No Way Out

Overview

They found their way into the breathtakingly beautiful canyon -- but will they ever be able to find their way out?

Amy is certain that Rick is the boy she'll marry. They're happy, in love — and nothing could spoil their perfect weekend, hiking the Zion Narrows with Amy's little brother, Ben.

But when rain starts falling without any warning, the beautiful, towering canyon walls and the gurgling streams below suddenly become a deathtrap. A flash ...

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Overview

They found their way into the breathtakingly beautiful canyon -- but will they ever be able to find their way out?

Amy is certain that Rick is the boy she'll marry. They're happy, in love — and nothing could spoil their perfect weekend, hiking the Zion Narrows with Amy's little brother, Ben.

But when rain starts falling without any warning, the beautiful, towering canyon walls and the gurgling streams below suddenly become a deathtrap. A flash flood turns Amy's perfect weekend into a nightmarish test of survival. Days of cold, endless rain and little food push them to the breaking point. And Amy's not sure that she likes what she begins to learn about Rick as they fight for their lives. If she gets out of this alive will she be able to forget? Or will she be forced to reconsider just what it means to love someone?

Hiking along the Virgin River in Utah, nineteen-year-old Amy, her fiance, and four friends battle a flashflood.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An outdoor adventure leads to disaster in Ruckman's latest work. Amy, her fiance Rick, brother Ben and four others trek through Utah's Zion Narrows. They admire stunning canyons and sparkling streams until rain begins to fall. The resulting flood turns their leisurely hike into a life-threatening struggle. In her fight for survival, Amy painfully confronts another issue: Rick is not the person she thinks he is. This book may strike some readers as odd; the main characters range in age from early teens to late 30s or so, but their personalities and appearances are never fully drawn. Amy's discoveries about Rick are not subtle, and while his newfound flaws are obvious to her, readers never knew Rick's original character. The story line is suspenseful and the landscape is vivid, but the characters don't measure up. Ages 11-up. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up A sudden rainstorm brings flash floods through the Zion Narrows when Amy, 19; her fiance, Rick; her younger brother; 16-year-old Clyde, and four others are camped there. The terrifying flood and its aftermath forces them to use all of their resources to stay alive and to make their way out of the Narrows. Focussing mainly on Amy and Clyde, the story highlights the ef fects of cold, injuries, hunger, and fear on individual members of the party. Within this dramatic framework, Ruck man allows her characters to learn from tragedy, causing Amy to rethink her marriage plans and Clyde to see himself and his talents in a more positive light. The dynamics of relationships between characters, including Amy's with Rick and her brother as well as with Audrey, a calm older woman; Clyde's with a troubled young girl; and Rick's with an other friend whom they meet on the trail, are particularly well-developed. Another plus for this fast-paced surviv al novel is that an intelligent and inde pendent young woman is the protago nist. She, like the male heros of Gary Blackwood's Wild Timothy (Athene um, 1987) and Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (Bradbury, 1987) emerges from the wil derness experience as a more thought ful and careful adult.Barbara Chat ton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064470032
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/13/1989
  • Series: Trophy Keypoint Book Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.96 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

M&M's...an orange...a swig from the water bottle...ten whole minutes to rest in the shade of a stream cottonwood...

Amy pressed her cheek against the stickery desert grass and smiled. How had they managed to pull it off -- the ultimate hike and a gorgeous hot Saturday to go with it? She and Rick had been looking forward to doing the Zion Narrows all summer. Now, lying facedown on her folded arms, she wished their perfect Labor Day weekend could last forever.

Without saying a word, Rick bent down and kissed her on the back of the neck. The kiss left her giggling, but she knew what it meant -- their afternoon break was about to be over. Happy, in love, wanting to touch, Amy reached out and traced the line of Rick's shorts against the stiffish blond hairs on his leg.

"Time's up!" he announced, and gave her a swat on the backside.

Amy let out a moan. "Five more minutes, what can it hurt?"

"No way, Faye, that's all you get."

She rolled over. "Are you going to be this mean after we're married?"

"Worse," Rick said, laughing, "lots worse."

Downstream a dozen feet, Clyde was already on his feet, throwing punches at Amy's little brother Ben and shouting, "Up and at 'em, you slug!"

Amy squinted at the skinny sixteen-year-old whose outline was bouncing around in front of the sun. Who'd have guessed, leaving Salt Lake City at six A. M., that they'd end up hiking with a total stranger? A hyperactive teenager, no less, who said 'he was from Santa Monica, California. All angles and freckles, with hair red as the Navajo sandstone, Clyde looked to Amy like someone who hadn't quite grown into himself.

Behindhis back, Rick called him "a one-man band." His sound effects were classic -- a metal canteen banging on his pack frame, a permit flapping in the breeze, one knee popping in syncopation.

"Me and Clyde are gonna lead this time," Ben piped up as he brushed the red dust off his backpack.

"Sounds cool," Clyde agreed. "The dynamic duo, huh? Us little fellers."

Amy had to laugh. Clyde was taller than any of them.

Finally on her feet, she worked her arms through the straps of her pack, tightened everything, then cinched up the webbing on the hip belt. She was glad she didn't have to carry Rick's pack. They'd allowed half a day to get to their camping site in the Narrows, a second day to continue on down to the mouth. Meals for three had turned out to be bulkier than she'd expected.

It took another minute to get Ben organized, then they all took off again, Amy smiling happily as she fell in alongside Rick.

So far the approach had been dry and hot and sagebrushy, a bit of a letdown, but they'd soon be dropping into the twisty, snakelike passages of the Narrows proper. That was another world. It was hard to believe the storybook stream they were following was the North Fork of the Virgin River, muscled agent of the amazing erosion that lay ahead. Patiently, persistently, over millions of years, the river had carved a deep, paper-thin canyon through the layers of red sandstone. In the literature they'd picked up at the Visitor's Center, the Zion Narrows was called one of nature's most dramatic pieces of sculpture.

"Are you okay?" Rick asked her now as he stopped to shift his pack.

She nodded. "Ben's the one who'll wear himself out."

Rick hrrumphed. "He's almost twelve, isn't he? The kid's in his prime."

Amy glanced ahead at her brother in his moldering sneakers and top-heavy backpack, taking big steps to keep up with Clyde. Their mother had had fits about her bringing him. "Twelve miles from one end to the other? He'll never make it," she'd predicted. So far he was doing great.

"You tired today or what?" Rick asked, giving Amy a friendly bump with his elbow. "What time'd you get to bed?"

"Past midnight. I didn't leave the zoo until eleven, then I had to pack, so four hours of sleep was it."

"No wonder you're dragging."

"Look, R. C., you're talking to a woman who's in shape."

His eyebrows jumped.

She grinned, shoving him away. "Stop leering at me! I know I worry too much about Ben, but he always seems so much younger than he is. I don't want to push him too hard."

"Well, you're the one who makes the promises, then has to keep 'em."

They'd been over it once already, why there were four of them tramping across the plateau instead of two. Of course, with Clyde they hadn't had much choice. They'd found him sitting forlornly at the first stream crossing, just beyond the Chamberlain's Ranch gate. Alone.

"Jeez, am I glad to see you guys!" he'd shouted right off.

Amy could see why the backcountry ranger suggested he attach himself to another party. His cargo shorts were straight off the rack. He also wore a pair of expensive new streambed shoes and was toting -- of all things -- a vintage Boy Scout canteen. Even his eagerness labeled him as a newcomer to wilderness hiking.

"I'm Clyde McKenzie," he'd said, friendly as a pup, explaining how his hiking buddy, Jason, had been flattened by the flu just that morning. Two hours later he and Ben were in the lead.

Amy easily matched her stride to Rick's, filling her lungs with fresh air and loving the workout. The sun and the sky, a rich decorator blue, were enough to inspire poetry.

"Why'd you wait until midnight to do your packing?" asked Rick...

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