My River Nightmare

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“I am never going near a river again” my sister said firmly, and for once, I agreed with her.  The trip was a nightmare.  Little did I know it would get much worse before it got better.  The shallow river was a deep shade of blue, the intense August sun retreated behind a curtain of grey clouds, taking with it the warmth it had provided for much of the morning.  Melancholy blew in with the chilled breeze, the already-strong current became increasingly furious as it tried to send us all in different directions.  Cobwebbed tree branches reached out as if to entrap us into this purgatory with no chance of escape.  Our path through the dark, narrow river was obstructed by the protruding remains of massive trees that once towered over the riverbank.  While the green leaves signaled summer, the heavy onslaught of a driving wind was more akin to an angry winter.   With the brisk wind came an intense feeling of regret, I regretted ever stepping into this tube on the shore of the river.

As the unseasonably frigid wind pushed us ever deeper into the river’s lair, the vigorous current tried with all its power to pull us away from one another.  I was forced to grab the handles of my cousins’ spinning tubes in a desperate attempt to stay in a group.  “We need to stay together!” my cousin yelled above the wind.  Dodging large rocks and branches, we managed to stay together until we came by a log stretching across much of the river.  The  obstruction was so large it disrupted the current of the river, creating a whirlpool effect around it.  I avoided getting caught in this dreadful vacuum of water, but others were not so fortunate.  My sister yelled “help, somebody help!” repeatedly, but the current rendered turning back impossible.  The few of us who had escaped the log’s current began turning out of sight from the rest of our group and drifting away from each other.  My cousin yelled “grab my hand,” but i couldn’t fight the current.  As I raced farther and farther from everyone else, I tried to grab onto the rotting branches in hopes to slow down and reconnect with the others.  My attempts to slow down were unsuccessful, and I sped uncontrollably down the menacing river.  This is the worst day of my life, i thought to myself.

After a long journey down the river alone, I was finally able to rendezvous with the others in our group.  The sun began to drift into view and the temperature began to rise.  The dense trees gave way to tall grass, the river became clear and we all began to relax.  We slowly drifted through the last half hour of our trip and I began to realize that the adventure wasn’t as bad as it had originally seemed.  I realized that, despite the frightening and seemingly-hopeless start to the journey, I had survived the experience and gained a new perspective.  I am proud to have overcome the obstacles we faced, and the saga provided a bonding experience for the entire group.






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