The sky was dimly lit, as if a mountain storm threatened this early in the season. Lois knew better than to assume anything major, maybe a flurry he thought to himself. It had been unseasonably cold that autumn, and the residents Sitka had already confined their cabins and log fires. The Waterfront at lake Johnston, less than a month ago bustling with children splashing about stood erie and gray as if time forgot about it’s shores.
Despite his bleak surroundings Lois was excited, tomorrow was a school trip. Two days hiking Mount Hood, although it had been sunnier and warmer in past years Lois was happy to take any break from the stuffy classroom and Mrs. W’s lessons on blogging. As the evening ticked along Lois paced around his small room packing anything he deemed important for the trip, It was his fifth trip, nothing could go wrong, he knew the trail like the back of his palm. Later, as he drifted into sleep under his heavy duvet he dreamed of all the Kraft macaroni and goldfish that he would indulge in.
The next morning as Lois woke up the air was cold but he forced himself out of bed to school. He clambered onto the bus just as it was pulling out of the school lot to the bane of his P.E. teacher, Mr. Brown. As the bus drifted into the backwoods Lois chatted with his friend Mark, “how would they get into the same tent” was most of the conversation during the ride.
When they arrived at the deserted trail head Mr. Brown assembled the shivering children in a semicircle around him. He then proceeded to lecture them about safety and what to do in case of getting lost on the trail. Lois, naturally “above” this briefing was busy scanning some moose scat and doing his best to ignore Mr. Brown. Soon they were off, by midday the weaker students were complaining but a beautiful vista had already opened up, a green, lush, and cloud filled valley below. Soon they arrived at camp, set up tents and huddled around a fire.
It was around midnight and the two mugs of hot chocolate Lois had drank were ready to come out, he clambered out of his and Mark’s tent. There was a porta potty but instead he opted to, against the rules to go in the woods, the porta potty smelled bad. He traversed his way along the moonlit forest floor down into a secluded gully, the perfect place to do his business. After he began to climb the embankment again, and when he reached the top he clambered into his tent. But what he fell into was not a thick sleeping back but a clump of leaves. He stood and looked around, not a tent to be seen. He squinted again but the moonlight had since vanished, he could see nothing. He began panicking and started shouting to see if anyone was around him, no response. He played that game all night and into dawn. By mid-morning after trying to find the trail Lois thoroughly accepted, he was lost……………..
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