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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Editor Adventures

Did you really go hiking if you didn’t take any selfies? Have you done anything significant if it’s not meme-worthy?
Did you really go hiking if you didn’t take any selfies? Have you done anything significant if it’s not meme-worthy?

By: Elaine Best and Addie Lawrence, Editors

E: From time to time, Addie and I like to come in contact with nature. We do this for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest pluses of adventuring out into the wilderness is escaping society.

A: It’s not that we don’t enjoy writing papers in Milliken until 3 a.m., but we find a particular thrill in driving dangerously close to the edge of winding, mountain roads.

E: During one of our escapades, we all took off our shoes and socks and wandered about these small waterfalls and ponds we had found. I was very hesitant at first because I am a danger to myself on a sidewalk. Now I had to navigate slippery rocks and scared salamanders. I was just dipping my toes into the edge of the water when I looked up and saw Addie was already climbing to the highest point she could find.

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A: If you can’t confidently mimic that scene in the Lion King where Rafiki holds baby Simba over the edge of Pride Rock, then what’s the point of hiking? This particular adventure took place at Table Rock, on a relaxing trail full of rock pools and rivers – it felt like the perfect spot to meditate or take 50 selfies for Instagram.

E: I got to pretend to throw Addie off of a cliff. It was so relaxing. But perhaps the best encounter we had in nature was with the Bandana Crew.

A: The trail we hiked this time around was not relaxing, nor was it full of rivers and rock pools. It was a dehydrated barren landscape that went uphill both ways but never reached an overlook or a view. The ground was steep and broken into steps so huge that it felt like we were mounting horses with each stair. We couldn’t believe that this was the moderate trail we had found on the map.

E: I was playing it off the entire time like I was dying. I was with more experienced hikers, after all. Was this what they considered to be a pleasant stroll? Is losing the ability to breathe part of the experience? Luckily, I don’t think anyone noticed. I mean, yes, I was sweating through my shirt, fell multiple times and kept glancing up forlornly trying to find the top of the stupid climb. But I at least kept all my screams on the inside.

A: When we reached the end of the trail and returned to the parking lot, sweating gravy boats and breathing like Darth Vader, we encountered a crew of hikers. They were the Jets to our Sharks- tight, impractical tank tops, bandanas tied into useless forms and jean shorts – yes, jorts. We listened as they fumbled with the map, staring in confusion at the trail that we’d mistakenly hiked. We were overwhelmed with a false sense of superiority toward the Bandanna Crew. And then they asked us for directions.

E: For some reason, they trusted us to guide them to the right trail. Afterall, we had just gone on an accidental hike that would leave my muscles screaming for the next few days. You could see in their eyes how disapproving they were of our lack of bandanas and jorts. I am usually ashamed to be seen in public with Addie anyway, but this was 10 times worse.

A: In the end, we ended up hiking the same trail at the same time. Our rivalries put aside, we managed to enjoy the mountain air and the sense of accomplishment that comes with finally going in the right direction. That is, until someone rearranged the signs on the trail, causing us to end up on a random road. Hiking is about the journey, not the destination.

Moral of the story

E: Loudly talking in nature not only scares off animals, but other hikers hoping to escape social interaction. Bandannas are hip again. Jorts will never die. Dead tree trunks are not, in fact, wild bears, but that won’t stop you from freaking out.

A: GPS technology has made useless navigators of us all.

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