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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 3, 1998)
Outdoor Adventures offers challenging spring break alternative
ANTHONY COLMAN is a
sophomore general studies
major and a Daily
When I w rote the follow ing pas
sages. or rather the bulk of them. 1
was on my spring break, miles away
from my studies, in the mountains of
Arizona. At present. I am a sojourner
in civilized life again.
1 see young people, my fellow
students, whose misfortunes is is to
have remained in Lincoln for iheir
whole spring break, gasping for
breath under the labors of work oi
under the suffocation of their fami
I could not allow' myself the same
fate. Mortified at the notion of
spending a week at my parents'
house in Hastings, watching Oprah
and getting fat off Chex Mix, I had to
find an alternative.
In a flash of insight, I discovered
the ideal solution - Outdoor
Adventures, sponsored by the
Campus Recreation Center; cheap,
easy and fun. I had hoped to go
white-water rafting down South, but
the Fates decided I should instead go
rock climbing in Arizona.
Which was i me by me I just
wanted to do something new and
extreme, and to go somewhere where
I could actually see the sun. I eagerly
shelled out the $295 - a nominal fee
for our heroic quest and began
preparing for this exciting venture.
Day one: At dawn, we loaded up
the van and left Lincoln behind us.
We are now traveling along Interstate
80, our fates yet uncertain. There are
13 of us. including the four trip lead
ers. An unlucky number - but 1 am
not a superstitious person. This will
be a good adventure.
People in other cars keep staring
at us. You'd think they've never seen
a v an full of students with a cage full
of camping gear bolted to the top.
Maybe they’re just staring at the
freak who dyed his hair blue for this
trip. 1 think his name is Tim or Tom
or something iike that.
Day two: Morning. 1 think we’ve
been stuck in this van for like 82
hours. I’m not even sure what day it
is anymore. I haven’t even brushed
my teeth since Friday morning, and
my toothbrush is packed with all my
other shit up on top of the van. Some
girl who brought her teddy bear on
the trip is giving everyone Wet Ones.
We finally arrived in Prescott,
Ariz., this morning.
Arizona. Instead of “The Grand
Canyon State," their license plates
ought to read “Where Old People
Come to Die." I have never seen so
many vintage Cadillacs all in one
place. As a place of retirement, only
Florida and North Platte could rank
1 wonder if Prescott's hospital has
anything other than a geriatric ward.
And 1 honestly swear I saw a drive-in
funeral home right next to the Pizza
Hut on the highway ship.
After a fortifying breakfast at
Denny's, we finally made our way to
the campground Good thing, too -
some of us were chafing and getting
bedsores from sitting in the van for
I'm surprised by the scenery of
our location. I honestly thought
Arizona would look like a
Roadrunner cartoon, with big cactus
es and rock formations. Bui we're in
the mountains, it's like the Black
My tentmates and I pitched our
tent on the best site of the whole
camp. We had to fight hard for it, but
Day th ree: Finally we got to do
some climbing today! I feel like a
total stud in the climbing harness.
The twelve labors of Hercules were
trifling in comparison to those we
have undertaken. To make the climbs
more challenging, some of us tried it
blindfolded, while the leaders threw
rocks at us from below.
r ■ 1 — i
h hi.. m
Day four: We made a campfire
last night, which was really nice.
Several of us slept outside. I fell
asleep watching for shooting stars.
Some folks w'ant to make s’mores
at our next campfire, and the blue
haired dude and I are trying to figure
out how to get alcohol to the camp
site. Since we can’t transport it in uni
versity vehicles, we’re thinking about
hitchhiking, or getting a pack mule.
After the Bataan Death March
this morning. w;e finally arrived at
our climbing site. Climbing was
awesome. The view was incredible
from the top - of the lake and valley
below us. More sun - I’ve never been
so happy to be sunburned.
Day five: Awakened by the
Made s’mores at the campfire
last night and taunted the guy who
gave up chocolate for Lent. Talk
inevitably turned to sex and relation
ships, and eventually just sex.
I think the others are beginning
to fear me.
We decided to take a break from
s climbing today and go swimming
instead. The water was freezing. The
first time I dived in, I stayed in the
water for all of three seconds. Later I
braved it for maybe five minutes of
splashing around - and I haven’t
seen a sign of my testicles since then.
I’m wondering if they’ll ever
We all just spent the afternoon
sunning ourselves on boulders, like
overfed lizards, arising only to eat or
play Hacky Sack.
We actually got to take showers
today! The place where we showered
swore us to secrecy before we could
see a drop of lukewarm water.
Arizona seems to be having water
shortages. Go figure.
The weather looks a little threat
ening tonight. I doubt anything will
happen, but I think I'll sleep in the
tent, just in case.
Day six: I was awakened by
someone shouting “It snowed!” I
crawled out of out tent to find every
thing plastered with cold wet, sticky
snow. I’m wearing every article of
warm clothing I brought, with my
rain-gear over the top of it.
I can’t believe it snowed on
Since nobody really wanted to go
climbing in the cold muck, we spent
the day exploring Prescott’s court
house square and later goofing
around at an indoor climbing wall.
The snow melted off rather
quickly, and it just rained all day. So
now everything is just wet.
The spot where we pitched our
tent totally sucks! My tentmates and
I returned to the campsite to find our
tent in the center of a geographically
All the water from the campsite
flooded directly to our tent. Now my
sleeping bag and everything I own is
soaking wet. The only clothes of
mine that aren’t wet are those I've
Day seven: Let me die. This is
not an adventure anymore. This is
hell. I have always said that hell is
not a hot place, but cold and wet.
This proves it.
I finally dozed off last night, only
to awaken at four in the morning,
freezing, wet and praying to false
gods for the dawn to arrive. I’m wait
ing for the others to wake up so I can
start bitching to them about my mis
Someone said they got up to pee
and saw a skunk rummaging through
our stuff. I’m surprised the creature
could stand the smell of us.
Later in the day: The weather
hasn't been so bad today, and it’s our
last day here, so we went climbing.
We started out rappelling into a
mighty crevasse. That was fun. I
could spend the whole day just rap
I wanted to do some more serious
climbing, but I also sort of just want
ed to get the hell out of there. So I
mostly just belayed for other
climbers or stood around shivering in
After climbing, we got to shower
again. I've never been so happy for a
lukewarm shower and cold shave in
my whole life. It was better than sex.
I was all cozy-sleepy afterward.
We then went back into town to
have a big banquet and celebrate our
adventures. We all ate too much,
drank too much and generally had a
good time. I’m now clean, well-fed
and buzzed. Life is good.
Day eight: We got up early,
decamped and managed to be on our
way home before noon.
I never knew people could pass
so much gas. We can't close the win
dows in this van for fear of asphyxia
tion. We've got 13 healthy college
students in here producing more nat
ural gas than Energy One. The folks
in the back seats are just playing
pitch and farting. It’s worse than a
bunch of retirees on Metamucil.
Morning thunder struck again on the
It smells in here.
I figured this w'ould be a good
time to start on the homework I
brought with me.
The one we call Moo-moo want
ed to get a semi driver to honk his
horn. But instead of the universally
understood gesture of pulling an
imaginary cord she circled her fin
gers and made a jerk-off gesture at
him. He tailgated us all the way
through New Mexico.
After driving all night, we
stopped for breakfast in North Platte,
the lousy hell-hole where I was
forced to piss away my youth in clos
eted misery. I wondered if anyone I
graduated from high school with
would be working at the Burger
I was sort of disappointed that no
one was - would’ve loved to rub it
in. But the stop further proved that
North Platte is just plain evil.
We returned to campus around
noon, generally grateful to be home,
and happy to find Lincoln sunny and
We unloaded the van, cleaned up
our equipment, bid our farewells and
Most have not delved 6 feet
beneath the surface, nor leaped as
many feet above it. We know not
where we are. Lin really glad to have
gone on this trip.
My hardships have, of course,
been deeply exaggerated, but some
extremes in life are necessary at
times to remind us that wre live and
breathe. I felt more verily alive dur
ing this week of camping, hiking and
climbing than I have in months.
The Outdoor Adventures pro
gram provides students with excel
lent opportunities for fuii and excite
However, the program’s greater
virtues may be how participants are
challenged to draw upon their own
strength and resourcefulness.
Students are encouraged to examine
themselves more thoroughly than
they might ordinarily be inclined.
Outdoor Adventures gives stu
dents a great chance to really explore
their own abilities, ambitions and
I got the hell out of Lincoln for
the week, tried something fun and
totally new, met some great people,
got some new stories to tell and gen
erally had a blast; all for $295.
I’m hooked on Outdoor
Adventures now and plan to go on a
lot more trips in the future.
Why not? It’s cheap, easy and
fun. And it beats loafing around my
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