Hiking trip from Hell.

January 23, 2012
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Now, before I begin to tell you about my adventures, there are some things you may need to know. My sister, whom I like to consider an outdoor extremist, is the one accountable for this Narrative inspiration. Her name is Richelle or as the rest of my family calls her “Shelly”. She flew all the way to Alaska for an opportunity to scale the biggest mountains that the Alaskan wilderness had to offer. Always the goofy and fun individual of the group she likes to step into new waters. Unfortunately, sometimes she goes too far. Then you have me, a somewhat “average” person. Never was very adventurous however, I did always enjoy hiking, camping, exploring etc. Not the most physically fit guy but, I can get things done when they need to be done. Then there is Eddie and Steve. Eddie is my cousin, roughly the same age as me and Steve was Shelly’s boyfriend at the time.

Now is the packing and preparation chapter of my alleged adventures. My sister, being as acknowledged and educated about this type of thing than anyone here, she takes it upon herself to basically pack the car with anything imagined. From a water purifier to a portable propane grill, I knew we were going to be in good hands. In total she packed about 90% of the items we brought with us that weekend. I myself packed the bare essentials, one extra pair of clothes, a thin blanket to preserve space, and a pillow is all I packed. I am assuming my cousin packed a similar load compared to mine and as for Steve I believe he packed with my sister. Now that all of us were ready to hit the road, the fun finally starts. What not better to start off a Back Camping (Mix up Backpacking and Camping) then with a dreadful two hour car ride.
The seating arrangements for the trip was as followed, Richelle is the driver, Steve is riding shotgun, my cousin and I sit on two separate sides with all the luggage you could possible pack in the middle. The problem with that setup is that we; as in Eddie and I had little to no extra room. All of our personal space is being violated. Remember that “Elbow Space” you are told throughout life well, we were lucky to squeeze in a finger. Luckily, within the first half hour I would like to say at least my legs fell asleep then shortly after became numb; so that was good. If you are having trouble relating to what that means I am talking about that tingle like feeling when you lose blood circulation.
Now the upper portion of my ever so suffocating body, my arms are about to fall off. Not enough room for regulated blood flow, but lack of room to where my arms just stayed in “Asleep” mode the entire way there. The tingling pricking feeling had not gone away…at all, the entire way there. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all pain and suffering as I am making it sound. I am mostly pointing out the flaws of the car ride for dramatic effect and humor. We were all talking, having fun, and enjoying one another’s company.

Then, the car comes to a rolling stop; the engine ceases its sound signature. It is time to GET OUT OF HERE! As I revised in my head. I kick open the car door as if I am being released from a life sentence of prison. As I barged out of my sister’s car I almost fell and tumbled to the ground because it took a few seconds before I regained full functionality of my deprived feet. What was short lived happiness was abruptly shattered when reality hit me that we would now have to carry all of this s*** with us. If I can give you a short rundown of what that incudes; two large tents, four fold up chairs, bags of clothes, cooler of food with ice, propane grill, and countless amounts of other misc. objects. After my sister and Steve got everything from the car we discussed who would carry what and all that nonsense. I don’t particularly remember every detail but I can vividly see this image in my head. My sister and Steve leading my cousin and I down this hill; keep in mind this was a damp, muggy fall afternoon. My cousin and I are about 20 feet behind. They both patiently wait for us to catch up. I look to my right and I see my cousin in such a laughably position. Two fold up chairs in one arm, in the other about three bags of stuff. While wearing his thick furry coat, he looked so unbelievably uncomfortable. Sweating profusely from having on this coat, and putting in a lot of effort to get down this mountain!
Slipping always was a constant precaution. To try and make it easier for myself at least, I used the supplies to balance myself. Similar to those bamboo shafts that people use when they Tight Rope walk. It worked out alright for the most part, only fell on my ass once. Luckily for me it was one of the few dry spots under a fairly large tree. When we came into sight of the shoreline, I knew we were finally almost there.
Time to capture the setting, In front of us is an incredible view of this breath taking reservoir, in the beginning of fall. The trees which are starting to array themselves with colors and different shades. We are In the middle of a river valley with nothing but vegetation on the hills in the distance. After getting settled in for an hour or two all of us take a break and chill by our campsite near the water. This is where my sister decides she wants to swim across the river which is about…600 feet maybe? Also, to clear up confusion, the length of the reservoir/lake/river went on for miles. I am just stating that the width is about 600ft. Not in the warmest temperature of the year as well. Also none of us know what’s in the river, how deep it or if boats even sail in it. Of course though, with my sister being the extremist she is goes for it even after all of us said it was a stupid idea.
As my sister starts to swim out the bad feeling in my stomach kept getting progressively worse. I show enthusiasm though like the other two. Cheering her on, laughing and pretending it’s not dangerous at all! All of that laughter and joking is instantly put aside when I hear my sister start yelling. I get startled and try to focus on her halfway across the river. My heart rate skyrockets. I could make out, “Help…Hypothermia…”something along those lines. I’m looking around and telling Steve and Eddie just what the hell was going on. I look at Steve and tell him directly, “Go get her”. He dives right in and begins swimming. I look back toward my sister who I can see bobbing up and down in the water. I cannot make out what she is saying. As I am screaming at her to just hold on a little longer her head dips down. I wait…I wait one second, then two second’s and nothing. I am in silence right now, so I am not saying anything but I am thinking the worst at the moment. Then I see her head come up, and Steve gets to her on time. It was such a relief, just seeing him save her. As they paddle back, and my heart rate slows down to a calm rate I stand up to greet them as they come ashore. Hugging my sister and saying, “Idiot…” My sister was so cold when she was finally out of the water that her body almost gave out. She latterly made it back just in time. Then I give Steve a nice sturdy handshake thanking him in respect. The night digresses with all of us sitting by the campfire talking about the long days’ worth of experience, eating some snacks we packed earlier. The rest of the camping trip went as expected. We all had a good time and were glad we could have spent it together.

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