Then we started to make the climb. Up mountains, through the passes, constantly surrounded by trees or a cliff that gave a wonderful view of the mountain next to us. We were so close to the snow of Lake Tahoe. We had been to Tahoe before, but this was a new cabin for us. We were all excited to see the cabin, but more importantly, looking forward to searching for sledding hills the next day.
This was the first time when I realized I may have really pushed her into something she couldn’t do. But after a few minutes and some water, food and my best attempt at a pep talk we were back on the trail. Around noon after about three hours of hiking we came to a rocky clearing. We sat and ate some lunch. It was the first time had seen something other than forest for the last 12 hours and it gave us the motivation to keep going.
Luckily we have cold and hot water so I was able to take a long shower with hot water and it felt so good to be clean again. When we finally got to the bottom I was so excited to sit in a car with air conditioning, but then realized that we took my dad’s truck that does not have air so we had all the windows rolled down. I think that know since I have already hiked that trail I would be able to do it without having to stop so many times. After that I realized to never think ahh… this will be easy or nah I can do this really quick or this isn’t steep I am fine. Because that is the hardest hiking trail I have ever been on.
We went around the track a couple more times and each time we would hit the dip the little boy would try to get as close to me as possible in that tiny little seat. When the ride was over I unbuckled the seat belt and the young boy stood up and tried to find the closest way out. My friend and I were walking down the stairs to exit the ride when I heard “Thank you so much for letting him ride with you!” “You are welcome, I had fun and hopefully he did too”, I responded as we were walking away. I wasn’t able to stop talking about what had happened for the rest of the night. The reason for that had to be because I learned something.
One of us announces the groups and the kids are so excited and they all rush out the door when they are dismissed. The kids stand there at the gate asking if they can ride who they rode last year. And usually they can. We get all the kids on horseback and they are all ready to go so I go get my horse and we are on our way. I give them the rundown on how to stay back behind me when we ride.
“ Dad your phone is ringing.” He picks up his phone and walks outside and answers it. I didn’t know who it was but I was really hoping that it was his friend that we were supposed to meet here. He was finally finished talking “ Alright let's go get in the truck I know where we are supposed to go” “ Are you sure. Because if you get us lost I am going to kill you.” So we went on our way up to the lake where we were going to go fishing. I saw a bridge on the side of the road that went right over the lake and into a little camp ground.
Little did I know what an amazing experience it would be. I had been waiting for this day for a long time, and as my mom and I headed off to a nearby lake I could hardly contain my excitement! On the way, there was a lot of fog and it was hard to see, and when we got there it was only just dawn and there was also a lot of soupy fog over the water too. The boat ramp we decided to go to was in a small sheltered bay
As we pull up to the parking area at the start of the trails, I knew that our excitement during the long drive was worth it. I had planned this trip for months. Toiled over the minor details; the food, shelter, entertainment, parking pass, you name it. This was something I had wanted to do since I was just a little kid and now that I was here, it felt surreal. The sound of nature all around us, no signs of man besides our canoe and gear for as far as I could see.
Unfortunately I procrastinated with my preparation and did not start packing until the day of the trip. As I rushed to put my gear together I tried to remember everything I was told to bring. I remember asking myself “was this going to be enough?” I sat there looking at the meager amount of warm clothing I managed to scrounge up. “I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ve been camping so many times, I’m practically an expert” I convinced
I looked out the large windows at the rain soaked landscape, watching as I saw a world with major hills for the first time. The bus, which was sticky with heat, came to a stop in front of a hotel with the trademark Hispanic blue and yellows. My feet lifted themselves off of the large bus as I made way down. I followed close behind my parents up to the front desk, dragging my luggage behind me. They offered us drinks, a Caribbean hotel custom I would later find common.