As we walked, we came closer and closer to the foot of the hill. It was absolutely divine. I began to show a little apprehension because I wasn't exactly sure where the path started. I made an educated guess and directed the boys to follow me. There were still houses nearby. But we were about to leave all that.
We started climbing. My guess was right. We continued to climb, higher and higher up from the rest of the world. Occasionally, the boys would look back down at the houses far below. We climbed for about 20 minutes. It was getting hot. Right before we started the climb, we had stopped to have a drink from our water bottles near a water tower which marked the beginning of the path. But the weather was making us thirsty again. I told the boys that the perfect place to stop for a drink was right around the corner.
We hiked for a few more minutes and we were about three-quarters up the hill of Sugar Loaf. There was a niche in the hill and we stopped there for some Doritos and a cold drink. As the persons of my party began consuming the goods, I showed them that just yards away was a fantastic view of Winona. The boys moved near the cliff and ate with their legs dangling over the edge enjoying the view. My siblings and their friend were loving it all! After about 10 minutes, we were ready to hike the rest of the way.
You could see on their faces that the boys were excited. I had them wrapped around my finger. My every word was their command! We hiked for a few more minutes and then, a spectacular sight! It was Sugar Loaf! We were only about fifty yards from touching the rock itself! We were on the top of the hill of Sugar Loaf! Matt, one of my brothers, let out an "awesome!" and the rest of them were amazed, too. They had grown up all their lives seeing Sugar Loaf hundreds of feet above the ground on a hill. Now they were standing before it as if it were a god.
I decided to seize the moment. I had taken a few pictures with my brother, Brian's camera at the spot where we stopped for a snack break. But THIS was a real opportunity. I took a picture of the boys running around and trying to climb the rock. Then, I got a shot of the scenic view below of Winona. Finally, I had them all pose in front of the rock and took a snapshot of that. The rock towered over all of them in the picture.
Soon afterward, a few dozen men and women arrived on the scene with some kind of military man leading them all. Several of these people were carrying ropes with them. We watched as the military man briefed the others keeping a safe distance away from the group. Shortly afterward, about half of the people went down the hill. The others stayed and several began scaling the rock. We watched for a little while, had some more water and Doritos, and then decided to head back.
About halfway down the hill, we came across the rest of the group. A rope was extended from one part of the side of the hill to another. Members of the group were taking turns sliding down the rope by holding onto some sort of a handle. We stayed out of their way as we continued down the hill. We made it to the watertower and the end of the trail.
We walked the rest of the way home and spoke happily about our little adventure. My idea of showing them Sugar Loaf had turned into a total success!
[Teacher's comments: Nice job, Tom! (A)]