Welcome to the 2017 Blogging A-to-Z Challenge! I’ll be blogging my way through the alphabet the entire month of April, taking a break on Sundays, for a total of 26 posts! This year I am writing short stories based on a word that starts with the letter of the alphabet. The 26 fictional stories are not related to one another. This is a chance for me to exercise my imagination and explore creative writing which I have not done since college. Learn more about the blogging challenge HERE!
The theme for today’s story is Height.
Far above them and tucked away in puffy white clouds, loomed the snow-capped mountains and their ultimate goal: Khuiten Peak. The adventurous group had finally made it to Altai Tavan Bogd, the massive mountain chain located in northwest Mongolia that also crossed into China and Russia.
The journey had been arduous to say the least. The group of five hikers had left from their homes in Denver on a Monday and flown in to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, via San Francisco and Seoul. They sweated their way through customs and immigration. Although, it was the middle of August, air conditioning on a balmy summer day would be disrespectful for a country whose bitterly cold winter lasted seven months out of the year. They stayed in the capital for a night before going back to the airport to fly out to Bayan-Olgii province in western Mongolia. The views from the plane were incredible. They were high enough to distinctly see the Gobi desert to the south and the wooded forests of northern Mongolia to the north. The travel van was waiting for them at the airport, practically on the landing strip, and it made for a quick turnaround from plane flight to van travel across the hilly countryside. Way off in the distance they could see Altai Tavan Bogd and they excitedly discussed their hiking strategy. After another day of travel they reached the base of the mountain and they slept overnight in a ger, a round felt tent. It was Saturday morning when they woke up at the base of the mountain and strained their eyes to see if they could spot the top.
They had traveled thousands of miles, crossed an ocean, and been in three countries but, surprisingly, the most difficult part of their journey was the shortest. Climbing to the peak of Khuiten mountain was proving to be difficult. It may have been summer everywhere else in Mongolia but it felt like a Denver winter on the side of the mountain. Of course, they were hiking up a glacier and the snow never left this part of the mountain. Fortunately, living in the mile high city with access to the Rockies had well-prepared them for conquering the 14,305 feet of Khuiten Peak that awaited them.
When they finally made it to the top they could still only see puffy, white clouds that went on for miles. The air was thin and the sun shined bright. They could not believe they were at the tippy top. The clouds and lack of air heightened the adrenaline and they leaped for joy throwing snowballs at one another. They felt like the tallest people in the world. Once they had calmed down, their Mongolian guide wrapped a blue khadag scarf around the ovoo and passed around shots of vodka. Their effort had been well worth it and none of them would forget this experience of floating above the clouds.
And with this post that makes eight down and 18 more to go! Thank you for reading my short story. What did you think? If you are here with the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge, please leave a comment below because I would love to check out your posts!
P.S. Check out my other short stories HERE!