Spring break trip memorable
March 23, 2007
I finally went somewhere for spring break this year, my first spring break away from home. It was also my first break not in the same chair all day watching college basketball and pouring over my brackets. But instead of heading south like most normal, albeit usually less skin cancer prone, college students, I headed west to Washington.
I did a variety of activities in Washington. I got to see Mount St. Helens, the Space Needle, Safeco Park, and Puget Sound. I got to embarrass myself in front of the locals, which is a vacation tradition, for me anyways. The worst was when I felt bad about turning down a guy offering me fish, so I softened the no-sale blow by saying I was allergic to mercury. That was some quick thinking there.
I almost hate to say it, but I was glad when people said I didn’t have the Minnesota accent. You should be glad too, because I sometimes am not the greatest representative. Like I said before, I tend to embarrass myself a lot. Unfortunately, I am blonde, so I apologize to all other blondes. Whenever I screw up, especially driving, I wish I had a hood to pull over my head. At least it’s a physical attribute they don’t arrest you for.
But back to Washington. Hiking is a great activity. My guide, aka my brother, and I chose an easy trail so he could scout it out for other more elderly visitors. It was a four-mile hike that would take a few hours. But when you’re walking in a forest and every tree looks the same, those four miles double really quickly. And when you decide to carve out your own trail, the status is no longer easy. And when you reach for a log to use has a handrail on a vertical slope of mud, make sure there isn’t a three inch slug having a siesta right where you’re going to put your hand because it’s not fun climbing back up a path you slid down. And, if you think you might be lost, start figuring out how to get back right away. Waiting until you’re tired of hiking means you’re going to be hiking for quite some time yet. I guess that applies to all hiking, but I had to go to Washington to fully appreciate those lessons.
Really, a lot of the stories I came back with could have happened anywhere, though I don’t think we have three inch slugs, but something about being away from home makes an experience a memory. They are what help us remember our trips. And because having little stories like those to tell to the grandkids is so important, make sure you travel a lot. And when you’re young is the time to do it, so take advantage of every opportunity, because a story that starts out with “When I was lost in the Rocky Mountains ... ” sounds way better than one that starts with “When I was lost in that forest where Wal-Mart is now ... ”
Cassie Rodgers is a student at UW-River Falls.