Our adventure was underway at long last, and cresting the mountain, I gazed across the wide barren valley that would become our home for the rest of the day. The trail would wind down through the andean peaks, eventually disappearing into the valley far below, up and down hills for the next few days, past streams and tiny villages.
The Summer before my senior year, James hatched a plan to hike the Inca Trail with his brother Jeremy and they invited me along. It had been done before. Some of the grades at school had traversed it for their camps on previous years. The whole region was littered with white kids’ bodies.
Sam & Johnny were friends from school who were better than me at just about everything. By the time we were thirteen Sam was at least twice as fast as I was on the track, and he could dunk before I could too. It was amazing we stayed friends for as long as we did.
Americans love camps. It’s like their national pastime or something. When they’re not eating individual portions designed for entire Catholic families or shooting each other under the loving embrace of the Bill of Rights,* they go on camps. Americans have camps for everything. Summer Camps, High School camps, Wilderness Camps. Girl Scout Camps.
We continue our ‘Summers of Joel’ series. Some of the other stuff we did, back in the days when men were men… and wanted nothing to do with us:
- Shoot things. Joel had a American Daisy Pellet gun. I had some Brazilian air rifle thing that could kill a man or tiny horse at 100 paces.