Friday, May 13, 2011

Sad to see it end...

Wednesday morning was different from any other Wednesday morning I have had since I have been here. Normally we head out for OP on Thursdays but this week we were in for a treat and headed out on Wednesday instead. The weather wasn't great come Wednesday morning but it soon cleared up and it was sure to be a beautiful day. We were all in suspense if we were going to get to go sailing because it was the only activity we hadn't done yet but we soon found out it just wasn't going to work. That ended up being ok. I wasn't overly excited to go sailing anyways. What I really wanted to do was give surfing a second try and that was exactly what we got to do, but I will get to that eventually. So this was our last outing for OP and it also included an overnight camping trip. We were in no hurry for the day because we had no deadline, we literally had all day. So instead of doing just surfing we decided to play monkey again, but before we did that we got to say hi to Tuesday's group. They had camped out the night before and were just returning shortly after we arrived at the center. They looked a little worse for the wear, but that happens after a full day of surfing and then a night of sleeping on the ground. They said they had a ton of fun surfing and camping was fun too. They left the tents up so at least we wouldn't have to do that part, everything would be ready for us when we got there.

I just missed!
So, back to the monkey part. If you remember, the very first OP day we played around in the trees on the high and low ropes courses and we did the trapeze jump. There was another "activity" in the trees that we didn't have time to do that day so we decided to give it a try. It is called Jacob's Ladder and it is basically a huge ladder made out of logs and wires. Each log consistently gets further from the next one as you travel higher and high with the first two being about 3 feet apart. You work in teams of three, with 3 people climbing and 3 people on the ground belaying the climbers. I wasn't too crazy about giving it a try but I wasn't going to pass it up either, so we clipped in and headed toward the sky. The couple of logs were easy and we were able to get up independently of each other. By about the third one we had to start working out a plan of action to get to the next. We helped Melissa get up first and then I went up second, Melissa helping from above and Lauren helping from below. Melissa and I then pulled Lauren up. This worked well for one or two logs but eventually the logs got too far apart for this method to work. Lauren is very monkey like and was able to help herself up more than I was able to so it ended up working just fine. We helped Melissa get up and then I would go and then Lauren would grab on with her arms and then legs and we would help pull her up as much as possible. Eventually I just got too exhausted and too scared to go any higher. We were only 2 from the top but I couldn't possibly get any higher. It was terrifying being up there balancing on logs. I knew that if I fell I would be just fine because I was attached to the rope but the terror overcame me. I couldn't go on, but I was ok with that, I climbed really high and gave it my all. After everyone had there go on the ladder we decided to give the trapeze jump another try. I was so close to getting it the last time and I was pretty determined to get it this time. I guess I needed a little more determination or a little less fear. I think, if it is possible, I have developed a fear of heights these past 11 activities. I remember coming into the high ropes course at the beginning of the semester fearless and now I get scared on every heights activity. By the time I climbed to the little platform I had a hard time letting go of the tree and edging myself to the end. I eventually talked myself into and jumped. I touched the trapeze again but not enough to grab it. It wasn’t being on the platform that got me worked up, it was the getting there. If I could avoid the climbing part I think I would be fine.

That ended up being the end of the high ropes course. We took forever on the ladder so we decided to get into the wet suits and head for the sea. As always, it was great fun getting into the wet suits; that is one thing I won’t miss about OP. We got everything packed up for surfing and for camping and headed out. The first beach we stopped at didn’t have good waves so we continued down the road to the next one. Llion told us the waves at that beach were as good as they were going to get so we headed out. The waves were bigger and coming in faster than the first time we surfed and I was ok with that. It was also about 50 degrees warmer and the water felt much better too. It was actually rather refreshing in the water. I was so excited, there was nothing that was going to bring me down this time. Since we already knew what we were doing we just jumped right in. More or less we just kind of ended up playing around in the waves. The guys had really good luck with standing up early. Some of the waves were perfect but I never seemed to be on my board at the right time. It was ok I was having a great time just playing in the water either way. I did manage to ride a few waves in on my stomach and I even got to my keens a few times. My arms were just exhausted from the morning’s activity and from all the paddling. The key to surfing is to paddle before the wave gets to you so every time one is close you have to paddle paddle paddle! After doing that a few times, and finally catching a wave, I wouldn’t have enough strength to push myself up onto the board. But I sure had fun trying! I gave it my all and I will have to give it a go the next time I have the opportunity to do so!

For the last time, we got to change in the parking lot and thankfully there were showers at the campsite. At least we didn’t have to stay full of salt and sand over night. It was nice having the camp site set up for us when we got there. All we had to do was put our sleeping bags in the tent and start the grills. We lit the coals, showered and then started all the yummy food. On Tuesday, Riley and I bought supplies for the night and we were 100% sure no one would go hungry! We had a feast including homemade chocolate chunk cookies, hot dogs, hamburgers and enough potatoes to feed an army. I cut up potatoes for an hour the night before just to make sure we would have enough. We took turns grilling and eventually, just like I suspected, everyone was stuffed. There was plenty of food to go around. The best part about the campsite was the fact that it was just a short walk away from a cute little pub. What more could you ask for? A day of surfing, grilling and then a pub to relax in. It was bound to be a great night! We had a couple of rounds and then headed back to the camp site for s’mores, ghost stories and games. It was a great night of bonding with the group. I was so exhausted after the day’s activities that I thought I would fall fast asleep but it didn’t work out quite as planned. It took me forever to fall asleep, probably because I’m spoiled and I don’t like to sleep on the ground. Oh well, it was worth it after the awesome day we had!

The next morning we were cooked out of our tents around 8; the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day! We packed up and headed home. We cleaned up and put everything away and then reminisced about the whole semester. It is really crazy how fast it went by. It feels like just yesterday we were putting on the purple suits for the first time! OP was on of the greatest opportunities I have had since I’ve been here! I can’t wait to try all of these activities again someday!

Until next time…


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