Reaching warmer weather, braving skydiving for the first time, getting a head start on a summer tan at the beach and crashing the homes of friends or family — well, those were the original plans.
During spring break, many residents of West Hall ventured on road trips with a goal to reach a specific destination and plans to either spend their time leisurely or volunteer their service.
Blake Norris and his group of five had plans to travel all the way to New York City, but their plans were quickly changed due to gasoline prices and vehicle inefficiency. Instead Norris said they “did it big” in Chicago. “We ran amok amongst the tall buildings and cold, hard concrete floors of the Windy City.” Norris further explained the trip as a series of ups and downs that featured “long walks across ghetto landscapes through rainy evenings and a variety of good beverages and food groups at restaurants in Chinatown, Little India, Irish Town and deep dish pizzaville.”
Abe Klafter and four other West boys had intentions of driving down to camp in the Great Smoky Mountains and spend some time in Key West, Florida. Similar to Norris’ trip, Klafter explained that they too experienced vehicle troubles. They nearly made it to Georgia, but needed to stop to find an auto repair shop. The group stopped in Chattanooga, Ten. and took their car to Pep Boys Auto. “We waited in Starbucks for a couple of hours and then we tried a few churches,” explained Klafter. He and his group received a taste of Southern hospitality from a local Presbyterian church. “A few old people in the church invited us to their jam session,” said Klafter. At the session old hymns were played in many different keys with a variety of string-based instruments and a piano.
During their time at the church, the boys received a call to pick up their car from the repair shop. After driving the newly-repaired car a mile and a half down the road, it broke down once again. The group made it back to the church to try to brainstorm alternative arrangements. The boys were joined in prayer by the musicians from the jam session and sure enough, a couple from the church decided to pay $53 for a hotel room to put them up for a night. Klafter shared that it was after this generous gesture that the group decided it was time to change their perspective of the trip.
Another group from West had success with reaching their desired destination to Daytona Beach. Aaron Appel shared, “We stayed at a place right on the beach and swam in the ocean, chilled in the hot tub and met a bunch of people.”
The group also gave skydiving a whirl. “I wouldn’t even be able to describe skydiving if I tried,” said Joel Koster. “Something about the thrill of falling and feeling the wind screaming past your body is an experience unlike any other.”
Jordan Starkenburg, Bradley Smith and Nathan Walburg spent their spring break in Mescalero, New Mexio, an Apache reservation in the south central part of the state. They stayed with a friend who is a youth pastor of a Reformed church. “We had the opportunity to help paint the sanctuary and lead youth groups,” said Starkenburg. One morning the group hit the trails at 6 to watch the sunrise over the mountains. “It was a beautiful sight and a great chance to have fellowship with our friend,” said Starkenburg.
A common approach among the groups who set out on road trips was hitting the road with a detailed plan of action with anticipation of the trip meeting all of their expectations. Some groups were able to check everything off their lists, but a handful came back realizing sometimes the best plans are to have no plans.