Solo. Solitary. Alone. These words echoed in my head as I began walking away from my class towards the small clearing ahead of me. I knew that this was going to happen, of course. I had known it for years. But with every step I took further into the woods, the meaning of “solo” really sunk in. I was cutting my own path into the wilderness—stepping into acres of vast, unspoiled Northern New Mexico forest to spend the night by myself. A high school senior. 17-years-old. Alone.
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