I look to my right out of the window and stare at the flat land rolling by. This is my fifth time doing this drive to my summer camp in far away Northern Michigan. My camp is called Arbutus Hayowentha and it’s tucked away in the piney woods just outside of Traverse City, MI. The drive from Kalamazoo is about 2 and a half hours but it seems to last forever. My friend Catherine is sitting next to me with her headphones in, probably listening to the Hamilton soundtrack before she can’t have her phone for the next month. I look at my phone and see that it’s already 8:30 am, we will be there in less than an hour. I feel a rush of excitement because I’ve been waiting all year to return to Arbutus and it’s finally here. Everyone always asks me about my camp but it’s one of those places you have to go and be a part of to understand. Every year you go on a trip at my camp. This year we are going on a biking trip for a week through the Upper Peninsula. I’ve decided to try and document it through journal entries so I can look back at the and remember the trip.
Monday, July 4th, 2016
Happy 4th of July! This morning we left camp at about 10:00 a.m. I felt horrid leaving because I had to say goodbye to my little sister, Julia. She was crying and saying that she didn’t want me to leave. Of course, I had to leave and I wanted to. I’m trying not to think about how upset she looked when I saw her out of the window of the big blue bus as we pulled away. The drive was only an hour and a half. We got dropped off in a town called Vanderbilt, Michigan. Where we got dropped was right next to a small baseball diamond where a lot of people from the town had gathered. There was a community game and some tailgating going on for the 4th of July. There was also access to the North Central State Trail which we will be biking on for the next couple days. The weather was nice but a little bit too warm. Luckily, most of the trail was shaded. We have to carry everything that we need except for food because we stop at grocery stores along the way for that. Strapping basically everything that you need to the back of a bike isn’t an easy job. Once everyone was ready we started riding. We rode 22 miles today, some of it was on the North Central State trail. It was nice but it got a little boring be
cause I ran out of things that I wanted to think about. I didn’t know that was possible, but it is. A little bit before we got to our campsite we stopped at a grocery store to get food for tonight and breakfast and lunch tomorrow. Our campsite today is on Burt Lake. It’s realy pretty here and Burt Lake is much bigger than I expected. We didn’t go swimming. We were allowed to, but I thought that it was too cold. There are a lot of other people here to watch the fireworks over the lake. Tonight I’m in a tent with Nelle, Catherine, and Evie. I like being with them but sometimes Nelle makes fun of me for no reason. My mom says that it’s only because she’s insecure but I’m not sure. I think that sometimes people are just mean and they don’t have a reason for it.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Today was a long day. I don’t know what time we woke up because we aren’t allowed to know time on the trip. I never really understood why. For breakfast we had some instant oatmeal. I don’t really like oatmeal but I was hungry so it was okay. We got our bikes all ready to go and set off. We rode 35 miles to Tee Pee campground which is on Lake Huron. You can see Mackinac Island(where we are going tomorrow) from our campsite. There are a lot of families camping here and it makes me miss my own family a little bit. I never really get homesick but I do miss them. The ride today was all on the North Central state Trail except for a small segment at the end that was on the road. The trail is very flat and not hard to ride on. There is a lot of shade and it’s pretty. Today I got stuck behind Elle. She’s always getting out of line and trying to go faster than everyone or she slows down randomly. We all keep telling her to be careful but she doesn’t really listen. For lunch we stopped on the side of the trail and made pb&j’s on tortillas, except I only had peanut butter on mine because it was strawberry jelly and I only like grape jelly. They
tasted really good and I couldn’t tell if it was just because I was hungry or not. We got to our campsite pretty early today, I would guess around 1 or 2 pm. We swam in Lake Huron which was cold but felt good. For dinner we had pasta, and watermelon for dessert. Elle carved out the watermelon and wore it on her head like a helmet. It was really funny but I never would have done it because it would be kind of gross to have the sticky juice of a watermelon on your head. The other cabin, called Chalet is here with us tonight too but they got here after we had dinner. They take a lot longer to bike than us. I think that they take more breaks. The trip itself is going well but my cabin mates are starting to get on my nerves a little. Sometimes they all just seem to get along so well and just not care about what I’m doing. They all laugh at Nelle’s mean jokes about me because they think that it’s funny, and I don’t want to say anything about it because then they’d probably call me over dramatic. One thing is for sure though, we are all very excited for Mackinac tomorrow because it’s probably going to be the most fun day of our trip.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
Today started off with waking up fairly early and eating cereal for breakfast. I was very happy because I got to have frosted flakes and those are my absolute favorite. We only had to ride one mile to get to the ferry that took us to Mackinac. We were camping in Mackinaw City last night so we were very close to where the ferry leaves. It was overcast and drizzly this morning so I wore my raincoat. I’m glad that I did because the ferry ride over to Mackinac Island was very cold. The ferry ride was about 45 minutes long and we got there at 11:00 am. We are allowed to know the time today because we were going of
f into smaller groups and needed to know what time to meet back up. I had Nelle, Grace, and Elle in my group of four. We all got along pretty well and Nelle hasn’t been mean today which I’m glad about. But my closest friends were all in a group together and I was wasn’t with them. Sometimes I feel like our counselors hate me. I always get put last in line in our biking order and am split up from my closest friends. I didn’t let that ruin my day because we got to go and shop on the island which was very fun. There are so many fudge stores there and a lot of fudge samples. I bought some fudge but ate it all because it would have been hard to carry around. I also bought some stickers and a postcard for my family.
By lunch time it was sunny out and kind of warm. We biked around the island and went up to a place called “Arch Rock.” The view from up there was beautiful and you could see all of the people below you biking past. There are no cars allowed on the island so everyone walks, bikes, or takes a horse drawn carriage everywhere. I think that it’s pretty cool how they do that. We left Mackinac at about 4:00 pm and took a 30 minute ferry ride to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Tonight we are at a campground in St. Ignace. The campground is nice and is all rv’s except for us. The people here are very nice and so are the bathrooms. For dinner we had stir fry and then some people gave us fudgesicles because they were cleaning out their freezer. I hope that I don’t get put in the back of the line again and that people in my cabin are nice. It’s going to be hard to get through the rest of the week with everyone if we don’t get along. Sometimes I really wish that I had a different cabin.
Thursday, July 7th, 2016
Where do I start? This morning I woke up and my stomach hurt really badly. The worst pain I’ve ever experienced and I’ve broken my right arm twice and my left leg once. I tried to eat a bite of a granola bar but threw it up almost immediately. The pain went away a little bit after I was sick so we decided to start riding. The pain came back really fast and before I knew it I couldn’t see straight and I crashed my bike into Catherine, who was riding in front of me. I didn’t get hurt from falling on my bike but when I explained that my dizziness had caused me to crash my counselors were very concerned. They told me to lie down on the side of the road and they called an ambulance. I don’t remember very much after that until I got to the hospital. The doctors there conducted a lot of tests on me to try and figure out what was wrong. They gave me some medicine that helped my tummy feel a little better but I still cried a lot because they were poking so many needles into me. All I wanted was to see my parents but they were 550 miles away. The counselors told me that they were coming but it would take the 8 hours to drive here. Finally after all of those tests they told me that I had appendicitis. It has something to do with your appendix being inflamed. They kept telling me that I was lucky that it didn’t burst because it was three hours away from bursting. I didn’t really hear much that the doctor told me except that I had to get surgery. I was terrified. The thought of being put to sleep while someone opened me up always made me want to run and hide. Not only did I need surgery, I needed it right then. The doctors prepped me almost immediately and put me under. Getting put to sleep wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The doctors told me to count down from 100 and the last number I remember saying was 96. I wonder why they made me count from such a big number when I didn’t even count down past 90. When I woke up again I was lying in a bed in the same hospital room that I had all of the tests done in. I felt really groggy and worn out but as for my stomach, I couldn’t feel a thing. It was 7:30 pm when I woke up. My parents were there by then and I was so happy to see them. They said that my whole cabin was in the waiting room. My parents gave me my phone, somehow everyone had found out about my appendicitis.
I looked at all of the messages but was too tired to reply. Later all of the people in my cabin came in to see me. I was a little surprised because I didn’t know that they cared that much. They are all staying the night at the hospital and will continue on their trip tomorrow, they all told me that it wouldn’t be the same without me. Even when I’m lying in a hospital bed somewhere in the middle of St. Ignace and Cedarville, they are here to cheer me up. Now I feel horrid for wishing that I had a different cabin. I guess that I was wrong about them not caring and my counselors hating me. Maybe they really did care all along, but I just didn’t pay attention enough to notice.