Being situated right at the foot of the mountains, the city of Boulder has quite a few hiking trails that lead out into the wilderness. I’m normally not one for hiking, but there is one hike that I take at least once per year up to a certain spot on the Flatirons (the distinctive local rock formations that are often used as Boulder’s emblem). This spot was shown to me by a friend about a decade ago, and I like to think of it as my personal place on the Flatirons since it’s rare for me to run into other people there. Of course, being who I am, I had to give that place a name, so I call it Mt. Gagazet, which is a Final Fantasy 10 reference. Mt. Gagazet looks out on Boulder and the surrounding lands. The only sounds up there are the distant hum of the city, birds chirping, and the occasional rock climbers scaling the cliff face. I also have a tradition that when I get up to my spot I play the song Learning to Breath by Switchfoot (no idea why I do this, but it seems fitting). For twenty to thirty minutes I’ll sit atop Mt. Gagazet, staring off into the distance and thinking about whatever’s on my mind, until I decide it’s time to leave and then I’ll start the trek back down. I don’t climb Mt. Gagazet often, but it’s a refreshing thing to do, and I never come back thinking that I’d wasted my time.

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