It was a fall day during the weeks before rifle season when I came across this mountain of rocks. As I was driving around the back roads of Vermont jumping through the small villages I could see this mountain as far away as 15 miles. I was so intrigued that I drove down several one lane dirt roads past various no trespassing signs to get closer to this massive pile of rocks. Clearly it was not made at the hands of God, the manner at which these rocks were piled certainly would had to have been man-made. After a few more left turns and one right I come up to a fence with warning signs placed every ten or twenty feet concerned about your health. At the front gate one could see the massive structure leading up to the top of the pile of rocks and I learned that this was once an asbestos mine and the rocks were the remnants of the work that was once done at this sight. Parked at the front gate looking at the four by eight warning sign relating to how asbestos can cause severe health issues and even cancer I felt that they should add the language that “if you can read this then you are too close.”
This man-made pile of rocks at a distance looked like a barren mountain contesting with the ski slopes of the area. Close up it was dark, dreary, and gave you an eerie feeling when you think about how people worked there at one time and now they don’t want you to even get close to it. It also make you think about the little towns that are at the base of this man made pile of rocks; what happens if the rocks start to roll, or if there is a heavy rain or wind storm. The more I thought about it the further away from these warning signs I wanted to be but I just couldn’t help but glaze upon that massive man made mountain with the mine shafts running up along side of it. That would be one hell of a climb to the top of that mountain.
Many years later I still think about that mountain of man; this particular instance relates to life itself. Sometimes I feel as I am climbing up this mountain and not only do I have to contend with he hazards man has released from the depths of hell but also all the loose rocks they have placed in my path. I know I can avoid tumbling rocks if I go slow enough and carefully plan my route; however, the if it takes too long I may die before reaching the top. If I try to climb too quickly I will risk slipping and falling, and I will most certainly stir up the evils within the stones spreading hazardous dust and poisoning myself along the way. Not to mention that as I climb the rocks and stones I kick and pull out-of-place roll down the mountain and endanger all those who follow me.
Man made this mountain I must climb but is it really worth it if I do make it to the top. The pollutions created by the process of making this mountain has made it dangerous to be anywhere near it and the falling rocks threaten all those who hesitate at the bottom. I think about all the climbers who conquered Mount Everest and the videos and images of that feat. Lives have been lost trying to climb this mountain yet all those who crest the summit clearly just want to turn around and go back down. All their effort brings them close to heaven just to find that their path leads to a cold dark place were it is difficult to breathe. Not only do these people nearly die climbing this mountain that is inhabitable on top, but they also must risk their lives to climb back down. Is this the end game that I have in store for me on this climb that I am on? Am I truly going to risk almost everything just to find out that what is on the top of this mountain isn’t what I was seeking and isn’t worth staying for ultimately just making me climb back down?
I really enjoy hiking and I have hiked several casual trails and truly appreciated the beauty of the mountain trails and the creations of the Almighty that man has left alone. I have been taken away by the sights and feelings of standing on top of those summits viewing God’s country and the beauty of earth that can seen from above without leaving solid ground. This leads me to believe that some mountains are worth climbing others may have more risk than rewards. In addition, all man-made mountains are much more difficult and hazardous than many of those natural mountains but even some of the tallest peaks created from the hands of God are not meant for man to be. I think this mountain I am trying to climb truly was a mountain of man, although I feel that God is helping me along the way. I wonder if I should have taken more care in choosing the mountain at which I wanted to climb and I fear that if I make it to the top I will only want to just get back down to solid ground. Yet I also know that I have kicked and thrown rocks down as I struggled and as such I endangered all of those who tried to follow my path. Maybe in the end if I make it I will just sit upon the emptiness of that summit and wait for I know I will not have neither the ambition nor the energy to find another mountain to climb.