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  THE gigantic boulders on the
beginner climb at Joshua Tree National
Park in California swarmed over every
inch of land like scavenging ants
covering a fallen animal. My hands
shook like an earth-quake, but I began
my ascent. One foot...then the
foot...the other.

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  Before I knew it, I was at the top.
I turned white as a vampire at the
plunging view. Because now, I had
to rappel back down.
  Suddenly I was as stiff as the rock
I was leaning on. I decided that no
amount of money could make me move
my anvil feet.
  But then, I noticed encouraging
gestures from my fellow Scouts below.
I snatched my feet off the wall and felt
freedom. At the bottom I exclaimed,
"Hey, that was fun!"
-Mike Buchanan, Troop 36, Irvine, Calif