Penguins

Bailey O'Leary

United States

Spring Skiing

October 18, 2015

     There is no better skiing than spring skiing. Every March my family takes a trip to Loon, New Hampshire to ski for a weekend. The two hour and 15 minute drive seemed to last forever as I anticipated the exciting weekend. The thought of being able to ski in a t-shirt and sunglasses made me thrilled to arrive. So many times before had I had the privilege of skiing with friends from dawn till dusk, only stopping for lunch or a hot chocolate. I couldn’t wait to add to the already great collection of memories I had skiing at Loon. My experience two years ago was different.
 
As we pulled up to the mountain I was shocked by what I saw. Brown. Patches of dead grass and dirt covered the seemingly vacant mountain. I couldn’t believe the mountain that I had been coming to since before I could walk or talk was in this condition. I purchased my pass still refusing to accept that most of the mountain was not skiable.  A TV showed the trail report and said that more than 50% of the trails were closed. The gondola ride to the peek kept me thinking about whether or not I was going be able to ski or if the exciting weekend I had planned in my head had been overhyped.
 
            I stepped out of the gondola, grabbed my skis, and headed towards the trail. The warm sun beat down on my exposed arms. The gentle wind blew through my hair and against the areas of my face that weren’t protected by my bandana or Ray Bans. A feeling of déjà vu hit me and I thought back to the previous years spent on the mountain. Even the year before the mountain had been in almost the same condition that it had been in during the dead of winter. What has caused such a drastic change in weather?
 
            Being a 17-year-old high school student there is only so much that I can do about climate change. I can’t pour millions of dollars into fundraisers to help climate change awareness like corporate executives can. I cant broadcast my message on TV stations for the world to hear. But no matter how small of a contribution I make, everything adds up. If I choose to use a reusable water bottle instead of the 5 plastic Poland Springs water bottles I tend to use I will be making a difference. Although I can’t spread a message to millions of people I can to the people around me. I can start influencing them into being more aware of how they treat the environment and hope that they will spread the message. We are only given one earth and God gave us free will to decide how we use it. It is up to us to take care of this planet and cherish it. I hope that my message will make enough of a difference so I don’t have to raise my kids in a world where we cant go spring skiing in March. 

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