According to the weatherman, I was experiencing gale-force winds and heavy sleet as I struggled to get to the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland. The hike might not normally appear that strenuous, but under these conditions, I was resisting the urge to just quit and hightail it back to shelter and hot chocolate. Considering I had already made fun of the four other girls I was with for not being able to handle the hike, I figured I should finish what I started: I persevered and conquered the mountain. 

Muddy clothes from sliding down the hill. Photo by Sabrina Mitchell

At the top of Arthur’s Seat we were literally hanging onto rocks so we wouldn’t be blown off the sides of the mountain. As I was just about to decide that the journey was definitely not worth it, the rain and wind came to a screeching halt. We clambered to our feet and vigorously began taking pictures of the landscape and the beautiful rainbow that framed it. The view was breathtaking and absolutely worth the journey up. 

But the real question was whether it was worth the journey down. We were in considerably better moods as we began the descent, but then we realized that the path was now solid mud because of the rain. Thus commenced the falling. 

One by one my friends fell, painting their clothes in mud as they tumbled down the mountain. I laughed openly at each of them and reveled in the fact that my own clothes were mud-free. As we approached the bottom of the mountain, though, karma caught up with me. 

I began falling in slow motion toward a pool of mud, without any chance of regaining my balance. I could not be stopped, so I let out a screech and accepted my fate. Mud covered my body from head to toe as I slid to the bottom of the trail, mentally swearing at King Arthur the whole way down. 

Despite the history and beauty I captured on camera in Scotland, my favorite picture is of my very angry self, covered in mud due to an inglorious fall off Arthur’s Seat.

—Sabrina Mitchell

Boise, Idaho


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