Up North Retreat

By
“Josie’s on a vacation far away”, blares from the phone lying on the desk as Adam quickly wakes up and jumps out of bed and runs over to answer it. He looks at who it is before he answers the phone and what time it is, 3:00 am, and it’s his buddy Jason. Adam yells into the phone, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS!” The conversation then grows civil as Jason explains the plans for this weekend. He wanted to see if Adam wanted to go up north with some of there buddies. Adam gets excited about it but then realizes they want to go four wheeling and he doesn’t have a four wheeler that works. As soon as he tells Jason the bad news Jason tells Adam that he will call him back.
Adam tries to go to sleep again but to no prevail. The phone rings he tries to ignore it but then realizes he would just call back. He doesn’t make it to his phone in time. In a few hours he has to be to school and he hasn’t had a wink of sleep yet. The phone rings again, this time he answers it. Its Jason providing good news, he quickly tells Adam that he can use his brothers four wheeler and it will fit on the trailer with the rest. Adam tells Jason to give him the information he has about the trip quick and writes it on a piece of paper.
The paper reads:
*Picked up at 4pm on Friday
*Bring old clothes
*Staying at Jason’s cottage
*Mike is driving
*Bring your helmet and gas money
*Come home around 7pm on Sunday
*Bring some food
Jason then realizes that his parents aren’t very happy with him lately and the chance of going up north with the guys slips to nil. Another sigh is heard over the phone, and he tells Jason about his parent’s mood towards him going up. Jason under stands the trouble Adam is going through since they have known each other for many years.
Adams dad, Paul, is an alcoholic and is never in a good mood unless he has a drink in his hand. His mom, Sindie, has mood swings due to her stress caused by her husband, Paul. All of this makes a big trickle effect down to Adam. If Adam makes on wrong decision or says something that his parents don’t like he is grounded on the spot.
Jason quickly tells Adam that his parents will call Adams parents. His mom seems to have some persuasive effect on Adams mom and hope is returned to Adam as he hears what Jason said. Adam quickly yells again into the phone, “CALL IN THE MORNING” and hangs up. Finally he can get some rest for tomorrow.

In school the next day Adams curiosity about whether he can go is masked by his lack of sleep. His classes seemed to pause time and the teachers talked in a monotone voice that never failed at putting the class to sleep. During passing time he walked out to the commons to talk to his friends. The topic on the guys minds was the four wheeling bash at Jason’s cabin. The talk was about everything his parents wouldn’t approve and hoped they would never catch wind of.
Suddenly, a voice calls out from across the commons, “ADAM, I’VE GOT GOOD NEWS”.
Adam looks over to see who was yelling out his name among the loud chatter from every table. He scans the crowd and sees Jason pushing his way over to the table. He walks up to Adam with a grin on his face, gives him a firm friendly whack on the back and says, “I’ve got some news that will lift the stupid tired look off your face.”
Adam is quick with a witty remark, “I wouldn’t be tired if you hadn’t called me three times before 4am.”
“Shut up sally” Jason says before he reveals his good news. “I just got off the phone with my mom and she told me that your mom was cool with you going up north with us, so pack your bags chief.”
Adam was dumbstruck.
“Your ma must think I’m some sorta good influence or something” Jason says with a sarcastic grin on his face.
“Either that or it’s an act of god” Adam says as the first bell rings.
As Adam walks away one last yell come from Jason across the commons “You better be ready to go tomorrow!” Adam smiles and walks to class. Suddenly his day grows better, time flies, and his classes are seemingly more enjoyable.
When Adam gets home he confirms the good news with his parents. Jason’s information was actually legit. He goes up to his room and begins to pack his stuff. His mom walks up an hour later. She stands in the doorway just staring at the bed with Adams bag and four wheeling gear. She scans the room for Adam, he is sitting in the corner at his desk watching TV and cleaning his goggles off.
“That’s all you’re packing” she says confused.
“Why is it too much?” Adam asks not taking his eyes off his goggles.
“There is no way there are enough clothes in that one back pack for three days” she exclaims.
“Well I bet that will last me all weekend” he says.
“What ever you say pal” she says as she walks out.
Adam then evaluates what he has packed and grabbed a slightly larger duffle bag and emptied the backpack into it and grabbed a few more clothes from his closet.
In the morning Adam goes about his usual routine of getting ready for school; shower, change, eat, brush teeth. But today he does this with a happier attitude. He grabs his bags out of his room and throws them down the stairs in front of the door, turns around and grabs his helmet and goggles and brings them down and sets them by everything else. He walks out the front door locks up then heads toward his truck. When he starts up his truck he reaches into the glove box and turns his iPod on. He blasts his one of his favorite songs Hustlin’ by Rick Ross and flips the switch that turns up his subwoofer. Its one of the ways everybody knows who is coming over; the straight piped V8 and the subwoofer equal a deafening combination that is heard blocks away.
When he pulls into school he looks at his dashboard clock, 7:25, twenty minutes till class. He parks over by Jason’s truck and gets out. He sees that five of his friends are talking about there weekend activities by a big Chevy truck with a full load of four-wheelers. Five of the four-wheelers are on a large trailer and on in the bed of the huge truck. He strolls on over to them with a grin on his face. They start talking about whose riding where and if everybody brought the things they needed. The four who where riding in the truck were going to be Mike, Jason, Ryan, and I. Nick and Kevin where coming up an hour later because the needed to get a few more things for the weekend. We heard the warning bell and kept talking as we walked toward school. The day moved swiftly by but the last five minutes of school seemed to stand still. Jason was in my last class and our eyes did not move from the clock for the whole time.
We all met in the commons as we walked out Jason turns to Kevin and Nick and asks, “Your cousin can get that for sure right?”

Kevin looks over and says “Don’t worry about it.”
“Well we need a lot you know… we are there for two nights” Jason tells him.
Kevin ponders what Jason just said “You think six cases will be plenty?”
“That’s what I like to hear.” Jason says as he walks toward his truck.
“Right around four Mike is picking everyone up so be ready.” Jason yells back to us.
I head back to my house and throw my stuff out on the porch and double check everything I had packed last night. Everything looked good. I looked at my phone, it was 3:45. I went to sit on the chair that was on my porch when I heard a loud rumble, it was unmistakable… it was mikes trucks loud roar and his subwoofers bumping. I stayed sitting and waited till they pulled up next to my house. I grab my bags throw them in the bed and hop in the backseat. Jason is already sitting shotty, and we where on our way to get Ryan. Ryan was waiting on his porch as well and ran to throw his bags in the back. Once we where all loaded up, we hit the road and began the hour and a half journey to Jason’s cottage. We didn’t talk too much after awhile into the trip and we just enjoyed the music. The backseat felt like a massage chair from the bass which made Ryan pass for over an hour.
We pulled into the long drive way to Jason’s cottage and everybody woke up and got ready to get out. The driveway brought us all the way to the back of his forty acre lot and you could see the lake from the last hill. We gathered up our stuff and got out as soon as the truck shifted to park. We got all our stuff out of the bed of the truck and brought it to the basement and put it by the pool table. When that was all done it was back out to the truck to unload the four-wheelers. We put all the four-wheelers next to the cottage parked in an angle and moved the trailer into the middle of the circle driveway. We moved the bags to the bunk rooms and unpacked all our stuff before Kevin and Nick got there. We had awhile to wait till they pulled in so we just chilled out on the wrap around porch. We where sitting on the chairs with a view of the driveway so we could see them as they pulled in. They pulled in half an hour later and parked next to mikes truck. We went downstairs to help them unload. We threw the cases into the fridge right away.
Jason told them “Now hurry up and unpack so we can get a ride in before its dark.” And they grabbed there bags and went down stairs. He yells “Hurry up!” again.
Kevin turns around and shouts back “Shut up dude” and slams the door.
We all throw on our sweatshirts and get ready to go. We tooled around Jason’s land for ten minutes before we went and waited for Kevin and Nick. We park our four-wheelers and wait about another five minutes for them. When they walk outside we all started our four-wheelers and revved the engines.
As they walk out the garage I shouted over my engine to them “YOU READY TO RIDE LADIES!”
Kevin flips us the bird and starts up his four-wheeler and we all gun it down the driveway with Jason taking the lead. We whip out of Jason’s driveway with a huge cloud of dust. We rode the trails for a good half hour in search for a good mud hole, but the trails seemed to be dried up. We stopped for a smoke break next to a bridge over the Oconto River.
As we where about to start going again Jason said “Wanna turn back?”
Mike shoots back “You have enough, Nancy?”
“No, there is a swamp on my land that maybe fun to mess around in” Jason says quickly.
“What the hell are we waiting for then.” Nick says.
“Alright follow me I know a short cut” Jason says.
We all turn around and gun it down the trail. The short cut leads us to a series of large hills and soon hits an old railroad bed. We pin it down the long straight railroad bed and we get back in a quick hurry. As we turn down Jason’s driveway Jason takes us through a series of trials then down a deer trail into a large open ravine with a swamp and creek running down the middle. We all stop in a line along the ridge and look at the swamp. Jason slowly goes down and pins it through the swamp. We all go through it and make it out with ease. But the last person to go was Ryan; he decides to gun it down the hillside and through the middle of the swamp. He makes it half way through when the four-wheeler hits the deep muck and sends him over the handle bars into the mud.
He yells over to us, “You going to help or just sit there?”
Jason says to the rest of us, “Let’s have a little fun first.”
We all grin and start up our atv’s. We form a circle fifteen feet from Ryan’s four-wheeler with our backs toward him as Jason pretends to try and get him out of the muck. Jason looks towards me and mike and nods telling us to pin it. I grab my front brake and push the throttle. The tires start spinning and mud shoots up in a rooster tail high into the air and straight down on Ryan. As soon as Ryan saw Jason run out of the circle he knew what was about to happen to him. He jumps over to the opposite side of his four-wheeler to dodge the hail of mud with no avail. Kevin, Mike, Nick, and Jason are quick to join in the fun.
Ryan realizes he can’t hide from it and lowers his head and runs out of the circle yells, “YOU A**HOLES!”
We all laugh hysterically and let the mud fly at his four-wheeler for a few more seconds. Mike and Jason stay in the swamp to help get Ryan’s four-wheeler out and the rest of us head toward the edge of the swamp to watch.
Jason yells over to Ryan as he hooks up a tow rope “hop back on the turd you call a four-wheeler.”
Ryan walks over and says “ok, somewhere under this mud is a four-wheeler” and jokingly punches Jason’s arm. He scoops the mud off of the seat and gets on his four-wheeler as mike bumps up to the back of it.
Jason yells over the atv’s when I saw go give it gas… “GO!”
They all give it gas and start rocking the four-wheelers to get some traction. Slowly the train moves out of the swamp and out into the open field. We mess around in the ravine a little more and have a final smoke break and head back. The hill was steep and sandy which made it difficult to traverse but we all made it with ease. We head back through the narrow deer trail and out on to the trail that takes us to the driveway. We pull the four-wheelers in front of the garage and head in to change.
Just after we got all cleaned up it started to sprinkle out side. We all didn’t mind the rain because we knew it would mean better riding tomorrow. We sat down stairs and played some pool and crack a few beers. We got sick of playing pool and put the tennis top on the pool table and started playing a few games beer pong. Nick and Kevin where by the big screen watching the brewers sweep the cubs while Jason, Mike, Ryan and I where chilling at the bar playing some cards. We stayed up late drinking and then some people started passing out and the rest of us went to bed.
In the morning Kevin and I where the first ones up. I walk out of my bed room into the living room and see Kevin watching tv.
I sneak up to him and say, “You look like s***.”
He looks at me, smiles and chuckles out, “You don’t look much better”
“What does this kid have to eat?” I ask Kevin as I ransack the cupboards.
“Not much from what I saw,” he says back.
I look in to the fridge and find a load of eggs. “Want some eggs?” I asked.
“Sure do,” he says quickly.
I started to fry up a carton and a half of eggs for our crew. The smell started to wake everybody up. By the time Ryan staggered out of bed and sat down still half asleep, the eggs where done. We all gorged on our eggs till the pans and plates where clean. Then we all went in to the living room and rested for a couple hours. Then went got ready for another ride before we hit the lake. As we walked out into the garage and outside I started to laugh when I saw Ryan’s four-wheeler and when I walked passed I shook it and watched a shower of dried mud fall off in chunks. We all started to laugh and joke about what happened the day before. We all got on and went for a three hour ride.
We pulled down the drive way and blasted towards the cabin. We veer off of the driveway and down a narrow trail towards a series of jumps Jason and his brother had made in a large clearing. We go off the jump like a train then stop at the edge of the opening.
Jason looks at us and says, “Watch this.” He lines up with a jump and pops a wheelie toward the jump. He hits the jump and whips out the back end of his four-wheeler. We all do a trick to top the person in front of us. Kevin as the last one to hit the jump and tries do something “spectacular”; the trick wasn’t spectacular, it was the fall that was. He when of the jump and pulled a wheelie across the top of it and tried to do a nose wheelie down the backside. He had pulled it off but as soon as the jump ended he flipped the four-wheeler over. Everybody’s jaw drop as he bails off the four-wheeler to safety as his four-wheeler topples over.
A unanimous “OHHHH” was said as Kevin gets up to look at the damage.
We all walk over to assess the damage and give Kevin a hard time. We flip the Four-wheeler over to discover the handle bars where bent badly. We attempt to start it up and make him ride his crippled four-wheeler back to the cottage. We all cruise back and head to the lake behind the cottage. We all jump in and wait for Kevin to come. We do a little swimming and cleaning up before the sun goes down.
As the sun was setting we got the pontoon boat ready to go for a ride around the lake. We pack some coolers and a few snacks and pushed off and started our little boat party. Halfway around the lake with a few drinks in us we pulled along side a pontoon that had a group of girls in it doing the same thing. Jason and I had seen them once before at a fire his neighbor had awhile back but we never really talked to them. We started too talked then pulled into the middle of the bay and anchored side by side. We continued our boat party for a few hours then we parted ways after exchanging numbers. We head back to the cabin and continued our party in the basement. Jason broke out the beer pong table and after a few rounds I didn’t remember much. I went up and passed out in my bed.
In the morning I awoke to the smell of breakfast someone else had prepared. It was just what I needed to cure my hangover. We all ate till our stomachs felt like they were going to bust. We all headed into the living room to watch the packers play football. After the game, we started to pack our things and clean up from our party. Before we left we cooked some brats and burgers on the grill and ate dinner on the porch. When we got done eating we drove our four-wheelers onto the trailer and threw our bags into the back of the truck and did one last walk through of the house and beach. We all hopped into the trucks and pulled out of the driveway. The ride home was filled with jokes about the weekend and stories of previous parties and plans for future “up north bashes”. I hated the fact that I had to go back to my house and put up with my parents again. But I knew that I had a lot of friends who care and I can go to and get away from my household drama. This weekend really showed me how good of friends I have and on the way home I could only think about the next time we load up the truck and come back up for another up north bash. I think that’s what everyone was thinking about.





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