Monday, May 31, 2010

Over the mountain, part four

This is the story of my journey over a mountain when I ran away from home at 14 years old. If you are just hopping into this, you might want to read parts 1-3 to catch up.

I paused in the trees above the rock slide to empty my shoes. Sharp rocks got into them during my excruciating climb. Once I did that I surveyed the grounds ahead of me. No path to be seen, so cross country I would go. I had to squeeze between some of the little trees because the cluster of them grew too close together. In ten or twenty feet, I came out of them and could see an array of hills going upward. Huge rocks and brush oak dotted the mountainside.

Brush oak, what is that anyway? It's a twisted and gnarled tree-like bush. It grows kind of like a giant bonsai tree. Ahead of me lay a literal forest of them. They weren't thorny or sharp or dangerous. But they were interesting to look at.

I started my climbing hike. I picked out large rocks or formations above me as stopping points and didn't stop until I made it to each one. At each point I paused and gazed down the mountain. I marveled at the incredible view. At one such stopping point, with a long way to go yet, I looked down and saw the helicopter.

I later learned that it might have been patrolling for me. Everyone below was in a tizzy. My little half sister found my note and took it to my stepmother who called Dad. The helicopter didn't climb up toward me, but stayed at one level down by the base of the mountain. As I looked down at it, I couldn't be sure of its purpose, but I had no intention of being found.

By this time, I should mention, my pants were mostly dried out. That's a good thing, because the mountain still had plenty of snow at the top. I started coming across it in wide patches. In that, I finally found a trail. The fact that I no longer had the stream to drink from also started to catch up with me. So what did I do for water next? I ate snow. I didn't even think about the dangers of dehydration. I was just lucky enough to think of eating snow because I was thirsty. I got hungry too, but wanted to save my food.

You might be wondering if I at least used the smarts to take a jacket with me. I did. I put my feet on the top of the mountain without any more perils. I looked down and raised my hands up over my head and yelled. From the peak I stood on, the weather station crested another peak far across. I thought about going over to look at it, but decided against it for chance of being caught.

I know I told you I would let you know in this part if I got into more trouble. I did indeed. You see, I made to the top of the mountain at this point, unscathed. I still had to travel down the other side.

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