The Bowdoin Outing Club encourages students to dream, organize and lead outdoor trips. This fellowship offers the financial support to shape the most creative and adventurous outdoor visions into real opportunities. The expedition should foster a spirit of adventure and encourage personal challenges and skill development and in the end, contribute to the growth of the Bowdoin Outing Club.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Grand Canyon Backpack



 Just over 48 hours ago, our journey began in Brunswick. As we exchanged jokes and recounted inebriated escapades, our unified spirit of adventure waxed large as we started south on I-95. However, as the sun set on our first day, this spirit died at a roadside McDonald’s in Buffalo, New York. We then passed through Erie, PA, Cleveland, and the entire state of Indiana. After three hours of fitful sleep in a seat meant for a twelve year-old, I awoke to a disturbing scene in the front seat. By the time we entered the Chicago industrial corridor, Ben and Wilder had stripped down to their briefs. They stunk of poorly rolled cigarettes and a rainbow of artificial M&M colored their hands, but in an unlikely locale, the spirit of adventure regenerated and thrived. The West beckoned. Onward!

At 4 AM, Chicago’s eerily vacant cement forest enchanted the dark ghosts inside of us as perception became slave to cosmic, post-modern fantasy. As monoliths of human desire and creation, cities of today connect us to our collective, pervasive Life Force, as Will Eisner might contend. But after half a dozen missed turns, Chicago departed, allowing me, in turn, to submit to the lesser power of sleep and dream. 

            Ben and Wilder’s spirit maintained us through Illinois and into Davenport, Iowa, where we consumed breakfast at the World’s Largest Truck Stop. The plains had clearly taken a toll on the night drivers, and they would sleep for the next dozen hours. The road beckoned me next, and after half a dozen cups of free coffee, my mind drifted to the singular most powerful force in the human universe, Kate Upton’s breasts. For the next six hours, conversation slowed as the wisely procured SI Swimsuit Edition 2014 dominated the minds hanging from our abdomens.
            Save for an exciting college basketball game on the Qdoba television and a homophobic slur hollered from a pickup truck in Lincoln, Nebraska, little about the high plains interested us. As we entered our 30th hour in the car, a Western Nebraska sunset drenched the plains in hues of red and yellow, reminding us of the world that exists beyond our box of metal and plastic.

            The others tan outside, and I’m anxious to spend what time I have at home with my family. Tonight we begin our drive through Colorado and Utah to the canyon, but in the meantime, we relax.

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