By; Remy Kelbel, Associated Press  

Jan; 30, 2022  

Colorado -   Growing up my family owned thirty five acres of land in Teller County, I learned fishing, horseback riding and hiking all on that piece of land. My dad loves to get outside and so being his daughter I fell in love with the woods. I’d spend hours reading as a kid about nature and horses. I’ve always been a night owl and stayed up late with a flashlight under the covers. When I was around 9, my dad and his friend wanted to build a log cabin right on our land. I watched them chop wood, hammer in nails into the logs and work for hours. 

Unfortunately I couldn’t help out as much as I wanted to, but before I knew it, the small cabin was built and I stepped inside. A fire was crackling in the middle of the room, the wood smelt of sap and candles smelling of maple filled my nose. It was around the fall time as the woods around me were purple, red and orange. That night we slept in the cabin, my dad on the couch and I was upstairs with a diamond shaped window looking out at the dark forest around us. 

Before my dad and I went to sleep, my dad's friend and he told me stories around the fireplace about the headless horseman. Looking back, I love the memories, but when you're little your imagination plays with you. After the story I had to go to bed, the woods alive outside with owls and wind. I looked at the diamond shaped window and kept imagining the headless horseman. 

My heart was beating as I saw a dark figure by a tall pine deep in the woods. My breathing gets shaky as I hear my heart beating in my ears. I press my face up against the glass to get a closer look and see glowing eyes. Out from the pine trees steps a grey coyote. It was the first time I ever saw a coyote and to me at the time it looked a lot bigger than it was. Realizing I was frightened for nothing I fell asleep dreaming of the woods. Since then I go hiking everyday and fall in love with Colorado every step of the way.