Peaceful. All I could think when standing on the edge of the world, literally. The river was rushing between the natural cut of each mountain. Not too far away, through some brush, was the highway. Any closer, I could hear the cars zooming by and I wouldn’t feel the same. This was the exact spot I had to be to not be disturbed by anything else. I had been here over a dozen times, through harsh Alaskan winters to warm summers. This was my own peace of heaven.
Denali was a quiet place before its season. Another week and this small tourist town would be infested with people. I stood on the edge of a cliff, hanging high over the river. The chill in the air from the strong winds of the valley had me cold enough for a sweater. Escaping the unbearably warm weather of Fairbanks was only one reason to drive over two hours here.
I had come across this cliff a year ago. My brakes squealed as I turned off the highway, into the scenic parking area. Mountains surrounded me for miles. I just wanted a quick glimpse of the river. Through the trees I walked, careful not to scrape my leg on any loose branches. I found the perfect picture. I noticed the thin cliff, hanging high over the river. I walked closer to the edge. Thump, thump, thump. My heart was beating out of my chest. Should I continue towards the edge? The rocks looked loose, the drop was far. Adrenaline had me floating out of my body. I had never been high before, but I imagined it felt something like that.
I had been there a dozen times since I first felt that peaceful feeling. It never changed. The adrenaline, the high… I couldn’t get enough. Not many would drive this far just to sit, with their feet dangling dangerously over the edge. I only had to sit for an hour. A whole day trip for this. There was nothing like it and I would like to share my experience. I wished everyone knew, and that everyone felt the way I did, but it wouldn’t be as special. This was my own little corner of Earth, my heaven. I was on top of the world, and no one could take that away from me.