My Outdoor Adventure

By Erica Atnip, age 8 | February 1, 2010
From Xplor: Feb/March 2010

Lightning split the sky. Thunder shook the car. “Dad,” Erica yelled over the pounding rain, “maybe we should turn back.” Her dad’s knuckles were white on the steering wheel. “Let’s keep going,” he said. “I bet this will blow over before we reach the campground.”

Erica pitched camp in a downpour. She and a few other volunteers hoped to build a section of the Ozark Trail. Would the weather cooperate?

It did. The next morning, Erica went to work in a gentle drizzle.

Rain kept things cool and mosquitoes away, but it made the trail slick. While hiking in, Erica slipped on a wet rock. Remembering her training, she tossed away her sharp tools, caught herself, and was able to return to building trail.

Erica and the other volunteers worked hard. When they started, the trail was just a line of orange flags. After three days of clearing brush and cutting path, Erica walked back to camp on a new trail.

That evening, Erica set a goal to be the youngest person to complete 25 trail-building events. She’s well on her way to accomplishing this feat.

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This Issue's Staff

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Joan McKee
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Alicia Weaver
Cliff White
Kipp Woods