It was a nice, hot summer day in August when we decided to go down to Morgantown to visit my sister and her husband. We went to visit them exactly six days after we helped them move into their new apartment on August first. The people who were going with me were me my two parents, Wendy and Russell Smith. My dad is about six feet tall with a stocky build, a shiny bald head, a thick brown beard, and hazel colored eyes. My mom is at least four inches shorter, with an average build, and light brown hair with eyes to match. Both of them are very kind, wise, thoughtful, funny, and the best parents anyone could ever ask for. We all got in the car wondering what we might do in Morgantown once we got there.
The drive down the road was extremely quiet and we only made two stops, one for food and the other for house warming gifts. The ride took about two hours just to get from our house to the apartment. When we finally arrived, we grabbed the gifts and walked up to apartment eight. We opened the door and there they were, my sister and her husband, Courtney and Collin Donadieu. My sister is at least four inches shorter than me in spite of her being five years older. She has dirty-blonde hair (like mine), hazel colored eyes like my father, and a slender build. Collin is at least one inch taller than me. He has black hair, blue eyes, and is also very skinny. When we first saw their new place it looked incredibly nice. It was hard to believe that less than a week ago we helped her move in. We spent the hour talking about how things were going and looking through some of the pictures from my sister’s wedding.
Afterward, Collin suggested that we should go on a nature walk while we were visiting. All of us came to an agreement to go to Cooper’s Rock State Forest Park. We all got in the car and headed down the road. The ride to get there was about thirty minutes long, and it took five more minutes just to find a parking spot. When we got out and looked around, we saw what looked like your own, average, everyday kind of state park. We looked around for a few minutes until Collin had to go to the restroom. The rest of us decided to take some pictures with a statue of a turtle that was made of a bunch of twigs, moss, and grass. When Collin got back, we followed him down a trail. No one except Courtney and Collin knew where we were going down this dirty, dusty, rock covered trail. Suddenly we noticed a bridge made out of rocks and wood. We crossed the bridge, and before we knew it, we were standing right on the edge of Cooper’s Rock.
The rock was massive and carved with the names of others who had been there before us. I wondered to myself how a huge hunk of rock like this was able to be supported on this ledge. On the very edge of the rock there were railings to prevent people from falling over. The view from the top of the rock was spectacular, nothing but endless mountains as far as the eye could see with rivers and trees covering the ground underneath and Morgantown looked so small from way up there. My mom decided that we should take some pictures together to preserve both the moment and the view. After taking some pictures of us standing together on the rock, we decided to start heading back, except this time we went down an entirely different trail. The trail was downhill and was completely covered with rocks like some kind of mountain pass.
We continued to climb down. Collin was in the lead with the rest of us following from behind. When we got to the bottom, we were underneath a huge rock, and I knew right away where we were. We were standing right underneath Cooper’s Rock. We took a few more pictures and looked around for a few minutes admiring how cool the rock looked from underneath. I was really happy to be there spending time with my family and climbing rocks with them. It felt like we were having our own little adventure.
“Be careful!” Mom said.
“Ok Mom, I’m always careful.” I replied.
Then, Collin showed us this small opening. It looked like a really small cave. The walls were so wet and cold. It felt like we were walking right near the edge of a waterfall. We all squeezed in one at a time with Collin leading the way. Dad stayed outside to take pictures of us. I was really nervous at first because I thought there would be bats or something in there, but it was actually pretty cool. Once we got a good amount of pictures, we moved on until we came across a bunch of huge rocks that were at least fifteen feet tall. Seeing these rocks, I decided to go on a little climb with Collin to see how we could climb up and down.
“Try not to fall or get hurt,” Dad told me.
I managed to get up to an edge of a really huge rock that sloped downward. My Mom, Dad, and Courtney seemed to look a bit nervous with me being up that high.
“Could you please get down from there?” asked Mom.
“Ok,” I said right back.
Before I did, my dad took a picture of me sitting on top of the rock making a peace sign with my fingers. I slid down the rock slowly and carefully, trying not to fall down. But when I reached the bottom of the rock I realized I was still almost ten feet high.
“What should I do?” I exclaimed.
“Hold on, we’ll try to get you down,” said Courtney.
“Should I jump?”
“No, you’re too high up,” said Collin.
“Just climb down on the ledge and I’ll help you get down safely,” said Dad.
“Ok,” I replied.
I bent down and put my right foot on one ledge with my hands. Still gripping on to the ridge, I continued to climb down. I put my left foot on another ledge, and my dad grabbed my feet and tried to put me down gently. I looked down and noticed my legs were all black and scratched up from climbing the rocks. I was relieved to be back on the ground safe and sound because of the help from my family. Afterward, we continued to walk down the dirt and rock trail. As we walked, the sun seemed to be getting lower and lower in the sky. We decided to start heading back. Mom, Dad, and Courtney were going back to take some last minute pictures of the view from Cooper’s Rock. Collin and I decided to wait near a cabin for them to get back.
“Thanks for helping me out back there Collin,” I said after a few minutes.
“You’re welcome,” he said right back.
“I guess I got a little carried away with the climbing,” I said.
“It’s ok, we all tend to get a little carried away from time to time.”
“We just need to know our limitations,” said Courtney.
Before we left, Courtney and I decided to go to the bathroom, and everyone else decided to wait outside. After we were done, Courtney, Mom, and I started heading to the car until we noticed something- Collin and Dad were gone. Mom decided that she would go look around the park, while we search by the car and stay there until she returned. At least five minutes later we saw all three of them heading back to the car, so we all got inside and began to head back to Courtney’s apartment. Now we were heading down the road once again. After a minute or so we decided to stop for milkshakes and sundaes. We stopped at a gas station that also had a Dairy Queen and a few other little stores inside of it. I got a vanilla shake because they were all out of chocolate. Courtney and Collin got Oreo sundaes.
We got back on the road and made it back to Courtney’s place. We took a moment to relax from our cool day of rock climbing and exploring.
“That was fun, wasn’t it?” I asked.
“Yeah it was.” both of my parents replied.
The ride home always seems so short. I was asleep for most of the trip back and was listening to music for the other half. The trip was fun and all, but it sure was nice to be home and going to bed. When I was getting ready for bed, I thought about how lucky I am to have a family like mine and how they’ll always have my back when I need them. You should always make time for your family, because if you don’t, you might just miss some great opportunities. Just don’t let those special family moments pass you by.