An outtdoors essay by a Post-Gazette student shadow.
When I went to a church summer camp in Ohio, we had to pick a
trip we wanted to go on. I picked the hiking trip. I thought it would
be fun seeing some of the nature around me. Also a few of my friends
were going as well, so I figured I might as well pal around with them.
It wasn’t until the day we went on the trip that I realized what I had
got myself into.
We loaded into the bus. I had my water bottle and was
excited as could be. When we arrived we took our water bottles to a
natural spring to fill them up, and played Ultimate Frisbee until
the man who parked the bus returned.
Then we started. We were told to try to keep up with the group and
stay no farther away then 5 feet from each other. I was out of shape, so I kind of struggled with that. I also made the mistake of using a flimsy gym bag instead of an actual backpack.
It was a nice hike though, shaded by high trees. We eventually came to a part that
scared me. The trail narrowed to a point where there was 3 feet
of land between the hill and a drop off and there was no guard rail,
either. They told us that if we fell, do not roll up into a ball,
rather you should lay flat. That way you could hit a rock with your
foot and stop or grab onto a tree limb. No one fell, so that was good.
We had been hiking for a few hours and had to descend down the
hill so we could stop for lunch. The chaperones took out some peanut
putter and jelly, and we had lunch and relaxed for a little.
I had finished before most of the others and took a while to admire a like of fairly descent size. Eventually everyone finished and we had to keep hikinguphill. It was getting cloudier, which was nice because it was about 80degrees that day and we were getting closer to the sun as we kept gettinghigher and higher. Then we had to once more descend -- someone had told me earlier that day that it was harder to walk downhill then it was to walk uphill.
We eventually came to a raging river that had no bridge. I had no idea as to how we were supposed to cross. Then it came to me -- there were two thick strands of
wire that people were using to cross the river. The bottom wire was
where you had to place your feet, and the top wire was what you held
onto. You had to scale across the river, which sounded pretty crazy
to me. Thank God I didn’t look down, not for very long, anyway.
Once everyone was across we started off once more. We ascended the final
hill, and at that point I was tired, as we all were, yet I was driven to
see the view once we reached the top. These hills were very steep -- almost steep enough that you would need to crawl in order to climb them.
We made it though, and once more I was sent to
the front. It was time to make our final decent down the hill.
The trip wasn’t over, though. Just as the shade ended there were fields of
ferns and unfortunately the sun had come out. We continued, and
as soon as we stepped into the fields of ferns the ground started to
feel soft. It was mud all right. My friends and I weren’t wearing
high socks, so our legs started to itch. Thankfully there was no poison
I had no idea what was waiting for me at the end of the hike. At the end was a giant oak tree and a plaque. Apparently a few years earlier some kids had run away and eventually gotten lost and died -- their bodies where found near the tree. I can’t recall how they died, but it was sad and apparently the park was donated to their memory. We examined it and were then asked if anyone wanted to continue to get the bus, which was a few miles away.
I stayed and sat by the creek. It was a small creek with a giant log that had fallen above it
and was wedged between some rocks. It had been an amazing hike.