Tuesday, October 9, 2012

500 Miles pt 1

Alternative Title: A Weekend With Jane Goodall, Nature, and Liam Neeson.

Second Alternative Title: How we Survived Our First College Road Trip.

I'm so indecisive, I couldn't even decide what my alternative title should be.

Story of my life.

Anyway! I write to you, my dear reader, to (belatedly) talk about my first every college road trip! (cue party music)

It actually started last year, second semester. We had just finished watching my friend (and current roomie!) do amazing at her slam poetry competition. Walking around campus, we mused about the world slam poetry finals-- which were supposed to happen in October, the date fuzzy in the future.

'We should totally gooooo' we said to one another. We could stay in Fayetteville, find a motel or something, and see the competition.

Then, the topic didn't come up again till a couple of weeks ago. We learned that Jane Goodall was giving a speech-- free and open to the public-- up at U of A in Fayetteville.

The best part? It just so happened to occur on the same weekend as the world slam poetry competition. With all of the stars aligned, we eagerly started to make plans. We started off wanting to camp the entire weekend. Homework, and the fact the campsite was completely booked, changed our plans till we were only staying half the weekend, and in a motel. Side note, I actually started to feel like an adult, as I researched our options, booked a motel, got addresses, planned how to get there. It was a lot of planning, but I knew it would be worth it.

So, last Friday, our intrepid group of four hurtled down the rainy highway towards Fayetteville. Due to classes, we couldn't leave till three-- the doors opened at six, and it was a two and a half hour drive.

Enter, horrible driving conditions and construction work. Somehow, we managed to arrive at U of A at a decent time, and piled into to see the fabled Jane Goodall. To be perfectly honest I knew nothing about her, except that she had worked with primates. Still, it was just the idea of hearing someone who has had such a huge impact; I was excited.

Jane Goodall!
She turned out to be a grandmotherly short woman with a delightful gentle British accent. We all left the speech feeling like we had accomplished nothing of worth in our short lives. Which gave us motivation to actually do something; even if it's not traveling to Africa and make huge discoveries on the lives of primates.

After the talk, we found our motel-- sketchy, but cheap.

Photo, thanks to Dave!..and loose facebook regulations that allow me to steal your photos at will. Thanks!
Flipping through the channels on our surprising huge flat screen tv, we settled on watching Taken. Because a scary movie about being kidnapped is exactly what you wanna watch on your first road trip in a motel where the deadlock had been broken off.

Anyway! We survived our stay, and headed out the next morning to the nearby forest, Devil's Den. It was barely fifty degrees, with a threateningly cloudy sky.

It was amazing.

 We stumbled upon a trail, leading off the road, and headed out to see where we would end up. 

The rolling hills were blanketed with trees, and every now and then we caught a glimpse of the entire picture.

The main difficulty was the intermittent rain drops that persistently threw themselves down from the clouds above. My baby (SLR camera) doesn't do well with rain, yet I was surrounded by such beauty; it was a dilemma. What I ended up doing was cowering under any tree to protect my baby from the rain as I snapped photos. 

Our road was so epic (and I took so many pictures!) that I'm going to break this post into two parts.

Stay tuned to see more of the beauty of nature, and hear about the world slam poetry competition!

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