|For more than a month, Ron's father had planned to trek into the rugged Trinity Alps and photograph the rare weeping spruce trees. Ron had begged to go along with him to this American mountain range close to Ron's hometown.|
"I've only got a week to get in there and back," his father protested. "My editor wants the photographs for the next issue of the magazine. It's too hard a trip for a thirteen-year-old." "Ron can do it He's got courage," his mother said. "And I'll feel better if you don't go alone."
So here Ron was in the jeep with his father. They had left home at dawn and headed for the hills. At first it was fun watching the mountains get closer and bigger, but now, all Ron wanted was food and sleep.
"End of the road," his father finally called out, as he pulled up near a lake. "You unroll the sleeping bags and I'll build a fire and warm up the stew. Ron's plate of stew went down fast. He was asleep ten minutes later.
He awoke the next morning to the smell of frying bacon. They ate quickly, then they started up an old rocky trail. After some steep climbing, the trail leveled off along a deep gorge.
"This looks treacherous," his father told him, "You wait here, Ron. I'll go ahead and look." Ron sat down, grateful for the rest. He watched his father pick his way carefully over the loose rocks.
Then Ron leapt to his feet as he saw a rock break loose from the slope and hurtle directly toward his father. "Look out, Dad!" Ron yelled.
His father saw the big rock coming and jumped back, but it smashed into his leg. He wavered, lost his balance and slid off the trail and down into the gorge.
Gone was Ron's weariness. He scrambled down the side of the gorge, calling as he went. No answer. Then, nearer the bottom, he saw the still form of his father and ran to him. His father tried to sit up. "If s my leg, Ron. It's broken, I think.
Ron looked up at the tall mountain above him. The peak was not far away. He would climb that and build a fire. It was a hard climb, but Ron seemed to have an inner strength. His breath was coming in choking gasps when he reached the top. He rested for a while, then he gathered a big pile of dry wood that blazed up when he put a match to it. Afterward he cut green branches and threw them on to make smoke.
A long time seemed to pass. Then he heard a sound coming closer and closer - it was a helicopter! He jumped up and down and waved his arms. The helicopter floated to a landing on the grassy slope. Ron ran to it.
A ranger got out of the helicopter. "What's the big idea of building a big
fire up here?" he demanded angrily.
'We need help. My father's hurt," Ron told him.
"All right - we'll douse the fire then take off." They circled down the mountain and found a landing place near Ron's father.
Source : D'Light Vol. 87
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