Day 2- Meet the Wolftons

Mr. Robert Wolfton was an interesting man in the least. He was Air force Strong, not terribly talkative, and- most importantly- my father. The camping trip would be the first and only time I spent more than five hours or so with my father that year. We got along alright. When I was a kid he was my hero but, as we both got older, we grew apart. The camping trip was really our one and only bonding time every year. Unfortunately, that meant we didn’t get along so well. It was pretty evident as we struggled to keep the canoe from tipping.

We both stayed pretty quiet at first aside from what I needed to know in order to paddle correctly. He was in the front of the canoe, I was in the back. I was getting about as paranoid as I had been with Willis, but I felt a bit more competent. At least my father wasn’t an eagle scout. Still, I felt like I was constantly doing something wrong.

It got worse when we kept turning three hundred and sixty degrees around. Every. Single. Time we came out of a set of rapids. As the angry grey sky finally let its heavy tears fall down on us, the tension in the air got even thicker. Once more we came out of the white water and turned around, putting us under the dangerous tree tops. Finally, he broke. He lashed out at me.

It of course, wasn’t like he was being abusive, he hardly even raised his voice, but he had always been good at ripping a person to microscopic size with his words. I just sat in silence, there was really no chance for me to respond anyway.

We then continued on our way, Dr.Radcliff eventually corrected my father on a simple paddle mistake. Shortly after, we stopped spinning around when we got out of rough water.

If it wasn’t for the increasing rain and sudden emergency decision by the Dr.Radcliff and Mr.Ashford to get out of the water, the situation would have been laughable.

Day 2- The Falls

“Are you sure that’s not it?” I asked, my head turned at an odd angle to look at the large structure. “Although, it does look a lot like the other rocks… They said there would be no missing it. It probably wouldn’t be too hard to miss that…” I muttered on, straightening back up as I felt the canoe tip to the side a bit due to my leaning. I knew for sure Willis thought I was a total idiot. I mean, he was a nice guy- real nice guy- but he was one of the youngest Eagle Scouts in America, and I was pretty much the village idiot.

“Let’s keep going. I think that’s what Rose and Violet did.” He replied, motioning down river. Then, without further ado, we continued to move down river. It was too bad to. We had to go against the current to get back to the rock we saw- it turned out I was right for once.

It was a nice little hike to get to the water fall. It wasn’t too long- even in water shoes- and the area was simply gorgeous. The waterfall was like nothing I had ever seen. It quite literally rained down from the rocks above, making the outcropping below slippery and hard to climb up. We couldn’t help but admire it for its simplistic beauty. “Why is it wet over here if the fall is-“Violet observed, right before the waterfall moved right over her, drenching her in freezing cold water.

“It moves? That’s cool! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a moving waterfall before!” I said, beaming as I stood with arms wide open to where I thought the water would be moving next but it, of course, moved the other way. I just laughed it off like usual.

We played in the waterfall like a bunch of little kids- at least all of the youth delegates and the two moms that were on the trip to. Most of the men stood back where it was dry- they were clearly too cool to get wet (really, they were just taking pictures and such). It was a ton of fun but, after about a half hour, it was time to get back down the river.

The water fall did a great job of keeping us distracted, but I could tell we all noticed the angry clouds beginning to build up just over the trees as we loaded up and hopped back into the canoes.

Day 1- Start of the Storm

It started with crimson and rain. Just a small gash on the back of my left hamstring. Nothing major. Nothing major at all. Even as the bright sun began to disappear behind angry, grey rain clouds, and dismal drops of water began to fall from the sky, I expected nothing less than a stellar week.

I had been looking forward to the hike all summer. Well, technically, it was a canoeing trip, but I just automatically called it a hike.

I looked down at the little trail of blood and shrugged it off. I had suffered much worse before. I had fallen a bit behind though, and had to listen to find my friends, all waiting for me at the end of the trail.

We all stood in silence for a moment, taking the sight in. The river looked low, the clear water moving swiftly through it.

“You can see the bottom, the water is so clear!” Ms.Young- one of the seven adults on the trip- openly observed.

Down the river a little ways, Willis was skipping rocks. His many experiences with the outdoors were made obvious as he was, by far, the best at skipping rocks.

The scene was so beautifully simplistic and happy, even as the rain got harder we ran around and had ourselves a merry little time. It was perfect, a great way to start off the trip. Even when we got lost on our way back to camp because we tried to find an alternate route, there were bright smiles all around.

It was amazing how a rag-tag group like us managed to function so wonderfully. We all looked so different- except for Ms.Young, Violet, and Rose who all looked like that could be related (especially since Ms.Young was actually Violet’s mom). We were all very different, but the one week we spent together in the back country made us closer than family.

Even dinner turned out well- despite the fact that we had the new kids cook. It was my third time taking a weeklong trip with the same basic group, but it was my first time ever canoeing. Still, I was an eager beaver, ready to get the trip started. I wish I would have stopped and taken a moment longer to appreciate my traveling companions, and perhaps even thought about the dreary consequences of a good rain on the river.