Bush Mountain By: Noah Rubel

With today's technology it seems that everything is about the best camera or best picture. The entire world is so encapsulated with man-made objects and technology, it seems we may have focused too much on screens and blurred the lines between man-made beauty and natural beauty.

I found out I was colorblind when I was in kindergarten, and ever since then I have always been fascinated with how individuals see the world. One of the best ways for me to learn more about how others view the world is to see more of it myself and then document it.

One of my favorite hobbies is traversing the outdoors, whether that be through camping, hiking, climbing or even bushcraft. I was fortunate enough to take a trip during fall break this year. My friend Layton Ranson, a senior business major from Ennis, and I climbed to the second highest peak in Texas, Bush Mountain. I had never done anything like that prior to this experience. It was a 6.4 mile hike up with a rise in elevation by 3,000 feet, to say the least, it was a mountain to climb even for Texas standards.

The closest thing to a hike that I have taken before has been short and level, few mile round-trip hikes. But I was excited to see how far I could push my limits. I packed water, a tent, sleeping bag, food and a few other miscellaneous items. Most importantly I brought my Canon AE-1 35mm film camera.

As a communications major, photography is an important part of my curriculum. Analog technology has always been a favorite of mine, all digital cameras don’t capture the same picture in my opinion. The shutter opening and letting light in from that specific moment is what I value.

The entire trip up was long and grueling, but glorifying, especially when we reached the campsite. Layton and I were exhausted. We timed the hike up at around seven hours. We put up our tents and were fortunate enough to watch the Orionids meteor shower, which is the tail wisp of the famous Halley's Comet.

After 40 mile per hour wind gusts at night we both awoke from our tents, while I brewed us coffee at around 8,500 feet above sea level. After a small breakfast, we decided to finish our final trek up to the peak.

It was breathtaking to say the least, out of all the peaks in the mountain range we were the furthest removed from anyone else, there were no peaks after Bush Mountain. Almost a 3,000 foot decline, straight down. Everything was so calm and peaceful at the top, with some of the most beautiful views, even better than the highest peak of the Guadalupe Mountains.

At the same time, the whole event was so surreal at the top and on the way down, one wrong step or tumble and that would have been it for either of us. I thanked God for keeping us safe and allowing us to have such an amazing experience with no one around for miles.

The trek down was just as breathtaking, as well as easier considering that there was more oxygen in the air as we went downward and no more climbing up steep inclines. We made it down in about three and a half hours, and I had never been more excited for a five-hour drive back to Abilene where I could just sit down and not walk.

I am still waiting for my film to be developed, hopefully it finishes soon. But, I want to encourage everyone to get out and see the beautiful world God has given us. Colorblind or not, every one can experience the true beauty of nature.