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The Rest Stop

First Draft

                                                                                                                                                                               It was a cloudy day in early spring, the smells of wild onion and freshly mowed grass permeated the air and filled her nostrils as she stepped from the car. Around her, cars and trucks zipped by on the freeway, blowing dust and noxious fumes into her face, the feeling like a gritty blast furnace. As she turned to stroll the short distance to the restroom, she took the time to appreciate the view in the distance, blue mountains rising up to the overcast sky, the beautiful wildflowers like bugloss and houndstongue, their soft purple and red petals waving in the breeze. For now she was rushed to not only relieve herself, but wash the grime from her face, but soon, she would be up in those mountains, fulfilling her lifelong dream. Walking on, she could hear the wind whispering through the tall pines dotting the hillside, and she imagined how fine the peace and solitude would be once she attained the summit. No woman in her country had ever even tried the climb, it was feared too dangerous, however, she was driven to be the first Polish female of her generation to attempt it. 

As she entered the lobby of the visitor's center, she could smell the lemony scent of disinfectant and some kind of air freshener, clean linen, she thought. As she passed by the vending machines, she made the impulse decision to grab a bag of warm, cinnamon coated pecans and a coke for the drive ahead, thinking it might be hours before she arrived at base camp. Once she relieved herself, she washed her hands, loving the feeling of the warm water cascading over her fingers and again found herself daydreaming about the journey ahead. How monumental will it be, she imagined, when she crossed the hundreds of kilometers it would take, breathing in the crisp mountain air and tasting victory once she crested the summit. She could almost smell the acrid smoke of the campfire, and taste the spicy but savory sausages they would roast in celebration and how good the frosty apple ale would be, but for now, she'd better get some miles behind her, another half day's drive ahead. 

Final Draft

 It was a cloudy day in early spring, she smelled the freshly mowed grass and wild onions as she stepped from the car. Vehicles zipped past on the freeway, blowing dust and noxious fumes, hitting her face like a gritty blast furnace. On the walk to the restroom, she took time to appreciate the view, blue mountains to the north and wildflowers closer in, the bugloss and the houndstongue, their soft purple and red petals blowing in the breeze. Beautiful! Now she hurried, not only to relieve herself, but to wash the grime from her face. Soon, she would be in those mountains, fulfilling her lifelong dream. She could hear the wind, whistling through the tall pines, and imagined how fine the peace and solitude would feel, once she crested the summit. She was to be the first Polish female to ever attempt the dangerous climb.

Entering the lobby of the visitor's center, the smell of lemon disinfectant and rose air freshener filled her nostrils. She past the vending area and grabbed a bag of salted nuts and a coke for the road, knowing it would be hours before she reached base camp. Once she relieved herself, she washed her hands, again finding herself daydreaming of the journey ahead. She could almost smell the acrid smoke from the campfire and taste the frosty apple ale they would drink in celebration of her victory. As for now, she'd better get a move on, she had a good day's drive ahead, into the annuls of history. 

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