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The Night I Thought I Was Going to Die
The Wyoming wind bit sharply at my nose as I was trying to keep up with the leaders of the group! I was only nine years old and my waterlogged snowsuit was dragging me down, almost to the point of falling off the snowmobile. It was getting late in the day and I was cold, tired, and about ready to run out of fuel. Was this it? Many men and women let alone children have died in the harsh bare mountains of Wyoming at night by getting lost and running out of fuel. Is this the night I am going to die? All these thoughts were flooding my head as the sun was setting, and it was getting harder and harder to see through the dense forest.
The morning air was crisp, and had a bite to it, as I stood on the white trailer ready to go snowmobiling for the day. It was five A.M. January the seventh. We were headed to the Snowy Range in Wyoming for an adventurous day out on the snow. This was the first time my father was allowing me to go with him and all his friends. I was anxious for the chance to prove I could keep up with them and be a man. I was feeling quite big and important.
The day was off to a booming start as we arrived at the head of the trail. My father had already loaded me with candy and lots of sugar that morning for breakfast. I ate it all, of course, wanting to prove I was a man and could handle it. The parking lot was bare and looked deserted. The powdery white snow had blanketed everything into a deceiving paradise! Little did I know the day was about to have a very dramatic change.
Even before stepping out of the truck we were all dressed and ready to go! The temperature outside the warm cab was negative twelve. Hardly being able to move in my coats, gloves, hats, and boots, I was barely able to swing my leg over the seat of the snowmobile! I was still loaded with sugar and ready to go. As we rode off it never occurred to me that it could be the last time I would see that parking lot. We were off and I was keeping up. I was ready for an adventure.
My father started out by taking me to some of the more prominently known sledding areas such as the hill climb, the rollercoaster, the widow maker, and the meadow. They were all very neat places, and looked as though God himself might have come down and kissed the pearly white snow sparkling in the sunshine. I loved every minute of it and was having a wonderful time. By late afternoon we were sixty five miles from the truck and were starting to get concerned about a storm brewing in the distance. We had worked our way into a secluded area of the range which can be very hard to get out of. The fuel was also starting to get low so the decision was made to head back.
With every mile that passed the temperature dropped and the storm got closer. It now appeared that we were being chased by a dark blue wall that covered everything in its path, including the sun! The race for fuel and sunlight was on! We were on a well marked trail but judging the fuel in our tanks, and the small amount of sunlight we had left, we decided to jump off the trail and cut through the dense thick forest.
At that point my body was going numb and my ability to comprehend things was not at a good state to be riding. Clinging to the snowmobile with shear hope and determination to live, I kept hanging on. At the point where I was about to fall off, the storm hit, with the force of a storm only Wyoming winds can muster up. The snow was flying in every direction making
it hard to see anything at that point. It seemed as though the storm was trying to suffocate us with its immense size and strength!
We had lost all hope of making it back to the truck now because two of the men were now totally out of fuel. Stuck in the middle of this raging blizzard, my father’s survival mode was activated. I do not remember many events that night because of the hypothermia setting in. However I do remember trying to keep my eyes open because I knew that I needed to stay awake and fight to stay alive! The next thing I remembered was waking up in a survival blanket about three inches from a warm blazing fire, and then everything went black again. My last memory that night was riding on the snowmobile of a rescue crew member and thinking to myself I need to get my hands warm, I need to get my hands warm, I’m so cold! Thanks to my father’s ability to stay focused and fight through the miserable cold conditions to save me, I am here today to write this story to you. I will never be able to thank my father enough for all he did that night.
In conclusion I would like to tell you some of the things I have learned from my experience, and would love for other people to never to experience. First of all, love and live your life! You never know when your last night will be. Second respect nature and her beauty. Like in the story the morning started out beautifully and it seemed like paradise but by afternoon it seemed as though Mother Nature was trying to kill us all! Respect her and what she has to offer. Third never underestimate the love of your father! He is there to help and guide you through life, even risk his own life for you to be safe. Last but not least you don’t have to always be a big man and eat all the candy.