The trail head is only 4 miles away from campus and I’ve heard of classmates who’ve biked there for the hike, and then biked back to campus. It’s a short hike - only about 3 miles round trip - but I started out at around 3 pm and got back around 6 pm because I took an extra leisurely pace…
For part of the trail, I wandered off main path along the narrower paths up the hills. These small paths branched in several areas and I was careful to take the paths going in the general direction of the main trail. It made me feel like a true adventurer. Eventually I made my way back to the main trail, where the sound of laughter and splashing caught my attention. Some teenagers were splashing down the river along the trail. Tempted, I went down and river hopped upstream along the river with my bare feet, stepping on the round warm boulders where I can, and letting the cool stream wash over my feet other times.
The waterfall was pretty, and I waded under it for a few seconds, admired the view for a while, then started my way back. Unfortunately, I was so enraptured by my phone as I got closer to civilization and got signal back that somehow I found the path getting narrower and narrower… I had accidentally gotten lost off the main trail. Fortunately, I felt relatively safe because I knew the trail intersected with the river upstream somewhere near the beginning. Unfortunately, I overshot that intersection and had to make my way up the hill a ways and finding a path back. Finally, I was able to follow the yellow (flower) road back.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.