San Onofre Adventure

Breathtaking. Never before had I experienced a beach quite like this. Just off the freeway is a parking lot campground full of people and not a care in the world. No one really seems to regulate the behavior here but there is an unspoken sense of respect. My friends and I decided it would be a fun experiment to camp here. After weeks of planning, a tent-building session, and hours spent packing my convertible Sebring we were off. Three friends, packed in a two-door car with loads of gear and Christmas music blaring created the quintessential environment for kicking off an exciting couple of days at the beach. Once we set up camp, we set out on our adventures along the trails and into the unfamiliar. Towering bluffs lined the coast and created unique canyons among the tides. We did a lot in our time here. Nights were spent together in the ocean watching the descending sun and days were spent exploring and appreciating the little things this territory had to share with us. We didn’t look at our phones outside of playing music, we gagged the hours by the signs of the sun and lived each day according to our free will and judgements. Learning about ourselves and each other through the weird things we experienced was all the entertainment we needed. The challenges with assimilating into society after days spent aimlessly and blissfully away hit us with full force. It doesn’t help that the first stop of this crazy train back home was a coastal Starbucks and my dreads at the time were woven with seaweed. None-the-less we returned home and I was more refreshed and happier than ever. You never know what you can gain from something so seemingly simple as a trip to the beach.

Photograph and content by Alex Rager

Pingree Park

Entertain the idea for a moment how you felt standing in the most gorgeous place you have experienced. On a hike through Pingree Park, Colorado I found my bliss. Official freshman orientation was over and while some were going home, I was setting off on the next adventure. Long group hikes, team building exercises, and solitary nature walks constituted the basic schedule of this trip. I didn’t enter this experience with preconceived notions of what to expect, I had never even heard of Pingree. The moment I entered the park, I became a child eager to look, touch and adventure my way through every crevice. I finally understood the excitement of my peers who had been here before. This flourishing green landscape, bordered by mountains and nourished by flowing veins allowed me to examine nature in its purest form. The abundance of visual stimulation became the catalyst for interpersonal thought that would later change my perspective. I never expected the strangers I camped with would become some of my favorite people, that Pingree would become my hidden gem, and those memories would be the ones to share.

Photograph and content by Alex Rager