Standing at the top of the mountain pass, the crags of the summit hang above us. The parking area is scooped out from the side of the mountain, and a small hut with restrooms and concession counter sits back between the gray folds of a sheer cliff.
I am only seven. I have a bladder the size of a pea.
Our mini-van pulls to a stop in one of the tight parking spots, and almost before we’ve come to rest, I squeeze past the middle row where my two little sisters are strapped into carseats.
“Just wait a minute,” my mother says, fumbling to unbuckle her seat belt.
I dash the sliding door open with a rumbling zip and hop out.
We are even with the clouds, I realize in awe, as if only this small tip of the Rocky Mountains exists in the whole world. A gray maelstrom swirls below us and around us.
My mother holds out her hand. “Hurry up! It’s about to storm.”
We dash through the parking lot, and just then a lighting bolt cracks in the valley blow us and thunder roars in the clouds all around us, echoing from the cliffs and shaking the ground beneath our feet.
My mom pulls me into the safety of the bathroom, and we both stare round-eyed out the doorway and then round-eyed at each other.
Mom blinks. “Well. Hurry up,” she says.
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