Never is the shortcut actually shorter

Holy smokes what a weekend. Yes, I know it’s 11pm on Tuesday after Labor Day weekend, but it really took a day’s worth of training to actually look at all the stuff that happened.


An absolutely glorious game against Weber State, in beautiful weather, closed out with a victory and Seth Collins proving his worth as a freshman player. A fellow staffmate got me hooked on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D after the game as we worked on door decorations.


I woke up relatively early for me for a Saturday around 9am to the sound of the clock tower a block over. I went to the Farmers Market to get more jalapeños to pickle and ended up losing my drivers license. Spoiler alert: it got turned in to a local shop and I didn’t know about it until Sunday evening. I didn’t get stressed out about losing my ID, despite $40 cash being wrapped around it. I just tried to remain calm as I retraced my steps and waited for it to turn up, all the while mentally preparing myself for the steps I would go through if I did have to go to the DMV to replace it. Some staff and I dropped someone on staff off at the train station, went out for tacos at an amazing taqueria in Albany, and in light of having less than a stellar start to my Saturday we stopped for ice cream on our way back. Those of us who returned from the train station regrouped with the staff and went to Buffalo Wild Wings as more staff bonding. The evening concluded with Super Smash Bros.


Sunday was a slow and easy morning of sleeping in and staying in bed longer to read. The staff line up shuffled again and we went out into the Corvallis wilderness to hike, ending up in Peavy Arboretum instead of where we initially thought we would. Plan A included a waterfall, but Oregon had other plans and the weather wasn’t quite up to par for such a hike so we made a new plan and went off on a hike none of us had really done before. About four and a half miles of almost straight uphill, through the area of the forest used for lumberjack games and logging competitions, known as Cronemiller Lake.

After several hours of monotonous (at least for me, I have a very short stride and like a Hobbit, never really walk with much sense of urgency, so the going is always slow and I usually have to budget extra time to walk somewhere around campus if I don’t want to be late), we did take a nice break to rally for what we thought would be the next leg of the hike but instead proved to be the turning point. While the down hill was faster than the up, as are many things in life once you know the way and how far you have left to go, that is not always the case. Sometimes, a “shortcut” actually makes the journey longer- in a very Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took type fashion- that only adds to the journey. In our case, the shortcut took us to the main parking lot of the arboretum and we trekked back along the side road for almost a mile to get back to the highway shoulder / pull off where we had parked in front of the gate for our original way up. Almost eight miles and over three hours later, I think this was the most insightful bonding moment of our staff during the weekend.

We eventually ended back at our residence hall, regrouped with yet another line up of staff and head to the dining hall for dinner. At one point that evening we started Big Hero 6 but most of us fell asleep halfway through so it was an early night for many.


The end of my long weekend started with coffee with a professor to catch up on summer travels and adventures before a trip to Freddie’s, and meeting up more staff for lunch on the South side of campus. The afternoon included a trip to Target as part of our collection party from the train station, where I acquired the Original Trilogy (Star Wars), which is something I have been hunting for for the better part of a year, and I guess it took the reboot to actually find in the stores. Target, being Target, was offering a $10 coupon if you spent $50 on Star Wars merchandise, and being the person that I am, I thought what better way to bridge the ten dollar difference between the promotional minimum and the cost of the discs than through buying ten dollars worth of Star Wars pasta macaroni and cheese. Why? Because college. The math worked out that I essentially got twelve boxes of mac and cheese as a bonus for buying movies I was likely going to buy off Amazon before the end of the month anyways. Yay coincidence. There was another staff dinner together and after that I holed up in my room watching A New Hope and working on my, “Don’t let the Muggles get you down” motivational bunting for my wall. Yes. I do now have a whole section of my wall dedicated to Harry Potter and I’m very excited. Portlandia coined, “Put on a bird on it,” while I’m drifting towards lightning bolts and courageous lions on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

And the spirit of a lovely weekend concluded this morning when I woke up to news from one of my favorite bands that goes on tour just about never, that they have scheduled a fall tour and will be in Portland in November. Good vibes are happening under the watch of the Virgo constellation (something near and dear to my heart) and I have a really good feeling about this (unlike the unofficial tag line of Star Wars, where in the don’t) upcoming year and my staff- which, like Hogwarts, is like my family.

The biggest take away from the weekend was insightfulness of the ‘shortcut’ of the hike. While we may have bypassed the way we knew and instead took the unknown route thinking it would be easier, it instead proved to be more challenging, since unlike our original turning point to go back, we did now know the way. But we survived. And we endured. Like many aspects in life, the most rewarding moments come from the unforeseen adventures. I believe the important part is to not underestimate one’s abilities. I rarely hike and to go from no hike to 7 + miles is a big difference, and I think building up to more miles and BEING PREPARED is worth the investment and the time.

Like losing my drivers license, which I should have back by the end of the day Wednesday- weird overlaps of the store being closed on Monday and me being busy during their hours on Tuesday, and blindly jumping into more of a trek than my body is used to the biggest thing is to stay calm, breathe, and take things in stride. Six months ago when something similar to losing my license happened, I was an emotional wreck and now I can handle surprises like that much better.


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