There may be several happenings in life one retrospectively would call ‘unique’, ‘crazy’ or simply ‘adventurous’. Those outstanding events are happenings that you won’t forget as long as you are a citizen to this world. You will probably tell everybody about what once happened to you. However, one of these unforgettable events happened to a bunch of volunteers of Agora.
Overseas, hiking, among others, has been one of my passions that I had been missing the most over here. Why? Because I ended up in Ohio – One of the flattest states throughout America. However, last week we got the chance to go out for a getaway. It was one of the craziest things I have done in life so far.
It is Friday night when Lukas, Julian, Robert and I pack up our stuff for a hiking-weekend in the woods – somewhere in the countryside of Ohio. We all look forward to a nice, cozy cabin in which we all are planning to sleep overnight. Keith and Jordan, two American friends and volunteers, planned the whole trip they invited us to go on.
Keith is on his way to ours to get us over to Jordan’s. We so will get sleeping bags, food and other equipment for the trip.

10:00 pm: Out of nowhere, I get a call of Jordan. It’s bad news. The cabin is already occupied by others. Despite the fact that we, up to this point, don’t have a place to sleep, we all decide on going to Jordan’s. At the same time, the doorbell rings as Keith eventually arrived. We hesitate to join him since plan B is to sleep outside in the woods – Keith and Jordan want to go hiking overnight.
10:45 pm: We arrive at Jordan’s and eat Pizza while thinking about going on Saturday in the morning instead of tonight.
11:45 pm: We still aren’t sure about going anywhere. It’s freezing cold and dark outside. Only some idiots could go hiking out there…
Almost 12:00 am: We decided on going. The area we want to hike in is two hours away from where we are right now. Let’s roll.
1:30 am: We finally arrive. But something else is crossing our plans. We don’t have a map. Two leave to look for some map. Furthermore, we sadly take notice of a posting saying there are wolves and snakes out in the woods…Well, let’s get to know them! But where is our map?
3:00 am: We eventually got a map and start our trip.
In the woods we get lost a couple of times, find fresh poop of some animal and hear weird sounds in the bushes. Moreover, we make out wolves in the distance… Lord, help!
4:00 am: Jordan announces that he can’t feel his elbows no more. Is he in the first stage of frostbite?
5:40 am: We still don’t know how to get to where we want to go. We decide on asking a hunter we meet randomly in the woods. We wonder why he didn’t shoot us by now… He can’t help us. Our GPS gadget tracks our ways. It says we are on the right way. To make this sure, Jordan decides to run ahead to see if the GPS trail is on the map.
6:10 am: Jordan is still somewhere out there. Didn’t he say, he is going to get back in 1.30 minutes?
6:20 am: We begin to pray about the whole situation. Jordan is still out there…or he eventually got to know the wolves, who knows…?!
Right in the moment we end our prayer, Jordan whistles from afar. We follow his whistle.
7:00 am: We get to ‘Camp 3’ – a place with nothing but two fireplaces. That’s why we took on all the burdens of this trip?! Okay!
We begin to chop wood and collect dry branches to light a fire. It is dawning already as we settle down. As we don’t have tents, we all sleep around the fire…What a trip!
1:30 pm: We begin cleaning and finally hike back.
3:00 pm: We stop at a lake and go swimming in the ice-cold water. The sun is out and we all chill at the shore. Jesus, thank you for a new day!
5:00 pm: We get to our parking lot and subsequently head home. On the way, we eat at a restaurant. All of us are tired.
The actual question one should ask these seven brain-washed guys is: ‘Why in the world would you hike in the night?’ Well, sometimes you have to be crazy to enjoy life.
Jonathan Philipp

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