In the Summer of 2015, I had many visitors. Family or friends, they stayed either for a night or a week. My dad’s friends family, who lived in Singapore, came to visit us. Their family consisted of a dad, a mom, and a daughter named Inara (who was around the same age as us). They had planned to stay with us for 5 days.
One day, my dad had decided to take us to John Muir National Park, which was about an hours drive. When we arrived, we were greeted by a humongous sign. It read “John Muir National Historic Park”. This immediately got me excited for something. Not the trails, but the Junior Ranger program.
My sister and I loved the Junior Ranger program. It is a booklet you complete with nature related activities and when you turn it in, you get a badge. I think the main reason why we love the junior ranger program is because we have something to pass the time with and don’t have to look at the boring trees. When we entered the visitor center, the park ranger gave all of the kids booklets to complete.
“Yay!” I exclaimed, as I loved the program. “Now that the kids have the booklets, let’s go look at a trail to complete” said my Dad. We asked a ranger where the trails were and the ranger pointed in a direction. We headed over to the sign that read “Trails”. We had a hard time choosing a trail to complete. Finally, my mom decided to go for this one trail (I forgot the name). We started the trail, with me in the lead. The sun shined through the trees leaving little to no sun for us.
There were flowers and bushes decorating the scene. Around 30 minutes later, we reached the top. The trail wasn’t that hard, it was just long. The top was had a concrete platform with benches and a roof. There were windows to enjoy the view. Everyone else went to sit on a bench.
However, since I am the “awesome” hiker I am, I went to the window. It was a beautiful scene, with the sun currently visible. I thought to myself, “This is such an easy trail, I’m not even challenged, I bet I can do this with my eyes closed”. Little did I know the way down was anything but easy. The way down was a completely separate trail, which was completely unknown to all of us. The trail was steep and slippery. You could actually see the rocks slipping as people were going down. Being as arrogant as I was, I thought that this was still nothing.
We started on our way down, with me in the front, except this time, with my mom behind me. To my right was a rock wall, and to my left was nothing at all. There was a drop and at the bottom was a river. The river was loud but peaceful. The sun stayed, gleaming on the river. There were roots on the trail, which were kind of popping out. My mom told us to step on the roots and not to keep our feet on the dirt.
She had the hopes that none of us would slip. Once again, being as arrogant as I was, I would sometimes keep my feet on the dirt. I turned around to my mom and said, “Amma, I am not even keeping my feet on the roots”. My mom responded, “Don’t do that”. As soon as she said that, her eyes turned huge. She was looking down at my shoes.
It all happened in a flash. I looked down at my shoes and I saw it slipping. I looked forward for a root and saw nothing. Suddenly, my left foot left the dirt and went into the air.
After that, my right foot skidded forward towards the drop. My right foot reached the drop along with right foot. Eye closed my eyes, listening to the calming sound of the river and my heart beating loudly. With no delay, I was grabbed and pulled back to the trail. I opened my eyes, to see my mom holding onto my hand. I looked around looking at the view. Everyone else were staring at me in dismay asking, “Are you alright?” I saw the river, a place where I could have been.
I saw the sun looking straight at me, like it was laughing at me. The rest of the way, I was holding my mom’s hand and being careful, making sure I was only standing on the roots. At the end of the trail, there was a bench. This time, everyone was standing up and I went straight to the bench. In a while, we went to the visitor center to collect our badges.
We said the oath and got our badge. All three of us were super happy.Even though everything ended well, I was still thinking of that exact moment. My arrogance got me in trouble, and a consequence could have been death. I thought of how I assumed I was an excellent hiker.
I still have a lot to learn about hiking. I realized that the only reason why that trail was still open was because there were roots to stand on. I checked the bottom of my shoe only to realize that I had no grip. I made sure to get new shoes when we got back home. The most important thing I thought about was how my mom was there for me. My mom was aware of my reckless nature and decided to stand behind me for my safety.
She was paying attention to me the entire time and was able to have quick reflexes to catch me. Any mother(or father) would be ready anytime to save their children. The only reason why I’m alive is because my mother cared about me.