Hey Internet! So last Tuesday I told you the first half of my first (and only) camping experience. I’m back this week to fill you in on the second half!
So, when we left off, it was me, my friend Jackie and Weather Boy, a kid I don’t really get along with. Now, to understand the story that is about to unfold, you need to understand the root of my conflict with Weather Boy. Weather Boy and I are both very stubborn. He is very “follow me on an adventure! I’m not going to tell you where we are going or what I have planned, but you better come with me because if you don’t I will badger you until everybody wants to punch EVERY ONE.” On the other hand, I am very “don’t tell me what to do! What are you planning? I don’t trust you enough to follow you blindly into the wilderness. For one, you have poison ivy ALL OVER YOUR FACE and I don’t know enough about nature to ensure I don’t meet the same fate and CLEARLY you can’t be trusted to know because you have POISON IVY ALL OVER YOUR FACE!” Our mutual friends, like Jackie, are very “I like adventures! Might as well go with you. I ve been in nature before and I know what poison ivy looks like and am not too concerned about anything really.” Needless to say, I am often out voted, mostly because if I resist Weather Boy too much he will badger all parties involved until everybody wants to punch EVERY ONE. What I am saying is I’m a saint people. Exhibit A:
Jackie, Weather Boy and I waved to our friends as they pulled away from the campsite. I suggested that we leave too because camping was obviously over. But Weather Boy would not have it. Apparently we did not explore the area enough the day before and he would not be satisfied until we ventured into the wilderness. Since I was living on very little sleep, I did not have enough strength to argue with him. This will be serving as my excuse for the rest of this story.
Despite the fact that I was CONVINCED I was going to die of the poison ivy, and the fact that I don’t DO nature, we ventured. Now when I say we “ventured into the wilderness” I’m not talking a hiking trail. Weather Boy doesn’t seem to believe in those. I am talking off the trail, through the woods, and probably head first into a poisonous plant.
First we went down a very steep hill. Like so steep I was pretty sure we were all going to stumble to our deaths. But even if we didn’t, it wasn’t going to matter much because there was no way we would be able to climb back up the hill, especially when it was covered in mud from all rain the night before. So as I was contemplating my future stuck on the wrong side of a hill, never being able to return to my car or my dorm, Jackie was beginning to itch… Then she was beginning to burn. She was clearly having an allergic reaction to something we were walking through and her death was imminent.
Being the AMAZING and SAINT LIKE friend I am, I saw a golden opportunity.
“Oh well. Time to go home. Jackie is suffering. We must leave.”
Weather Boy disagreed.
“We would have to walk back through whatever she is allergic to in order to get back to the car. And we aren’t done adventuring. Let’s just walk in this creek until we get to a path,”
This is not how I wanted my golden opportunity to turn out.
But I was tired, and somehow, I am still fuzzy in the details, we ended up wading through a creek. And then the creek turned into a stream. And the stream stared getting a bit deeper. And we started having to climb over logs and things.
At one point Jackie got stuck on a log above the stream, at about chest height. She was too afraid to jump into the stream that was still only a few feet deep, so I suggested the only solution:
“Jump into my arms!”
“But what if you drop me?!”
“I won’t drop you!”
“What if we fall?”
“Then I will land first and cushion your fall”
“I will sqwash you!”
“You will not! Just jump into my arms!”
And she did. And for one glorious second it appeared that we had done it! She had jumped into my arms and I had caught her and remained upright because I was strong like bull!
And then we fell into the stream. Because I am decidedly NOT strong like bull. The fall didn’t hurt, but it did mean that both Jackie and I were COMPLETELY SOAKED.
So we continued on, the stream getting deeper and deeper until it became very clear that we were headed towards the river that ran through the campground.
“Guys. That is a big river. We can’t cross it. We need to turn back.”
Weather Boy disagreed.
“We’ve come too far. The quickest way back to the car is to cross the river go up the hill. You want to go back to the car, don’t you Liz? I will lead the way across the river.”
And I was very tired.
And that is how I found my self CLIMBING OVER A BEAVER DAM AND INTO A MAJOR RIVER.
Immediately I knew we had made a huge mistake. Other then the fact that I had just CLIMBED OVER A BEAVER DAM, this river was far too deep and too fast for people to be crossing it. Weather Boy, always one to play the adventuring hero, crossed the river first, you know, to “make sure the river bed didn’t suddenly drop off.” BECAUSE THAT IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS.
As we got farther and farther into the river, it got deeper and deeper. It was now up to my chest, and It was becoming harder and harder to keep my footing. Jackie and I were clinging to each other trying to ensure that we don’t get swept downstream, but the river seemed to be getting stronger and it was getting harder to hold on.
This is about the time that all the news stories I’ve ever seen about people falling into rivers and drowning started playing in my head on repeat.
The water now up to my shoulders, Jackie could no longer touch the bottom. I was doing my best to plant my feet for the both of us, but as we have already learned I am weak. Soon Jackie was slipping trough my fingers (literally) and screaming “Liz! I don’t want it to end this way!”
“I can’t hold on!”
“I don’t want to die this way!”
“Me either! Jackie! NOOOOOO!!!!”
And this is when I pulled a Kate Winslet. I let go. I TRIED SO HARD not to let go. But I just couldn’t hold on any more. And in that moment I KNEW I had failed my friend. She was going to die and it was going to be my fault. (Well TECHNICALLY it would be Weather Boy’s fault, but that didn’t really make me feel better).
But somehow, MIRACULOUSLY, I managed to propel myself forward just enough to grab her again and plant my feet as hard as I could. Weather Boy, by the way, was no help with any of this. (I think he found it all very entertaining)
Anyway, we were barely HALF WAY across the river and I was positive We would end up being one of those cautionary tales my mom always told me that CLEARLY DID NO GOOD.
But somehow, some way, DEFYING ALL NATURE, Jackie and I made it to the other side.
And this is the point where Jackie and Weather Boy LOST THEIR EVER-LOVING MINDS.
“That was kind fun! Lets drift down stream!”
WHAT THE WHAT?!?
They were clearly in shock. So I stayed on the banks and they drifted in the shallows for a while.
And then it was time to climb up the steepest hill in the world. No path. Tons of mud. Soaking wet shoes. It. Was. Awesome. And by awesome, I mean that I seriously considered pushing Weather Boy down the hill to his death. But since I’M A FRACKIN’ SAINT PEOPLE, I refrained.
After that I made us all change into dry clothes in the parking lot. (Weather boy was not pleased about this but it was my car, so he can suck it).
So we FINALLY headed back to school, where I promptly took an extra long shower (complete with my converse – it turns out river beds are real gross.)
Then I told my roommate about the river and she promptly FLIPPED OUT because rivers are apparently VERY dangerous. Little late for that life lesson, old roommate, little late.
And that is the end of my very first camping story. I told you it was a doozy. Do you have any fun camping stories Internet?