A Trip to Remember

October 26, 2012
By taylor cohen BRONZE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
taylor cohen BRONZE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

We had just loaded all of our supplies onto the bus. We packed our dry-bags, placed three of them into each of the big packs, put the canoes on the attached trailer and set off for our trip. My 11 friends, our 4 trippers, and I were ready for our adventures. The bus ride to the lake was approximately 4 hours long, so most of us got to catch up on some sleep. Finally, we arrived at the lake and unloaded all of our belongings.

We sat down next to the bus, each looking for a rock to rest upon, while our trippers brought out our lunch. The first day was the usual “box lunch” ( as they called it ) consisting of bread, turkey, ham, and cheese for sandwiches, juice boxes, multiple bags of chips, and two boxes of our favorite chocolate chip cookies. We finished every last bit of the food down to the last scrap of bread and put the canoes in the water proceeding to head out. Each boat had 1 tripper “sterning” or steering in the rear and three campers paddling in the rest of the boat. In my boat was my friend Lilah, my friend Jen and I. We paddled for 2 hours, pourtaging twice over land to reach the other parts of the lake. Finally we had reached our campsite by dinner-time. We unloaded the clothes packs, the axe pack, the tent packs, and the food barrels onto our site.

While the trippers began to cook our dinner over a fire we set up two tents. A six man tent for six and a four man tent for the other 5 of us. Unfortunetly, I was placed in the four man tent and I knew that the night’s sleeping arrangement would be very unpleasant. We unpacked our dry-bags and sleeping bags creating one huge bed for the five of us to attempt to share and sleep on later that night. The trippers called us for dinner and they served us their specialty dish: chicken stir-fry. It had to have been one of the best things any of us had ever tasted. Cooked and served right in front of us, that meal began the memories that we would share forever. After dinner we brushed up using filtered water from the lake, got changed, and settled into our different tents. The first day had turned out to be a success.

After the next relaxing day, later that night we crawled into our tents, and that’s where our series of misfortunate events began. My friend Jen was the last one to climb into our tent and when she tried to zip the door shut, it broke. No matter which way we pulled the zipper we couldn’t get it to shut. The 5 of us screamed for the trippers to help us. They used duck-tape to tape layers and layers to keep the door shut. The trippers told us that for the rest of the night we would have to use the other side of the tent to get out of. So using the other door, the 5 of us climbed out to go brush up.

I thought I had zipped up the door but really the zipper broke just like the other one had. I wasn’t paying attention so I didn’t notice and I walked down to join my friends at the edge of the lake to brush up. When returning to the tent, we all looked at the open door and knew this was not good. No one wanted to go in to see how many little critters had entered. It was getting dark so we all sucked it up and went in. Finally I fixed the zipper without using tape and we settled into our sleeping bags. That began the attack of the bugs.

One after another mosquitos came flying onto us from all corners of the tent. Every time we would kill one we counted out loud. After 45 minutes of chasing these bugs we came to a total count of 56 dead mosquitos and 8 dead spiders. We had hoped that was the last of them. When we threw these bugs out of the tent the zipper broke again. This time we could not fix it, so the trippers had to return to our tent once more layering duck tap on the door to keep it shut.

All was good until one of my friends needed to get out and go to the bathroom. We refused to let her out because it would mess up the tape and we wouldn’t be able to get it shut again. She fought us and eventually began crying. We finally decided to let her out as long as she would hurdle over the taped part of the door so it wouldn’t get ruined. Her body was half way out before the other half of her came crashing down on the tape ripping down it all. By this time the trippers had fallen asleep and there was nothing we could do about the broken door. The four of us that watched this disaster happened were so angry that we pushed her out of the tent.

While she went to the bathroom we grabbed all of our sleeping bags and decided that we would go sleep on the rocks by the lake because we refused to sleep in the claustrophic, bug-infested, small, sweaty tent. Sitting on the rocks we all began to get very scared because it was pitch black except for the glare of the moon. We were surrounded by trees on an island in the middle of the lake filled with tons of animals. We got into our sleeping bags, curled up into balls, and began trying to lie on each others laps so ourselves didn’t have to be closest to the woods. This did not go so well.

It led to girls crying over fear and fighting about where each of us had to sit so we were the same distance to the woods but no one would cooperate. It was eventually dead silent as we sat their in our own tears. Listening closely every little sound scared us but we still refused to go back and sleep in that gosh awful tent. I noticed the axe pack was lying behind us so as fast as I could I ran to the pack, grabbed the axe and sat back down in our huddle. We now had a little sense of security with the axe at hand.

But now, people began getting more scared, and bitten by mosquitoes, and falling down rocks, so we began screaming. “ Trippers, Trippers, Trippers, wake up we need your help.” The trippers surprisingly came as fast as they could with flashlights. They talked to my friends who were crying and calmed them down and convinced us to go back into our tent. We reluctantly climbed back in and the trippers re-taped both doors shut. When we were all settled in my friend realized she left her sleeping bag out on the rock but this time we refused to let her go get it. We had to make new arrangements to comfort everyone. After that whole fiasco of events we slow began drifting off to sleep.

We all woke up at about 7 am because the rising sun was beaming down on our tent making it hot as ever to the point where we threw everything off of us and fell back asleep. At 11 when we actually woke back up I looked around to see that my friend Jen and I were squished in the corner of the tent and I was on top of the roots under us. The only good part of that night was that I had managed to snag all the blankets during the cold parts of our sleep.

We woke up to see that our bodies were covered in dirt, there were dead bugs everywhere, and we were not in the same spots that we had started the night in. That last night was awful while it was happening but it is a memory that would never leave our minds. That next day was our last day on the trip and we spent it gorge jumping into pools of water, eating amazing foods, swimming across the lake, laying out tanning, and relaxing together. That night was a normal night and we fell asleep easily because we were so tired from the night before. The next day we packed up all of our belongings, loaded the canoes and began paddling to the site where the buses would pick us up and take us back to camp. We could not stop telling the story of our misfortunes that happened two nights ago. They now seemed so funny to us. And still today my friends and I reminisce about the fun we had together on that canoe trip and look forward to the crazy events to come.

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