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CHS Junior - Student Columnist
By Stephanie Madden

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Camping Adventure

Mountains can be climbed and conquered or cowered at and feared; I like to climb and conquer these mountains, because there is no greater feeling. I recently took a trip to west Texas to welcome some great German exchange students to Houston. On this trip I conquered an even bigger fear than climbing mountains, I shared the desert area with the snakes, bears, and spiders. I did learn a lot of important lessons from the trip, and learned that I donít like certain activities.

Camping is a whole different lifestyle, with all the cooking outside and insects that get in your way, plus the chilly winds that come at night. I did not actually construct any tents but I did get a lot of pictures next to them, so at least it looks like I tried. It is amazing the amount of skill it takes to keep everyone together and successful on a camping trip, everyoneís expertise have to come together. A dear family member of mine also learned to check to sole of your shoe before you hike so it doesnít fall off half way up the mountain. My overall opinion of the overnight part of camping is that it is cramped and uncomfortable, but Iím glad the skunk we saw never came to visit me in my tent.

The canoe battle deserves its own segment because it was the most challenging thing I have ever tried. My most excruciating experience was canoeing up river with my sister, hereís a tip: if you have no arm strength, donít take the front of the canoe or you and your partner will end up turning around and going back down the river. You either tough it out and work with your partner, or you can sit in the water and eventually start floating backwards. The best part was reaching the end after the uphill battle, only to learn that I had to go on a hike before they would serve lunch! Going down was our chance to shine, and my sister and I made sure we were at the front of the line. Turns out no one really cared what order we were in because we were just following the river down.

Camping is a good way to test your limits or reach a personal goal, even if you donít enjoy sleeping with nature. The worst that can happen is falling between two boulders and sleeping on a rock, but what are the chances of that happening, right? Quiet places in the middle of the dessert give you a chance to reflect on peace and quiet, or miss your boyfriend back in Houston. On that note, one minor setback to this nature trip is the fact that there is NO phone service in most places. Yes, it is a big deal.

Hiking is a fun adventure that gets your blood pumping and passes the time; just remember to watch your step. Camping is... well... uncomfortable but a good laugh when you think back to all the funny things you did and the skunk that circled the camp ground for half an hour. As for the canoe trip... Iíll leave that to the professionals who enjoy going upriver and down the river. Most importantly, donít forget your sun block, or you could end up looking like a red and white bumble bee like me.


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   Last Update:  April 30, 2008