A Little Piece Of Eden Tucked Away Amidst An Urban Sprawl
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Politics and Activism

Mount Trashmore, North Carolina—A Little Piece Of Eden Tucked Away Amidst An Urban Sprawl

A story about a landfill turned state park turned personal haven.

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Tejal Vanukuru

If you asked me where my favorite place in the world is, my answer would be a landfill. Who doesn't love an open despot of rotting trash? No, nobody loves landfills, but North Wake Landfill Park specifically holds a special place in my heart. Here, I had my first kiss, said my first I love you, hosted many a whimsical picnic, starred and shot in funny photo-shoots, yelled out my teenage rage against injustice, and even had my heart broken.

In the words of feminist icon Hermione Granger, who infamously accused Ronald Weasley of having the emotional range of a teaspoon, my teaspoon of emotion was discovered, explored, and cemented upon this tiny little mountain in suburbia. This sanctuary for my soul is always there when I need it; it's just a five-minute drive from my house.

My Eden is a 2,000-foot tall lump of grass boasts the title of the tallest point in Raleigh and is my own little mountain of peace in an urban sea. Coined for the midden lying underneath the deceivingly lush grass, Mt. Trashmore, as the park is christened, has been a haven I have turned toward for tranquility and solitude.

It is no easy task to summit this peak — whenever I choose to hike up this sheer cliff I can forgo my cardio for the week — but the climb is worth it. When I collapse and wheeze my way onto the lone picnic table in the center of the mound I am awash in a sense of calm. The hum of the busy four-lane road below fades away on the constant northerly breeze and any worrying thoughts drift away as I admire how the curve of the planet makes me feel like a goldfish in a glass bowl.

Mt. Trashmore isn't without flaws. It is quite literally a pile of trash and is at most a band-aid placed by society on the open sore that is pollution. However, no place is perfect and although Mt. Trashmore is a front, its a beautiful place for reflection.

I've always been a mountains-over-the- beach kind of girl and Mt. Trashmore is my own version of the Blue Ridge Mountains so forgive me, but I will be making a mountain out of my little molehill.

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