Oh, so you went to the beach for spring break?
Five Theta girls. Three IU Outdoor Adventure trip leaders. One Suburban, with four canoes in tow. Oh, and nearly 1500 miles. Out west. Yes, we were Utah bound.
Let me just begin by saying, these girls rocked my socks off. My high top wool socks, that is. After realizing that the IUOA spring break canoe trip on the Rio Grande had already been filled, the five Theta sisters got ahold of OA to create their own custom spring break trip; this spring, they would be canoeing on the Green River in Utah.
You can go ahead and leave all the sorority-girl stereotypes behind. After five days on the river, these girls had canoe camping down to a science. They had successfully paddled through a day of (what I'd consider) gale force winds. They camped in a tent the size of a small spaceship and cooked meals over a fire. And they didn't shower for a week. In Becca-terms, they are now certifiably badass.
For me, the trip was (somewhat) unexpected. I didn't sign up in time to be a leader for any of OA's spring break trips, and each one already had a full leader team. Bummer. I'd be going home for spring break, which actually would be nice since I'd get to spend time with my family. Well, that all changed quite quickly when I realized I had a voicemail from a friend and fellow trip leader at OA: Was I busy this spring break? (Nope.) This new custom trip for a sorority is planned for Utah (Utah!!) to canoe on the Green River (This sounds awesome...) so would I be interested in... (YES! SIGN ME UP!! I'M FREE!!). What a fantastic change of plans.
In total, we canoed 68 miles down the Green River in Utah, starting at Green River State Park and paddling our way through Labyrinth Canyon until we reached our take-out at Mineral Bottom. Each day was sunny and warm. The red canyon walls were indescribably high, and quite majestic, as we viewed them from the water's surface. Every bend in the river held a new breath-taking view. And each night was better than the last, as the eight of us cooked fantastic food, talked about the day, and stared in wonder at the star-drenched sky. I have never in my life seen so many stars. This was truly the stuff you see only in pictures; it was the type of place you always aspire to travel to. How awesome!
After canoeing, we spent a day checking out the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park, which was super cool. It was quite a change in perspective to be able to view the canyons and the Green River from above. That same day, we drove to Moab for our final night camping in Utah. After some much deserved (and needed) showers, our group of eight hit the town and checked out the local shops and sights of Moab. What a neat place. I approve.
Coming back to IU, to good ol' Indiana, was a little bittersweet. There is a beauty and a feeling about the West that I can't really explain. A good friend of mine calls this the West's pull on the soul. Yes, I do believe I'm experiencing that. I can't wait to return. Until then, I'll be cherishing some sweet memories from this trip.