Red Rock

Red. Red rock is all you see, it is the paradise of outdoor sports, surrounded by countless arches and weird shaped rocks that are, for some reason, great tourist destinations. Mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, touring and river rafting creates passionate adventurers to the Four Corners Utah area. This is the ultimate adventure, and my favorite place to camp it is, of course, Moab, Utah. Given that I was only seven years old when my sister and brother-in-law Gavin got married, I’ve always been close with Gavin and his family; so, every year since the young age of eight I’ve bravely embarked on a crazy quest with my brother-in-law Gavin, and his idiotic brothers. We’ve hiked to Delicate Arch at midnight with the full moon as our only light, jumped off twenty-foot cliffs into freezing water where I almost drowned, and also ran for our lives during a flash flood in a narrow canyon. But no matter what life-threatening adventure we encountered the previous year we still go on an unpredictable escapade.

This past August we ventured off with Gavin’s brothers, their five rambunctious dogs, and their twenty million kids. There is actually only seven kids, but between the ages of fourteen and three, therefore much chaos for the rest of us. The eldest Josh, a tall, lanky boy that loves Legos too much for his own age; Joseph or Joe, who appears as the rebel child, but really has a sweet side to him; Esther, the tomboy that isn’t afraid to get dirty; Caleb, known as “Bug”, has no limit to his imagination and is a particularly humorous kid; Hannah, the little girl that has a voice like Strawberry Shortcake and the one that keeps everyone on their toes; Sammy, the sad child that always wants Mommy; Rebecca, or Becca, the sweetest, girly-girl you’ll ever meet. I’ve known the kids forever so I’m kind of like an aunt to them now, thus giving me the job of looking out for all seven of them.
It was a steamy hot day, the kind where it feels like you’re in a sauna and the sweat runs off your head like a waterfall. It was our first hike of the trip so we started with one that was particularly harder on the kids. It was supposed to be five miles round-trip, but that’s definitely not what it was. After a couple miles, somehow I was stuck with the seven dwarfs. Every minute there is another one crying, but after awhile you learn to ignore it. We started to play this game they had made up, the objective to the game was to beat the ‘evil’ grownups to the arch. We kept as far away from them as possible, and eventually got further and further off trail
] Ultimately ending with us completely and utterly, lost. Next, the oldest Joshsuggestts, “Why don’t we cross the river again, the trail is probably on that other side.” We took a second to look around and hope to see the scattered piles of stacked rocks that as known as cairns, or trail markers, but to our dismay just a lot of red dirt and thirsty cacti. Fantastic. We yell our group’s names, and no one is to be heard; however, we continue to wander. It’s noon and the sun is beating down on us with its scorching rays. We’re parched, our Camelbacks are dry, and five out of the seven kids need to go to the bathroom.
We decide we must cross the river because the trail has to be on the other side. Then, to make it more interesting, the kids convince me to take a shortcut to the river, because it’s like Indiana Jones, I’m told. So being the push over I was, we took the short cut to the river, though we didn’t know it was a patch of thorn bushes. The littlest kids crawled under the barbwire just fine, but the older ones and I got several scrapes and cuts, resulting in blood running down our legs. Perfect. We attempted to clean our legs up in the river, but when we got out our legs felt like they had been stung a million times by a swarm of bees. We continued our trek, the kids scared, scraped up and crying; in my attempt to cheer the kids up I epically jumped on a decaying log. Of course it broke, and my leg fell through the ancient bark. Then, carefully, I pulled my leg out of the broken log, and saw that most of the skin had been peeled off just like peeled potato. That really helped cheer the kids up. It stung, and I tried with all my might not to cry because I didn’t want to scare the little ones. It looked like something out of a horror movie, but after a while they all thought it looked pretty cool. Gross, but cool. We must’ve been wandering for at least six or seven miles now. I don’t know why we didn’t just turn around and wait, but the kids insisted on continuing our adventure. After all it was a loop and we’d eventually meet up with everyone.
Joe, behind his bad boy façade, is really a sweet caring twelve year old. Hesuggestted we say a prayer that we might be found. We all kneeled and Joe offered a plea for help. Almost instantly after we stood up we heard a faint cry from the other side of the river. We darted to the trees and peeked through to see who was calling for us; it was the kids’ lovely mother, coming to the rescue. She was followed by the three brothers and all five dogs. They helped us cross the swift, waist deep river, and cleaned up my leg. We were shocked to then hear we had been missing for three hours. With only a few frightened kids we returned to camp safely, and luckily, that was the last time I ever had to watch all the kids.





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