of any ominous rain bearing clouds. Instead, only a few harmless white puffs punctuated the vibrant sea of blue overhead. It was about the time I should have been in class, but the walls that would normally have been around me were replaced by hillsides covered with trees and bursting with life.

Putting one foot in front of the other, I began my journey. The power plantÕs hum faded into the distance and was gradually replaced by the rush of an unusually full Brizzolari Creek. I felt as though I was leaving behind the influences of modern man more and more with each passing step, but things are not always as they seem. A pick-up truck quickly rumbled by and the abrasive vibrations emitting from its engine tore my mind from any sense of truly being in a natural environment. While I paused to reflect upon this for a moment near a grove of Eucalyptus trees I noticed something in the creek that looked strangely out of place. Huge slabs of concrete lay across the creek bed, looking like collapsed pillars of some forgotten ancient city. I was reminded that just as the excess oils excreted from the roots of the innocuous-looking Eucalyptus tree permeate all of the surrounding soil, human influence is present in all of Cal Poly Land regardless of how pristine and untouched it may seem at first glance, simply due to manÕs proximity to it.

After passing a majestic coast live oak that towered overhead, we made our way across a student made bridge and onto the trail that would lead us the rest of our way up Poly Mountain. The crackle of twigs underfoot drew my attention to the gorgeous collage of various browns and grays that blanketed the path before me. My concentration was soon focused on the ground for an entirely different reason though, as the trail grew increasingly treacherous. Carefully, I kept climbing higher out of the canyonÕs fertile womb. The vegetation began to grow considerably sparser as my elevation increased, for the serpentine rock that coated the hillside had made it difficult for much to grow there. Only clusters of spiky Yucca plants and different grasses sprang from the earth at this elevation and the face of the mountain resembled the back of an oddly shaped porcupine.

While taking a rest just short of the summit to gather my thoughts as well as my breath, I turned around to carefully seat myself on a rock and was treated to a view that much contrasted the jagged face of Poly Mountain where I was perched. A herd of grazing cattle speckled the smooth, rolling green hills below. Masterfully crafted lines and curves shaped the aesthetic contours of this perfect scene before me. I wished to stay there for much longer to fully immerse myself in the view and the moment, but alas, the journey was to continue.

With the peak clearly in sight I made my final mad dash. Knowing what to expect from previous ventures up the mountain, these last few steps of ascent were not of anticipation but more of routine and relief. I wanted it all to be over. I had already gained all that I could from the hike, or so I thought.

While I stood upon the summit the abrasive[SM1]  roar of traffic from the city below was, for once, a welcome sound. My affinity for the human developments I saw below me was quite a surprise, as generally the rigid and shiny architecture of man was something of abhorrence to me.[SM2]  And then I realized. Turning around to gaze once more upon the unfathomably [SM3] gorgeous flowing curves of an unadulterated Mother Nature sprawled out[SM4]  in the nude on the opposing hills below, I understood that as much as I loved what I saw, it was simply not where I belonged. This was merely a view, it was something to appreciate, something to learn from and nothing more.[SM5]  There was a far more tangible curvaceous beauty awaiting my return with comforting arms back home. Straddling the border of nature and humanity atop that mountain, my choice was clear. Eager return to my natural habitat, I lead[SM6]  the rest of the class down the front face past the Poly ÔPÕ and onto the individual paths that awaited us that day[SM7] .

Page: 3

Page: 3

Page: 4

Page: 4
 [SM4]not workingÑtoo many adjectives and metaphors, some conflicting with others

Page: 4

Page: 4

Page: 4
 [SM7]lots of nice revisions here. The final revelation is richer, but still needs work. You might be developing a contrast between Mother and Lover, but the suggestion isnt adequately developed. That between see and touch is also interesting, but the equation of rigid and shiny architecture with tangible curvaceous beauty again is self cancelling.