The Hiking Disaster!
RV. Just say the word, and I'm instantly flooded with memories. A few years ago, I went on an RV trip around Washington with my family and another family, and it provided us with hundreds of unforgettable memories. One experience I will never forget was our hike. "Well, that was a nice breakfast," my dad said as we followed him out of the restaurant. Our family and the Orlandi's, the family joining us on our RV adventure, had just finished breakfast, and were discussing how to spend our day. "Well," Mr. Orlandi began, "there's this nice little trail through the woods that leads back to our RV park. Let's explore that." All parents nodded approvingly, while the kids looked at each other, dreading it already. I wasn’t a big fan of hiking, but I knew I couldn’t change the parents minds. It seemed all the kids shared my sentiment. Little did we know our journey was about to get much worse. We all followed Mr. Orlandi across the street and into the lush green woods. Together we were twelve, four adults and eight kids. It was my parents, Mr and Mrs Orlandi, Vittorio, 15, Maria thirteen, me, I was twelve, my eleven year old brother Marco, Lucia Orlandi, also eleven, Niko, my nine year old brother, and finally my sister Eva and Sofia Orlandi, who were both 7. Mr. Orlandi led us through the woods. Here in the Olympic Peninsula near Seattle, it rained a lot, and it showed; all the vegetation was bright green and looked very healthy. "Oh my God..." my brother Niko began, " look at that tree!" We followed Niko's gaze. In front of us stood an enormous tree, far bigger than any I'd ever seen in my life. A small, worn down sign in front of it said, "World's largest spruce tree." Listed on the sign were its dimensions. It's trunk's diameter was 18 feet, its circumference was 58 feet, and it’s height was 191 feet. Woah. “Picture!” my dad exclaimed. This was his signal for us to line up and pose for his camera. He found it necessary to take a picture at every...possible...moment. It got extremely annoying. After we took the picture, we continued on the trail. My legs started to get tired from hiking around tree roots and up steep hills. It didn’t help one bit that I was wearing flip flops, and that my calves were covered with dirt and leaves. I noticed that the rest of the kids began to look uncomfortable as well. “Are we almost finished Dad?” Maria asked, with a trace of annoyance in her voice.
“Uh,” Mr. Orlandi began, "Yeah, I think…" Just then thunder rumbled above us. "Oh no…" I thought, as the sky was slowly taken over by black clouds. "Okay!" Mr. Orlandi exclaimed, with forced enthusiasm in his voice, "I think it's time we head back, no?" All the kids nodded eagerly, checking out the sky once in a while. I was more than excited to be heading back, and was scared that it could start pouring any second. We continued on the trail. Marco, Vittorio, Lucia and I ran ahead, eager to get back to the RV park before the rain came. We came to a fork in the trail. "Uh, let's just go right," Vittorio said, oblivious to the fact that we were way ahead of the rest of the group. for some reason, we assumed Vittorio knew his way, and followed him. 15 minutes later, Vittorio realized that we were alone, with no adults. The rain cloud was right above us, and I knew any second it could start pouring. "Oh shoot," Vittorio muttered, "Where's everyone else?" He led us back the way we came, all the way back to the fork. I began to get worried. What if we never found anyone? What if we got lost? Luckily, once we got back to the fork, Mrs. Orlandi was there waiting for us! "Vittorio!" she exclaimed, with both frustration and relief in her voice. "Why on earth would you run ahead, especially in a fork!" "I thought you were all behind us!" he exclaimed, "I had no idea we were so far ahead. I'm really sorry." Mrs Orlandi continued searching through her purse saying "It's fine, it's fine," as she pulled out her iPhone and began to call the others to inform them we were found and safe. "You're kidding," she said, staring at her phone's screen in disbelief. "I don't have any service. Just then, it began to rain. Not just drizzling, but POURING. "Is this actually happening?" I thought to myself. We were lost in the middle of unfamiliar woods, with no cell phone service. Could it get any worse? I began to get really scared. Would we ever make it out of these woods? ...
After a very long hour later, we hadn’t made any progress. If anything, we were even more lost, and thoroughly drenched as well. “This is HOPELESS!” Lucia exclaimed. She was always the dramatic one. Just then, as if on cue, a man stepped through the trees and in front of us. He was wearing a raincoat with the hood pulled up, and had a beard. “Are you Helena Orlandi?” he asked Mrs. Orlandi. “Yes...” she began, with a confused expression on her face. “Thank God! We were about to send a search party out. The rest of your group has been looking for you. I’m the Forest Ranger, by the way.” said the man. “Oh my!” Mrs. Orlandi began, just as my dad and Mr. Orlandi came out from some big bushes on the side of the trail. They were completely soaked and did not look one bit happy. "WHY DID YOU ALL GO AHEAD?!" Mr. Orlandi yelled, clearly frustrated. "Do you have any idea how long we were searching for you?!" We all looked down in shame, not sure what to say next. The two fathers began to walk, so we all followed. "Thank you so much for your help," my dad said to the forest ranger, extending his hand to shake his. "We really appreciate it." "No problem, glad I could help." the ranger said in return. We continued on the trail, exhausted and soaked.
Fifteen minutes of torture later, the trail begins to look familiar. "Oh my God..." I begin, as I start to see the shapes of RVs through the trees. I started running. I had never been so happy to see an RV in my life. ~ Our experience hiking will always be remembered, and we now look back at it and laugh. However, I have no interest whatsoever in going on another RV trip again in my life, and this was one of the many instances of "roughing it" for which I have had my fill.