Personal Narrative: My Trip Research Paper

When it comes to spending time outdoors, my family prevails over all others. My dad sees every opportunity for a camping, hiking, canoeing, anything-outdoors trip and seizes it. Ever since I was old enough to walk, we have been traveling to visit national parks and hiking trails. I always enjoy camping with my family, but sometimes these trips don’t go as intended. This time, we decided to travel to Sipsey, Alabama. Briefer than our usual trips, we were only going to park, hike to a campsite, spend the night, then hike back to the car.

Our family had planned a grand trip, stuffing our car full of gear in preparation. Every detail was perfectly planned out: our camp site chosen, the trails to hike on, and seemingly every minute of the day accounted for. The car trip was extensive, and the boredom finally overcame me. I looked over to my brother, his eyes glued to a PSP with lights flashing across his face. Already forming an argument in my mind, I scooted over to him. “It’s my turn now,” I demanded. “Just thirty more minutes,” he said in a monotone voice, not even turning to look at me. You said that thirty minutes ago,” I pleaded.

Both he and I knew that I had already lost. He, being ten, and I, six, meant he wasn’t inclined to listen to me or answer my pleas. I turned back and continued to stare at the flashing of treetops through the window. Time dragged on as we stopped at rest stops and gas stations along the way. I tried again for the coveted PSP, but to no avail. We finally arrived at the start of the trails. Then, gathering our gear, we set out on our hike. My mom and dad both carried packs with the tent and sleeping bags while my brother had the food in his bag.

Without a bag weighing me down, I ran up and down the trail repeatedly, exploring every inch. The trail was rugged and strenuous, but we were surrounded by beautiful scenery. There were gnarled roots grasping upwards at our approaching feet while towering trees let the occasional ray of sunshine through the canopy. We also passed by the occasional stream and river, with rocks jutting up from its rushing surface. Despite the trickling of streams, everything was serene. After setting up camp and eating, I immediately plopped down in the tent and fell asleep.

Although the rising sun woke us early in the morning, I still wasn’t tired at all. The air was chilly, and a thin cloud of fog was drifting on the forest floor. The journey back thrilled me until I realized how uneventful it would be. The excitement of running forward to find the biggest trees and rocks had gone, because we were walking back the same way we came. Every turn brought a rock or giant tree I had already seen and climbed on. Thus, I took to trudging along ahead of everyone else, disappointed in the turn out of the day.

Indulging myself in picking up colorful rocks was the only way that helped pass time. The day seemed to last forever as we hiked back, and I was becoming increasingly bored. It was at this point when I was sauntering along that I found a concealed shortcut. We were approaching a river, and there was a hidden trail off to the left that couldn’t be seen from the other direction. Interested, I decided to investigate this separate path. I emerged from around a bush to see a log stretching across the expanse of the river.

My curiosity had paid off and I knew what to do next. Walking over, I questioned whether or not it was such a smart idea, then ignoring it continued. The log was covered in moss and appeared to be a little damp, making it a challenge I was determined to defeat. Shuffling forward, I slowly made my way across. I had almost reached the end when a shout emitted from behind me. My brother had finally caught up and discovering this path, decided to follow it also. Looking back at him, I lost my balance and fell. Miraculously, I managed to hold on.

The noise of surging water below was roaring in my ears while I tried my best to grip the sides, now wrapping my legs around the log. I was scared for my life and was alone on the felled tree. My brother didn’t make a move, then turned and yelled to my parents to come. Only then did I glimpse my mom hastily making her way toward me. “Just hang one minute! ” she shouted in a hoarse voice. Somehow she maintained her balance and managed to reach the place where I had fallen. Just as she reached down to pick me up, I could feel my hands slipping away on the slick moss.

Then, grabbing my clammy fingers, she was able to bring me over to the edge and set me down. Cold sweat on my t-shirt was now clinging to my back dirt from the log caked my garments, making the experience even worse. Even in the comfort of my family on solid ground, I still felt alone like I was dangling on the log. As my shaking finally subsided, I began to feel recuperated. After I was rested, the remainder of the trip flashed by quickly and it seemed like we were already home before long. After this experience, I now will always remember to hang in there when life gets tough, because it will eventually get better.