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A Trip to Mt. Washington
Becky, Age 12, Easton, CT

“Road Trip!” Gillian shouted as the three of us piled into the car. We were heading to Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and were going to hike up the bottom half. Gillian’s dad was driving us and planning to lead the way. Kasey and I were in the back seat, while Gillian was in the front. The engine roared as we made our way to the mountain of fun, or so we thought.

The trees and rocks sped past us for the first half hour, and then everything turned white with snow. The land glistened as the sun reflected off of the blanket of snow. Up ahead there was a magnificent peak poking through the marshmallow fluffy clouds. We pulled our car up to the lodge. Old bearded men were strapping air tanks to their backs, which they would need to climb to the top. We, on the other hand, were only hiking around the bottom which doesn’t require any air tanks.

We were bundling up when Gillian exclaimed,” I’m scared, there could be a wolf or a bear up there.”

I quickly reminded her ” That’s okay with me because I’m not scared of anything.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah stop bragging, not all of us are as brave as you are,” she replied sarcastically.

“She’s right, you know, not all of us think of spiders as friends,” Kasey added.

That was true; I had three pet spiders and a four foot snake. Most people are afraid of my pets, but not me. I love letting them out in my room to play hide-and-go-seek. My mom hates it when I do this, but I don’t care, it’s my room.

Back to reality; I wasn’t at all afraid to camp out on a mountain. Actually, I think it would be awesome to see bears attacking campsites and stealing food. This would be an adventure, something good enough to tell to my grandchildren one day.

We hiked through the trees, hoping to find the perfect campground. Cotton-tailed rabbits burrowed under pine trees gathering berries and nuts for the winter. The scenery was beautiful. Straight ahead was the best camping ground ever. It was plenty big, was surrounded by maple and pine trees, and had the most magnificent view. We ran towards it like someone else was about to claim it. I plopped my bag onto the ground and looked around. The ground was misty and had little tracks of animals that had just passed by. All of a sudden it got quiet, but it wasn’t one of those times when everyone bursts out laughing. This was serious. Someone was out there.

“Help, help!” a mysterious and very distant voice cried. All four of us spun in circles searching for the source of the noise. The faint screeching sounded like it came from a young girl.

“Oh no!” I shouted frantically. I paced in circles like a lion, waiting for someone to suggest what we should do. Finally, Gillian’s dad broke the silence.

“Come on you guys. It sounds like someone really needs our help.”

“Yeah!” Kasey exclaimed. Gillian shook her head frantically and gave us a frightened look as if we had suggested that she place one of my pet spiders on her nose.

“No, no, no! We can’t go out there. We could get killed!”

“Good point,” Gillian’s father said. “But someone may be hurt and we have to try to help them.”

“Fine,” said Kasey. “If Gillian is too scared, Allison and I will go alone.”

It took a while for us to convince Gillian’s dad into letting us go without him, but we did. We left with some food and ropes. We knew that the cries for help had come not too far from us, but it was possible for some obstacles to stop us along the way. We strapped on our hiking boots, gave some hugs and kisses, and were off.

We didn’t know where to begin, so we just used our best judgement and went in the direction of the cries. The journey started off smoothly over a bumpy but manageable path of rocks. We hiked through trees and over streams searching for the person in trouble. Sometimes we were silent, waiting to hear the faint noise to guide us. All of a sudden there was an opening in the forest. The trees were gone and there were no rocks in sight. The clearing was enormous. This was great. All we had to do was walk straight and we would get there in no time. I took a leap into the field and immediately fell right back onto the surface. This was not a field. It was a snow covered pond; a smooth, icy, slippery pond.

“Oh no!” I shouted. Kasey looked at me like I was crazy. She hadn’t touched the ice yet.

“The field isn’t a field,” I explained. “It’s a frozen pond.”

“What are we going to do?” She asked me.

“Just slide on your belly,” I said while testing out the idea. We slid for about fifteen minutes and barely moved anywhere.

It was almost like she read my mind when she said, “This is not working. We need another plan.”

“Maybe we can pull each other with the rope,” I exclaimed.

“Good idea! I’ll go first, and then pull you around and then you do the same for me.” she replied. First she swung me around with the brown splintery rope and I went flying. We did this for another fifteen minutes until we were pooped. We were only half way across the pond when we plopped down on the slippery ice. Kasey took out some thermoses filled with steaming hot soup, while I got out some rolls. We were just about to eat when we heard an odd noise. It sounded like an egg being tapped against the edge of a bowl. Oh no! Kasey and I looked into each others eyes with fear written all over them. The ice was cracking! I couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of this before; this was a life or death situation. We scrambled to pick up our knapsacks and other items in a frantic frenzy. I could see the crack traveling towards us at high speed.

“What do we do?” Kasey screamed with fear in her voice.

“All we have to do is run, I mean slide to land,” I shouted as I frantically jumped onto my belly and slid forward.

“But, we won’t make it in time,” she replied.

“We have to try. It is the only way to get to shore without risking more ice breaking,” I replied as I moved at high speed. I was expecting Kasey to glide after me, but instead she was stuck. She was floating on a small piece of ice. Fortunately, it was drifting towards land.

“Look! It’s a boat. Come join me,” Kasey shouted. I carefully slid to the edge of the broken ice and looked at my reflection. I had scratches on my forehead and bruises on my cheeks. I was a mess, but that did not matter now. All that mattered was that we were alive.

I leaped as far as I could. I reached the little ice raft with one foot while the other was drowning in the icy cold water. I quickly pulled out my leg that was now drenched in pond water and as numb as a piece of wood. Kasey wrung out my socks and snow pants while I made sure we were heading in the right direction. Once Kasey was done, we both kept an eye out for land. We floated and floated and floated until we heard a thud, we had made it to the other side of the pond.

“Whoa, that was close,” Kasey exclaimed while carefully stepping on “real” land. We gasped for air and listened to for the cries. While we were doing this I slipped on new socks and mittens to keep warm. Once I finished strapping on my gear we set off. The person crying “help” got louder and louder.

“I think the person is around that tree,” I said as I pointed straight ahead. We hiked faster and faster wondering if the person was okay. Finally, we approached an enormous pine tree. There she was, lying in the snow. It was a little girl with chocolate brown hair and crystal blue eyes that reflected off of the sun. The girls crying facial expression quickly turned into a big smile.

“Are you okay?” we asked the girl.

She just looked at us oddly and said,” My brother, Matt, and I were playing police man and I got put in jail. What do you want?”

“We thought someone was hurt so we hiked all the way here to save you and nearly drowned. The girl felt terrible and apologized. We started off on our journey back to the campsite. Luckily, we found a way back around the pond and made it there very easily.

When we got back, we explained that the girl was crying out because she was playing a silly game. We also described the whole journey to them while they oohed and aahed about how brave we were. Now this was and adventure that I would tell to my grandchildren one day.

 
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