"I love this camp!" My friend Rachelle squealed behind me.
"Ow, thanks for busting my eardrum!" I whispered back to her
Chalice blew a strand of her angle blond hair out of her face. "Stop talking we're going to get in trouble!"
She was right, our head councilor was talking. I wasn't too worried though, our councilor was good humored. Me, Rachelle and Chalice were together in a group along with everyone else listening to the Head councilor tell us about our evening activities for the day. We were at Camp Riverside. It was fall so most swimming activities was off the plan which I found a major bummer. I loved swimming and I excelled at it. Chalice would even call me Mermaid Merry sometimes. Though Riverside has tons of fun activities so it wasn't bad and we would be beck for the summer camp next year anyway. I shuddered as a chilling breeze went past. I had light winter clothing and hiking gear on just coming back from hiking a trail with my friends. I had brown hiking boots on with jeans and a green short sleeved t-shirt that said Camp Riverside in brown letters. Over that to beat the cold was my dark green windbreaker. I had a canteen and a hiking stick in my hands with my long dark brown hair up in a pony tail threaded through the hole in the back of my base ball cap that was covering my head.
"Tonight we will have a campfire at 4 but in till then you have free time. Everyone needs to be back here at 4 otherwise we're going to come find you. Okay?" Our head councilor scanned through the crowd looking for approval and understanding.
Everyone murmured or nodded their head to say they understood
"Dismissed" Everyone started to break away from our former huddled clump and went their own way.
"I'm going to go run a little more" Rachelle told us. Being the most athletic of us, Rachelle loved to run and do things like that but Chalice and I didn't, so she sprinted off knowing we weren't going to follow behind. I watched her sprint away from the clearing toward the running track, her curly red hair flailing behind her. I couldn't believe she wasn't cold. She had a wind breaker tied around her waist, a white short sleeved t-shirt with the Red Cross printed on it and red athletic shorts with her favorite athletic tennis shoes.
Chalice turned to me "So, what do you wanna do?"
I shrugged, and thought for a bit. I wanted to go ride horses again but it was going to be real busy because everyone else of course wanted to do that to. "How about a bike trail?"
Chalice's head turned as she pondered this. Her sky blue hat looked as if it were about to fall off even though it was snuggly on her head. "Mmm, okay I guess, I can't think of anything better to do."
"Great, I'm going to change into some more winter friendly clothes, you coming?"
"Nah, I'll go get bikes, meet you at our cabin?"
I nodded "Sure."
Chalice walked off her hands in her pockets and the breeze making her angle blond hair blow behind her, even without running. I turned and walked off and tried to run but it was too hard to do that with a slender hiking stick in my hand. The leaves crackled beneath my feet as I stepped upon them. Above, braches swayed helplessly in the breeze, shaking the leaves. It was making quite the din and shaking the leaves off its branches. When I got to our cabin my face broke into a cheerful smile. It was cabin 12, just like always. I went in and got my trunk out from under my bunk. The metal on the rims of my trunk was freezing against my palm. Unlatching the latches, I opened it up and looked through the hills of colorful clothing to find what I needed. I wasn't a very neat person like Chalice who had all her clothes sorted by color and type of clothing, but I preferred it that way even if it did take me a little longer to find things. I got some socks, my tennis shoes, a hat, scarves and gloves. Usually I would think it ridiculous to wear such winter clothing while biking but it was so chilly I wasn't going to bike without it. Especially since the air would be zipping past us chilling me to the bone for sure if I didn't have the extra clothing. When I had changed I looked just like Chalice except for my brown hair. We were both 12, 5ft. 2in and had almost identical clothing on. I had my tennis shoes on with my jeans and my green Riverside shirt. Then my other windbreaker that had a little extra padding on it that was a sky blue with matching sky blue hat and scarf around my neck. My hands had my soft white gloves protecting them. I tromped down the steps of the cabin and waiting outside was Chalice, looking identical with the bikes.
"Wow, two bikes at one time, however did you manage that?" I questioned
"Actually I got Chad to help Me." she explained
I had to smile again "Ah" Chalice had a crush on Chad who was a junior councilor at Riverside.
I hopped on my bike and started to bike to the start of the trials with Chalice following behind. The gorgeous, enormous trees loomed over head and the sun was going down. We had about an hour to bike in till it would be sunset and then after sun set it would be to dark to see.
"I got the map what route do we want to follow?" Chalice's voice sounded behind me. Although with the wind running past my ear it sounded much farther away.
"How about Pine bend that's short and easy" I yelled back
"Okay I'll lead!"
I slowed down and let her past as we started to ride. It felt great! Time passed as we zipped past on the beautiful trail. The wind felt like it was plastered against my face and it felt great! Though, it was starting to get really cold. I looked overhead and gasped. The sun was close to sunset. My eyebrows narrowed, Pine Bend was short, and about 15 minutes at the rate we were going. “Shouldn't we have gotten to the end by now?” I wondered. I looked around me, taking in the sights around very closely for the first time.
"Stop!" I shouted to Chalice just a few feet ahead.
She stopped and glanced back, her cheeks red. "What is it?"
"Where are we? We should have gotten to the end by now, and I don't recognize this part of the trail." Chalice looked around. She pulled the map out of her pocket and looked at it. I kicked my stand down and went over to where she was.
I looked at the map and suddenly my eyes widened and my mouth fell open. "Chalice!" I exclaimed worried. "It's upside down! The map, it's upside down!"
Chalice's eyes widened in surprise but looking at the compass rose, she realized it was upside down.
"We're lost! We'll never make it back to camp before the sun sets! Then we won't be able to see and we won't be able to get back to camp!" I started to breath in quick short breaths and looked around in absolute panic.
"Calm down if we work together we'll get back to camp don't worry so much"
"Worry? Hello we might not get back to camp!" I wanted to scream, maybe I am a person who tends to worry to much but I didn't think I was over reacting considering the circumstances and it was getting colder by the minute. I took in a deep breath and let it out, as I did I could see my own breath, it was a wispy white. Chalice was breathing heavily too, but I couldn’t tell if it was panic or from us biking so fast. Being able to see her breath, it made her look like a dragon, which almost made me smile. I took another deep breath, Going into a panic wasn't going to help either way and neither was fighting about it either. None of actions could get us back to camp.
Chalice looked around trying to decide our location when she spotted something. "Look! Over there, it's a sign of some sort." She ran over to it with me following behind to see what it said. "Puffin's Peak" She read. She looked down at the map. "It leads us right to camp! This is great!"
I looked at the map "No not great! This trail says experienced bikers only!"
"We don't have a choice, the other trails are too far away to bike to, by then it'll be dark." She argued
I looked at the path; it was a trail that sloped down the mountain all the way back to camp. It was steeper than I had ever gone down though.
"Come on," she urged "You'll be fine and if you get hurt we'll be close enough to camp that I'll be able to get help. We both got back on our bikes and went to the sign.
I looked at it again fear pulsing through me, I looked at all the tree roots and rocks that we could end up tripping our bikes while going down at such an angle. I felt paralyzed to the bike. “Yeah but what if we both get hurt?” I thought.
"Come on! Trust me it'll be okay." and with that she was off and I had no choice but to follow behind her.
I don't remember much about riding down, but I remember the chilly wind lashing at my face and the snow that had started to fall stinging my face. I felt wonderful, I felt like I could reach out and touch the sky, but my hands were paralyzed to the handlebars gripping them so tight, my knuckles must have been as white as my gloves. When we reached the bottom I was so surprised. And we got there just in time, not a minute to spare for the sun was setting. I got off my bike in a trance and put it on its kickstand. I went over to Chalice, who had gotten off her bike to. We looked at each other in surprise and relief and burst out with laughter and tears of joy.
"I was so scared!" Chalice confessed
"You were? I thought you were being brave!" I asked bewildered
"I was saying those things mostly to re-ensure myself!" We laughed and hugged and talked over our exciting and somewhat frightening experience as we put up our bikes.
We were walking back to the campfire when an alarmed voice sounded behind us "Where were you guys! I was just about to tell Head Councilor to send out a rescue team!" We turned around to see Rachelle
"Well we-" I started to explain but Rachelle interrupted
"I thought you guys were going to miss the campfire! Come on, you two look like you've been in a refrigerator! We're having smore's!" She exclaimed. Rachelle was talking so quickly you could barely understand her. She turned her back and started to dash off when she noticed we weren't dashing off behind her. She zipped back to us and grabbed my hand and started to sprint so that I would have to follow behind her. Before she could I grabbed hold of Chalice's hand so she would have to sprint with us too.
"Ah! I don't wanna run!" Chalice wined behind me.
"Oh well!" I yelled behind my shoulder to her and I could sense a huge wide grin on her face. She zipped past me, being the quicker runner and got there in second place, beating me to the campfire.
That night we joyously sang songs and ate smore's till they came out of our ears. And I, being a pyromaniac as Rachelle would call it, almost got my hair caught on fire about five times. I remember leaving camp already looking forward to summer and next year's fall camp.