by Armando, Age 13
, Grade 8, Somis School, Somis, CALIFORNIA USA
Teacher: Ms. Gass
Chapter 1: Time to go
¨Let's Go,¨ I shouted.
¨Are we all loaded up?¨ asked Mason.
¨Yes,¨ I replied.
We started on the the road into the forest. The trees were so tall they were towered like skyscrapers. The vibrant colors seemed to burn the inside of my retina. We traveled deeper and deeper into the forest until we came across some logs blocking the road.
¨We need to move those logs in order to drive through,¨ I said.
¨Alright,¨ said Mason.
¨On three George ready 1… 2… 3….¨ Mason shouted.
¨There we go,¨ I said.
We continued on to the road into the Humboldt forest. We heard the engine of the car drive across the rocky road. As the water trickled down the tall, redwood trees because of all the fog we had trouble seeing where we were heading. As we drove we saw squirrels running from foxes and coyotes. We traveled for about 30 minutes into the forest. Mason and I were spending the weekend camping at Humboldt forest. We finally reached the area where we were going to stay. It was quite amazing to see the beautiful, yellow birds fly around the camp.
¨Let's unload everything then we can scope out the area,¨ I told him.
¨Let's get the tents off and all the supplies first,” he said.
We continued to unload everything and setting it up after we set everything up. We had lunch; it was about 12.00 P.M.
¨These are some good tacos,¨ I commented.
¨Yeah they are,¨ he said.
¨We should go hiking after we are done; maybe we can see some ani…
¨WATCH OUT GEORGE!!¨ I shouted.
¨What's the matter?¨ he asked.
¨There is a wolf in that bush; I just saw it run in there! get away from that bush,¨ I replied.
¨That's not possible; there ain't no wolves around here,¨ Mason said.
Mason was a very reflective thinking 15 year old. I was 3 years older than him. We grew up in California. We had been living in Oakland, California since I was 5 years old.
¨Lets co on a hike, maybe we'll see that wolf again,¨ I told him.
¨Sure, let's go.¨ Mason said.
We took a rocky trail. We walked for about twenty minutes.
¨I hope the camps ok,¨ said Mason in a very worried way.
¨It'll be fine,” I replied, “We're not far from it,¨ I told him.
¨Alright, whatever you say,¨ he answered back.
We enjoyed the smell of flowers growing all around us; they were bright and colorful. We smelled the humidity of water nearby. It was about 5 o'clock when we came back. We had seen a waterfall near the area, but we didn't stay for long. It was time to eat. After we ate some cooked carne asada, we headed into our tents. We told stories in our tents. Then, we headed to sleep because we were really tired.
Chapter 2: The Bad News
The next morning we woke up at about eleven o’clock. We slept so late, the sunlight coming from the top of the tent shining in my eyes woke me up.
¨Well we better have breakfast,¨ I said.
¨Yea,¨ he said.
After we had breakfast, we went bird hunting. We were caught so much that by the time we came back it was about 3 o'clock, and then we started to look at some lizards that were in a tree. We played some games, and the time passed. It was time for dinner.
We ate some of the carne asada left from earlier, and we had some juice. Afterwards, we ate a kind bar.
¨Well it's almost time to go Mason,¨ I told him.
¨Yea it is,¨ he said sadly.
¨I better start the Jeep and make sure it’s up and running,¨ I told him.
¨Alright,¨ he said.
I walked over to the Jeep, grabbed the keys, and then tried to start it.
¨Uh oh the car's not starting!¨ I shouted.
¨What??? Try starting it again,¨ he Replied anxiously.
¨That's what I am doing, but the battery seems dead,¨ I said.
¨Should we call for help?¨ he asked.
¨No, we need to remove the battery and find a way to give it some juice,¨ I told him.
We began to look for some emergency fire starter kits to see if we could find a way to fix the car battery. Nothing seemed to work. All the things we had were useless and we were soon running out of food.
¨Great. This is a great vacation; we come out and have fun, then this happens. How are we going to get out of this?¨ George exclaimed.
¨Calm down and relax yourself; we will find a way to get out of this,¨ I told him.
¨Didn't your father teach you anything about fixing cars?¨ he asked.
It shocked me to hear the word Father. I was a fatherless man for 2 years already.
¨I don't want to talk about him George,¨ I told him.
¨Oh sorry,¨ he apologized.
¨It's alright,¨ I said.
¨You know how I feel about my father passing away,¨ I said sadly.
It tore me up to think about his father passing away from cancer. We continued looking for some ways to possibly repair the battery, or even find a way to get help.
Chapter 3: Snakebit
¨Did ya find anything yet?¨ said George.
¨Not yet, perhaps if we try finding a place with signal and use our phones,¨ I told him.
It was about 7:00 P.M. and we were about to go on a night hike to try and find signal and be able to call my friend Benny who lives out in L.A. He's been my friend since high school. Although I wasn't good at school, I always enjoyed going to the same class he was in. He's now a full time mechanic and enjoys fixing and modding cars. He now owns a car garage and I visit him once in awhile. We were about a quarter of a mile away from home, and the darkness got me on the lookout making sure we were safe.
¨I'm getting kind of tired, can we go back now?¨ he asked.
¨We just got here. We can go back when we…”
My words got cut off. Next thing I knew a snake popped out of a tree. STRIKE! The snake stuck his fangs into George's right arm.
¨Ahhhh,¨ he screamed.
He had screamed so loud my ears tore in half like broken glass.
¨Are you ok?¨ I asked.
¨Do I look ok? I just got bit by a snake,¨ he told me.
I stared at the wound, hoping I had healing powers like a doctor. The snake that had bitten was a king snake, not venomous. It had really small fangs.
¨Don't just stand there, do something. What snake was it?¨ he asked.
¨It was a king snake, non venomous.¨ I replied.
¨That's good, but there's definitely blood flowing.¨ He told me.
Blood was flowing from his arm as fast as lava flowing down a mountain from a volcano.
¨We need to find something to stop the blood from flowing,¨ I told him.
¨Yeah, that big leaf might work, and I have some string you can use in my backpack,¨ he said.
I began to tear the leaf off the tree. I reached in his backpack to grab the string he had.
¨There's a water bottle here you can use to clean it,¨ he told me.
¨Okay, this might hurt a little, but it will be worth it,¨ I said.
¨Alright then,¨ he said nervously.
¨Here we go! I'm going to pour some water on it first, ready?¨ I asked.
¨Yes,¨ he said softly.
I began pouring the water on his arm until all the peck of dust and blood was off.
¨Ouch, that burns a bit,¨ he said to me.¨
¨I'm going to bandage it using this leaf, then tie it,¨ I told him.
¨Okay, by the way, umm are you a doctor?¨ he asked.
¨Not really, I just had my father teach a couple of survival tips,¨ I said sadly remembering father had died.
¨Oh, sorry to bring your father up,¨ he said.
¨It's alright George.¨ I told him.
I began to bandage and tie his arm. Thinking about father was not easy. That made me want to punch a tree and rip the leaves off of it, but I knew I couldn't do that.
¨Alright, let's go now that your arms bandaged up. We can continue to look for a place where we can get a signal,¨ I told him.
¨Okay,¨ he replied.
We had a limited amount of battery for our phones, so we could only turn them on when we wanted to check for signal.
¨We didn't bring any first aid kits. We left that at camp, so we got to try not to get bit again,¨ I told him.
¨Sounds like a plan,¨ he said.
Chapter 4: The Attack
It was about 11:00 P.M. We had not gone to sleep because we needed to a get signal. Afraid that our flashlights were going to run out of batteries, we continued into the darkness of the forest hoping we would find a signal. I knew there was a signal because of the fact that my friends have camped in different parts of the forest. The reason is that part of the forest is at the level where there are less trees and more signal. George was nervous about camping since this was his first time. I had gone camping three times before this one and knew what I was coming to. Sometimes you face troubles out here in the wilderness.
¨Oh here we go,¨ I said.
¨You got some signal here?¨ he asked.
¨Yeah, just enough to call someone,¨ I told him.
I began to dial Benny's number when I heard a growl.
¨Run!!!¨ shouted George.
¨We have to call Benny before we leave this area,” I said as we ran from the wolves.
We were being chased by a pack of wolves.
¨What do we do? We're not going to be able to out run ‘em,¨ panicked George.
¨Grab that knife you have in your pocket.¨ I yelled.
¨Here take it,¨ he said
He threw the knife at me; I had one shot at this. STAB! The knife went. STAB again. One more STAB! It went for the last time. Three wolves were lying on the ground. We stood there for about 2 minutes staring at the wolves.
¨I had to do it,¨ I said after a while.
¨I know, but they are still alive,¨ said George.
¨We could try to save them,¨ suggested George.
¨WHAT?!¨ I shouted ¨Are you crazy? We almost got eaten by them.¨
¨Still, they are innocent wolves,¨ he argued.
¨We need to call Benny first, then we'll see what to do,¨ I responded wisely.
I pulled out the phone. After running a bit, we were still in the area. I began to type in his phone number.
¨Bzzz bzzz bzzz bzzz.¨ The phone went, then he answered.
¨Hello, who is this? Asked Benny.
¨It’s Mason,¨ I told him.
¨Ohh, my friend Mason,¨ replied Benny, ¨What can can I help you with?¨
¨Yeah, me and George kinda are stuck,¨ I said slowly.
¨Oh, what happened, do you need a ride? Are you stuck in a tree or a car? Whats going on?”
¨We need a ride,¨ I said.
¨Where are you guys?¨ he asked.
¨Umm, we are in the humboldt forest in the East side passing the road named, El Burrito,¨ I said.
¨OK, hang in there. I'll be there in about 30 minutes,¨ he said.
¨Alright, see ya soon,¨ I said.
¨Well, he's coming. All we have to do is wait,¨ I told George.
Chapter 5: The Traffic Stop
Currently in Los Angeles
¨Well, I need to go pickup Mason and George,¨ I said to myself.
I began to pull the van out of the garage. I saw a cop sitting at the intersection. The window tint on my vehicle was not really legal. After I crossed the intersection, I knew I was in trouble.
¨Woop, Woop.¨ The police chargers lights and sirens went.
¨Oh no,¨ I said.
I began to pull over to the shoulder of the road. I stopped the van and the officer stood in his car for about 1 minute. He opened the car door and started walking up to my window; I rolled the window down.
¨Hello sir, my name is officer Henry with Los Angeles Police Department. You know why I stopped you today?¨ said officer Henry.
¨I'm guessing it's my window tint,¨ I told him.
¨That is correct sir,¨ he said. ¨Do you have your license, registration and proof of insurance with you sir?¨ asked the officer.
¨Yeah, it's in my glovebox, let me get it,¨ I said.
¨Ok,¨ he replied.
¨Here you go,¨ I told him.
¨Ok, thank you,¨ said the cop. ¨Can you confirm the name on here?¨ he asked.
¨Yeah, it's Benny Jones,¨ I said.
¨Ok. Sit tight for me. I'll be right back,¨ said the cop.
¨Ok,¨ I replied.
He walked back to his car. I was nervous he was going to write me a ticket. Suddenly, my phone started ringing.
¨Hello,¨ I said.
¨Hey, it's Mason, where are you? We have been waiting for 30 minutes already!¨ he yelled.
¨I just got pulled over by the cops,¨ I told him.
¨Oh my gosh, really?¨ he said impatiently.
¨I'll be there. Just wait until I get of this traffic stop,¨ I replied.
¨Ok hurry,¨ he hung up.¨
I forgot about Mason and George after getting pulled over and thinking I was getting cited. The cop walked up to my window.
¨Alrighty sir, here's your information back. I ran your information and everything checks out good, so what I'm going to do here is let you off with a warning. You know, not everyone's a criminal, so I need you to remove this tint as soon as possible. If I see you driving this vehicle with this tint again, or any vehicle, I will write you a fix it ticket, ok?¨ stated the officer.
¨I will remove it as soon as possible,¨ I said.
¨Ok, just sign here. This is just saying you received a warning.
¨Here you go,¨ I signed my name.
¨Ok, thank you, you have any questions for me?¨ he asked.
¨Ok, then you have yourself a nice day,¨ he said.
¨Ok, thanks. You too; stay safe,¨ I told him.
¨Sure,¨ he said as he walked away.
I pulled out and began to drive towards the forest.
Chapter 6: The Pickup
¨Where is he, shouldn’t he be here?¨ I asked.
¨I don't know,” said George.
We returned to camp to gather our stuff. We were sitting under a tree eating some gummy worms. Suddenly, I heard a car pull up.
¨That's him!¨ shouted George.
Sure enough it was Benny.
¨Hey Benny,¨ I said.
¨How you doing?¨ said Benny.
The morning sun had just started to rise. We began to load up everything into the trunk.
¨Well, good thing I came,¨ said Benny.
¨Yeah,¨ I said.
We loaded up the last bag.
¨Hop on in the van,¨ said Benny.
I began hopping in the van. I looked back at the place. I knew I was not going to come back here soon. We started driving and out the forest we came. I missed the loud noise of the city.
¨Well, I probably won't be coming back soon to this forest,¨ I chuckled.
¨Yeah,¨ laughed Benny.
Chapter 7: The In N Out Drive
¨I am hungry,¨ I said.
¨Yeah, me too. Let's get something to eat,¨ said George.
¨Where do you guys want to go?¨
¨Let's go to In N Out,¨ I suggested.
¨Sure,¨ said Benny.
We started to drive toward the In N Out drive thru to buy our burgers.
¨Hello welcome to In N Out, how can I help you?¨ said the employee.
¨Hi, can I get 3 Double Doubles no onion, and 3 fries, and 3 Coca-Colas?¨ said Benny.
¨I don't know, can you?¨ asked the employee.
¨I don't know, can you just give me my food?” said Benny.
We drove up to the next window, grabbed the food, and headed home. Although camping was fun, this definitely changed my opinion about camping. We made it home safely and continued our lives.