The story continues…..
Now for the next hour or so hours I sat beside my beautiful girlfriend and we talked I can’t remember too vividly about what we talked about, but that isn’t important, well not as important as this trip. I was to be the only person in my troop to go on seven, yes count them seven trips; I skipped going one year because of summer school, but I went on the last four in a row; now it would make it five, and it made me feel proud in completing this strenuous task; to go on seven fifty milers. You may be thinking, what about Frank, John, and Paul’ Frank has been on the last four, but that’s it; John, the last five—he went on the one I missed; and Paul did the same as John.
See, there was the reason we allowed girls on our “Death March” this year; without the adults there would have been 6 guys going but with Frank having sprained his ankle, only five are going. He missed out on his sixth fifty-miler. It is getting aggravating to me to think about Frank anymore so I will go ahead and continue my conversation with…ah…Khristine:
‘I’m real glad that you guys let us hop along on this trek. This is my first,’ the one and only beautiful Khristine told me. When she spoke to me today, oh it felt like meeting her again for the first time. Ah, hey brain, get back to reality, she’s speaking to you.
‘Well when you only have six guys going, now five because of Frank, that bum, and your only choice is to quit for this year, we became desperate and thought of the only way for us guys to go, that being to bring you girls along,’ I replied staring into those wonderfully blue eyes of hers.
‘How come you didn’t allow us to come before?’
‘I can’t really tell you,’ I answered, trying not to get into any feminist arguments. Her and me had some hilarious ones but some serious ones as well, and I didn’t want to get into the serious one then.
‘Why not?’ She knew what I was thinking about, and she wanted to get it out of me.
‘It has caused too many argumental problems when we talked about this before and I don’t want that now, neither do you.’
Khristine and I talked for a long time. All around me, there were other conversations; all of them not as interesting to me. I think John and Paul were talking about hunting and the specialty knives they had for hunting. I told you they were weird.
After we finally arrived to Sequoia National Park, I jumped out of the car and inhaled the…well words can’t explain this. There were two things which enriched my days; the presence of Khristine around me and this—the mountains—the Sierra Nevada. Any mountains.
Just barely climbing over top the ridge to the east was the warm sun. it was cold up there at that time. I forgot how cold it got up there.
So, during this freezing cold morning, we emptied the cars of our packs and had a quick prayer for safety. After the prayer, we heaved the packs upon our shoulders and took off. There were a few who had walkmans and they put them on. I didn’t. I wanted to talk to Khristine. This is how our conversation went:
‘Yes I do have AP English next year,’ Khristine replied to my question.
‘How much do you know about Mr. Howard?’
‘John said that he’s pretty cool except for the fact that he continuously uses his dog and cat as examples for his class. Other than that, he’s cool.’ This John is not the one who went on the trip.
‘What period do you have Mr. Howard?’
‘I don’t know yet, I didn’t receive my schedule.’
‘I know, but I thought you might have talked with your counselor about it before school was over.’
‘No I didn’t,’ she said in a common tone. ‘What’s your schedule, Tom?’
‘I don’t know yet either.’
‘Didn’t you discuss it with your counselor before school was over?’
‘No. I just know a few people who did that and I thought you might of too.’
‘Tom, I forgot to ask you about this, did you receive the job at Sears?’
‘Yes I did. I’m going to be paid…uh…$6.75 per hour. Which isn’t too bad. I already calculated; if I work five days a week, I’ll have enough money for Cal Berkeley by next year’s Fourth of July. That is if I keep my grades up.’
‘I’m sure you will. I’ll help you out as much as possible on that. Okay. If you have any problems that rile you, just give me a ring.’ I smiled and adored her eyes when they met mine.
Then from ahead, I was in back with Khristine and one of the adults, came a loud roar. I cleared out three words from it: ‘Rush is bad!’ It was John screaming about a group called “Rush.” Apparently he and Paul agreed about music. Will walked faster to join them and shut them up.
I laughed and looked down. Khristine, right in front of me, turned around and said, ‘what a bunch of weirdoes. How could those guys be your friends.’
‘Did I ever say they were.’ Khristine had the how-could-you-look on her face and I laughed. She turned back around and continued walking.
After five hours of hiking, with a few breaks in between of course, we didn’t want to die on the first day, we stopped for lunch. I won’t go into the details of lunch, except that Khristine and I had some huge sandwiches her mom makes for her for school. Those are extremely delicious. We then left at about one o’clock from there and continued on to our destination, Thorn Lake! A lake supposedly to be a huge lake, but with this drought, it’s doubtful.
According to Will, who hiked here before, Thorn Lake was supposed to have a large island in the middle with a cliff on one side of it. I never jumped off a cliff before and I couldn’t wait for that.
Well, I didn’t have to wait any longer because after four more hours of marching through the wilderness, we arrived; not in the best conditions though. I dropped my backpack and laid on my back, my head resting on the pack. I gazed at the gloriously, luminously, tenderously, blue sky. Then Khristine arrived and knelt beside me. She looked at me and said, ‘Com’on Tom, let’s get the tent settled on the ground so we can start cooking.’
‘Aren’t we going to sleep under the stars tonight though?’
‘We are, but—‘
‘Incase it rains, I know.’ I arose and pulled the tent out of my pack. My tent was a three-man tent that only two people could fit in.
Typical. After we set up our tent, we cooked dinner, a few delicious mouthwatering steaks. And, after that, the two of us walked along the lake; with me mainly interested in that island; Khristine interested in the scenic beauty around her. We didn’t talk much, we just trekked along the lake. Along the way on our journey around the lake, we encountered a few cliffs, which we were forced to traverse a different way on. when wee reached the top of the cliff, we decided to just sit and gaze on the cool evening sky.
I had something inside me that I wanted to say to her, but it just wouldn’t come out; like that guy on the stupid beer commercial. After a few moments, she looked me in my eyes with a serious look. I couldn’t let this moment pass away, and I didn’t.
‘I love you,’ I replied in a cool calm voice that lovely cool summer evening. She replied simply by stating, ‘I know.’ Our bodies came together like magnets and our lips touched. A warm feeling swooned me from my feet and took me above Cloud Nine as the smoothness of her skin caressed mine. A high and powerful sensation caught me and I held her tightly in my arms like a baby when it can never shut up. There was a sweet smell surrounding her inspecting my nose and riling my senses. I couldn’t stand it, it was too good. I would never let this moment slip away.
Unfortunately, somebody else did. Eric or Thomas, one of the twins, came by and said, ‘I’m real sorry to interrupt you too, but Will’s got a campfire starting.’ Khristine and I fell back down to reality.
‘Tell him we’ll be there in about ten minutes,’ I answered him, also hinting him to go away. Eric or Thomas did go away and I turned back to face Khristine. ‘Where were we?’ I used that old phrase because I couldn’t think of any other on her with my mind on Cloud Nine.
‘Let’s go Tom,’ she said almost in a tone that said that was fun.
‘But—‘ I couldn’t think of anything else to say so I followed her.
‘Just savor this evening. I know you were swooned.’ I didn’t argue.