James growled in frustration and turned to his hiking partner. "Okay so this is your idea of fun? Come out in the middle of the wilderness and get lost?!" James hated being lost. They had no compass, no GPS, and the map had floated down river with half their food when their canoe had rammed a rock and sunk. Who uses old canoes like that thing? Well apparently this crazy girl.
Rani held back the comment she wanted to say about how she had been lost the entire trip, she doubted it would help the situation. "Think of it as an adventure?" She offered. "We can follow the river down. Make our own map? Lewis and Clark did it." She tugged at her ponytail with one hand, her light brown eyes showing concern. He was probably overreacting. This could be fun. Right?
James couldn't believe what he's just heard and had to check himself strongly from exploding at the young woman. "Uh Rani?" He started. "You know people die this way right? This is serious ya know? We're lost, my GPS is gone we have only half our supplies and only one sleeping bag!" Has she thought about what they were going to do? James wasn't an outdoorsman, and was mildy freaked out.
'This guy needs to read 'The Hatchet' by Gary Paulsen and learn what adventure is,' Rani thought. Okay, so maybe he was right, maybe the would die. Or maybe this would be epic! "I'm aware your GPS is gone, James," Rani responded. "But I don't see how hollering is going to help the situation. Rivers tend to led to people or a roadway. Let's follow the river," she insisted.
James stared at her. "I'm not Hollering!" he yelled. Even as a small part of his mind noted the logic in her suggestion, he reacted poorly to listening this crazy woman anymore. Turning he marched back down the hill towards the waters edge where they'd left their wet packs and everything they'd managed to pull from the river.
Rani couldn't help herself. Standing there, staring at his wet, irritated form as he begrudgingly retrieved their supplies a small chuckle begin to bubble up from inside her. It rose more and more, fighting to be released and finally she broke out into a hearty laugh. This would be how an outdoor adventure would go for the two of them.
James looked over his shoulder startled by an unexpected noise. Then scowled darkly up at the petite figure wracking with laughter. Despite himself, he could help but to smile slightly. Blast! When she smiled it lit up the world. James remembered why he'd agreed to come on this trip. Suddenly his anger was gone and he shrugged, smiling. "Fine you win!" He hollered. Let's go!" He pointed down river and began walking.
Rani nodded at James' turned back and begin to walk after him, still fighting fits of giggles. All said, it was a beautiful afternoon. The sun was merrily shining down on them and their clothes would be dry soon enough. The river provided any water they would need, and if they conserved rations they should be good for a while. Rani caught up with James, a smirk on her face and matched pace with him.
James glanced beside him as he picked his way along the riverside. "I'm not sure how far we've come, but I'm sure the others will wait at tonight's campsite
when we don't show up." They were on a three day canoe trip with the church group Rani attended. "So is this typical of what you guys do?" He nodded
towards the river. "Go out in the middle of nowhere and have near death experiences to prove your faith in God?"
~Grace & J. Lindsey Marshall
(Picture from Pixabay)
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