27 October 2015

Take a Hike, Dude! A Break for Those Applying to College

Hi all!
Good to be back on the blog after a super eventful week involving meetings, meetings, and meetings, with a few lunches and a hike squeezed in between. The Portland clouds finally staked their claim last week as the temperatures dropped to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit and the LC community brought out the new winter fashion - which, for those of you who care, ranges from sweatshirt/pants combo to flannel fiends to yuppie-casual to Portland hippie to posh New York and on and on. This blog post will be a little different - it'll only feature a For Fun section, but I'm sure you'll figure out why! Enjoy : )

For Fun

On Sunday, I took my friend (who is in her senior year at her high school) on the Angel's Rest Trail in the Colombia River Gorge. With a breakfast of questionably acquired Bon (nickname for our wonderful dining hall) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a handful of hours of sleep, we set off on the (only) half hour drive to the trailhead at seven AM. 

Fungi is everywhere in the NW forests. We spotted some
of this bright orange fungi on decomposing trees!
Sunday's adventures took us up 1,600 ft of elevation gain, through some wonderful old-growth Northwest mixed deciduous and evergreen forests, and across several stride-stopping viewpoints that showcased a sample of Oregon's killer natural scenery. a first time experience on the West Coast as well as an escape from the stress, pressure, and contrived atmosphere of the college application process, in which many of you are currently experiencing. During our morning trek, Jenn had tons of questions about college life, but what stood out was her desire to graduate high school to live a fulfilling, free, and interesting life that isn't so "safe" as high school sometimes can be. Torin and I were the perfect companions for her, for we both took a break in our educations to work or WWOOF or do pursue other things in life beyond school. Essentially in our 4 hour hike, we assured her that life beyond high school is exciting, stimulating, invigorating - depending on your will to pursue your passions and new interests. We were greeted by 60 mph winds at the top and had loads of fun leaning into the wind and taking in all that fresh air right in the face. The strong and crisp winds were the perfect reset button for our bodies and for our minds.

Jenn looking off into the distance from the Angel's Rest viewpoint. If she turned around, you could see her huge smile she had! *also note, struggling to stand up in the wind
Which college you choose is important no doubt, but what rules over this is your will-power to take life's reins and... you know the rest of the saying. When you're going through the application process, as a transfer or as a senior in high school, this can sometimes be forgotten, and we helped Jenn get back on track and stoked for her future again. If that's not a good enough Sunday for you, we also had Pho for lunch in downtown. Beat that ; )

For Torin (another transfer friend) and I, this hike was a very welcome break from studies and the campus, but for my high school friend Jenn, who is currently applying to college, it was just how our lovely John Muir put it.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity    - John Muir, Our National Parks

So go ahead, try out a hike, anywhere - in the city or out of it.
Hit the reset button.