Looking forward to adventures in game of life

Jasen Williams Teen Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Jasen Williams
Teen Columnist, The Friday Flyer

“Giddy excitement.” Those are the two words that describe my mom’s sudden and unheralded desire to see the Grand Canyon.

So Dad made the arrangements, and the family happily anticipated the venture. We soon departed for the Grand Canyon.

After the eight-hour trip, one filled with chip noshing and TV cult classic discovery, we arrived at the Best Western hotel. Shuffling inside, we unloaded the luggage in our room and readied for bed, already raring to get started the next day. We had arrived!

The next two days were filled with the jaw-dropping, fantastical, almost impossible views of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim. A plethora of photos, falling jokes, respect for hang gliders and bungee jumpers, and building speculation were also weaved into the weekend.

Lunches on both Friday and Saturday were held in the surrounding campsites. The family is fairly familiar with camp stoves, and so delightful meals in serene woods followed.

Evenings were either spent at the hotel’s fun room, which featured bowling, air hockey and arcade games, or watching UFC (my 14-year-old sister cheered the loudest).

Before heading home on Sunday, we took one last look at the Canyon and actually walked down part of a trail, one side a sheer wall and the other a steep plummet.

With our trip completed and my mother already subtly dropping hints about Yosemite, we drove home, satisfied and rested.

I am fortunate enough to have gone on a couple of adventures. If asked to list them, my list would evolve into multiple adventure “departments” that interact with each other. To name some of them, there would be Outdoors, Sports, Books, Leadership and Everyday.

Outdoors and Sports are fairly self-explanatory. They are comprised of cliff repelling, whitewater rafting, hiking, swimming, kayaking, wilderness survival, soccer and refereeing.

As for Books, venturing into a piece of literature is unlike any other invigorating enterprise.

Leadership and Everyday are less obvious, but no less vital. Undertakings in leadership consist of facing difficult dealings with other people, guiding groups of boys through rather adverse conditions to a destination, and mental dilemmas of when to coach or counsel a comrade.

Lastly, Everyday occurrences make up the unexpected or hidden surprises that common-day happenings hold for me. The incredible patience of a parent, kindness of a cashier, observations of personality in friends and strangers, and the hidden nobility of mentors are a few new explorations of the typical day that can be quite easy to miss.

While I do not regularly think about my life in an outline this strict, this list of adventures will be continually growing throughout my life.

That said, I can now add another adventure department to the list: a Restful adventure. One on which a person can solely relax, cherishing the surroundings and the fellowship with company.

Before the trip (and a certain conversation with an excellent teacher), I had dismissed vacations such as this Grand Canyon one as almost cowardly retreats from real life, and a waste of time and money, at least for my person.

It seemed that one could typically do all of the relaxing and cherishing in the previously mentioned adventures. Maybe I did not view vacations so harshly, but that was the gist of my attitude.

As of now, I look forward to enjoying more adventures in this grand game of life, even if that means partaking in the adventure of quiescence.


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Donna Ritchie