“Is it much further?” Rufus asked.
“A fair way I’d say. We haven’t reached the river yet.”
“At least its a good track and I guess the shade of the trees makes it cooler in here.” They tramp on, in silence.
“I think I can hear water.” Charlie said after another thirty minutes of silent trudging. Rounding a corner the river now snaked beside them with a deafening roar. Suddenly they find themselves on the edge of the forest. They blink in the unexpected sunlight, so bright after the dappled light created by the thick canopy they were walking through.
“How the hell do we get across that?” Rufus demanded.
“Walk, I guess.” Charles surged forward without hesitation.
“Well I’m not going into that in my shoes. I’ll take them off.”
Charles watched from the other bank. Rufus, barefooted struggled to keep upright on the slippery rocks.
“Damn!” The splash seemed large as Rufus landed on his bottom.’
“You’re going to have trouble walking in those wet clothes.” Charles laughed.
Rufus threw his shoes to the ground. “And now you’re going to tell me we have to climb that” he said, staring at the peak that towered above them.
Squelching sounds came from Rufus’ shoes. Now, out from the shade of the trees the day was febrile. “It’d better be worth it. I’ve got a friction burn between my legs, blisters on my feet and these bloody rocks are going to be the death of me.”
“You’re nearly there.”
“Wow.” Rufus turned around. “What a view. Three hundred and sixty degrees. Wow. You can see miles. You’re right, Charles. Its fantastic. Tell you what though. I’ll be practicing my pole vaulting for next time.”