The morning seemed both cool and calm as my brother, Brandon, and our friends, Ricky and Robby, walked over to the Twin Lakes to take a gander across the water. The Twin Lakes lay near a small campground called Mono Village, which happened to be where we were staying, and the lake’s water came from the glaciers up in the nearby mountains. Pumped with adrenaline, we grabbed two rafts and headed for the glacier runoff. Rafting on lakes can be exhilarating, yet also dangerous.
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The ground cooked our bare feet, giving us more incentive to hop into the trail of icy water. However, we soon came to regret that decision. The water felt freezing at the very first touch, and our lungs could not hold the air in as we gasped. With our bodies in shock, we climbed into our rafts and rode the current as it drove us out into the lake, but only several minutes later did we soon realized that the current took us much farther than we wanted.
Panic arose between all of us, for a waterfall lay a hundred yards down that separated the two lakes, and in no time we found ourselves in a hormonal storm of emotions. With haste, we violently paddled as hard as our bodies would let us in hopes of reaching the shoreline. In time, we made it. We had no food, no water, and no phone, a hopeless situation at best. The sun grew hotter and the hike back to camp seemed to be a mile’s journey.
We wasted no time to start moving, and once again the ground began to cook our feet like my dad’s grill would cook steaks. Holding the raft above us for shade, we ran down the shoreline of the upper Twin Lake lost and scared. Eventually we came across a nearby trail and it began to take us higher and farther faster, but it soon ended with an abrupt and terrifying edge. We gazed at the water while standing 50 feet above it. It came down to a decision between us, “To jump or not to jump?” we thought. The debate lasted nearly a half hour.
I became impatient. I stood over the edge and prepared myself. The others saw me and quickly began to follow. We counted down from three, but those few seconds lasted an eternity. A sharp pain hit our hearts as they beated furiously. We jumped, all four of us, and as we plummeted down toward earth I could hear the air rush past my ears and I could see myself hitting the water. A constant image in my head.
We shot through the lake like bullets, and I wasted not a single second to swim to shore. What went through my head cannot be explained. I was in a state of being where I had no recognition of what had happened in the last 30 seconds. Nature had taken its toll on my mind, and I couldn’t help but feel scared about my actions. We all ran to the campsite for salvation. When I saw my sister, she had no look of worry or distress about us, and the first and only words she said were “Did you boys have fun?” With the experience gone, I realized that rafting with no experience whatsoever is quite possibly one of the most exciting, painful, and idiotic things one could ever do.
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