Some people might freak at the words “camping in the mountains”. Others may flinch at the words “no flush toilets”. Not my family! We’ve been camping my whole life, and it never gets boring. This trip in particular, was especially “not boring.”
Last summer, my family went on vacation in the Adirondack Mountains. We usually go on weekend trips, but this was our first week- long stay in the mountains. I was the only person not looking forward to this. I was furious at my dad for making me miss a concert I wanted to go to for this, and I just couldn’t be excited about camping. Of course, I didn’t have a choice, so I decided to suck it up and pretend to be happy. That became difficult, when after our long eight hour drive, my dad informed us about the lack of flush toilets at the campsite. So much for pretending to be excited.
Once we got settled into our campsite, it was time to examine the bathroom. To my surprise, they weren’t that bad! The bathrooms were clean, and, thanks to air freshener, smelled nice. Maybe this trip wouldn’t be so bad after all! This assumption came before I experienced the flies.
These were not your ordinary flies. These were biting flies. Big, black, and disgusting, they flew around us constantly, sometimes biting us. They were slow, so it wasn’t difficult to kill them, but there were so many! It seemed as though if you killed one, four more came from the dead one. They never left! They bit so much that eventually I was sitting around in my sweatshirt and sweatpants, even though it was 85 degrees, just to keep my skin covered. I don’t think I’ll ever forget those flies.
However, what I remember most about this trip was how beautiful it was there. We were camping by a lake, with a river running right behind our campsite. The water was a perfect blue, which had an amazing contrast with the green of the trees. The sky was blue throughout the whole trip, and everything looked so natural and healthy.
One evening, I grabbed my book and went down to the river. I carefully walked across a couple of slippery rocks until I found one that was flat and dry. Then I sat down and looked around. I was surrounded by beauty. The sun was setting, making the sky a brilliant mix of oranges and pinks. I could hear the sound of the river going by me, as well as the birds and bugs chirping. This was nature. As I began to read my book, in the world of my book with the river swiftly flowing by, I realized how to fully appreciate the mountains.
As we began to pack up and leave, I was pretty excited to get back to civilization, to working cell phone service and a computer, but I felt accomplished. I had not only survived, but enjoyed a week in the mountains, something that none of my friends would have been able to do. It made me realize that all you need to do is look at a situation differently, like looking at the scenery instead of the flies, to turn something bad into something good.
The good things in life are harder to find then the bad things; you just need to try to find them. Now I know that flush toilets are a convenience, not a necessity, to never underestimate the power of a fly, and that nature and a good book make any vacation worthwhile.
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