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Storm of My Life
The trees were falling as the rain was coming down like locusts. Water hit the ground with the impact of freight trains. The fight for survival had begun. Every second counted as Derek was swerving the Blazer around landslides. Our lives were being put in the hands of our friend and God. The wind pushed gigantic red cedars to their limit.
“We should have stayed at the cabin,” said Adam.
“No,” I said, “We would have been crushed under the rock that now covers it.”
Our little group had been out hunting for caribou in southern Alaska. We headed back from a day of hunting when we saw a storm system rolling in; as we got back to our cabin the wind started blowing. Wind, rain and lighting had been shuddering the house all through out the rest of the evening. We heard a tree fall down and decided it would be best to leave for town. As we got our gear packed into the Blazer, we noticed the hillside to the east of the house was being rocked by the storm. So we hurriedly left; but not before being witness to Mother Nature’s power. The hillside came tumbling down towards the cabin and us. We got inside the truck, leaving some gear behind in the rush.
We turned our attention back to Derek’s driving. To help the old Blazer corner around slush covered dirt roads we shifted our weight. Derek throttled the engine as a fir tore down onto the road. The front wheels hit the pine tree; we were thrown upward as time seemed to melt away. The weightless feeling in our stomachs made our sense of direction turn upside down. Trash floated up as the milliseconds ticked away: all four wheels of the truck were off the ground. Rain beaded on the windshield, just to be cast away by the wind. Every single drop of rain was almost to a stop. Droning of the engine could barely be heard. The front tires hit the ground and instantaneously slammed us back into our alert state. Ferns were being ripped apart as the tires tore through a less maintained part of the trail. Our salvation was a hundred meters away, a dark tunnel that led to the main road. Derek’s knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel tightly. His face started draining as we looked out the windshield to find the terror he had seen. A massive old growth Red Cedar was ripping out of the ground. Roots were tearing the nearby road and undergrowth. It was creaking and moaning as it came down upon the trail. The engine roared as Derek put his foot to the floor.
I woke up with a bump on the top of my head. I then opened my eyes to see the tree caved in the back half of the truck. The roof was inches away from crushing the seats. The cedar must have caught the last two feet of the car and then like a wave crushed the next ten feet. I slowly crept into a more alert state as I realized I wasn’t alone in the crash. I looked to my left; there was Adam. I checked his pulse; it was faint but he was still alive. I looked towards the driver’s seat and found no one there. I figured Derek wandered off somewhere due to shock. I dragged Adam out and lay him in the tunnel. I looked at the trusty old Blazer; it looked like a squeezed banana sitting there. Airbags popping out and back tires crushed, it looked like our truck was going back where it came from, the junkyard. Peering over towards the Red Cedar’s branches I saw Derek. I woke him up as he was mumbling something. He woke up easily enough; I told him that we needed to get to the main highway.
We tried to wake up Adam but he just didn’t seem well enough to wake. So I put him on my back as we hiked seven hundred meters to the highway.
“I don’t think there are going to be many people driving here,” I said, “But it’s our only chance.”
The next few days were harsh and cold. Adam had woken up and hadn’t known where he was. We quickly told him what had happened. Apparently he had a bit of memory loss from the roof of the Blazer. Two days had gone past and we were running out of food.
“Hey what’s that,” questioned Adam?
“I think it’s a stranded car,” I mumbled.
As minutes went by it seemed to get closer and closer.
“Are you sure that’s an abandoned car,” Derek inquired?
“I’m pretty sure,” looking up as I said this.
“It’s seems as if it’s closer now,” Derek proclaimed.
I was skeptical but agreed with him that it was closer. We were all looking at this dot on the horizon.
“I think it’s a semi,” Adam shouted.
We agreed with him. His thinking was right. It was a semi-truck. I wanted to cry tears of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been. I lived another day.