EnvironmentalFrom camping and hiking, to learning about organic farming and observing elephant seals and the environment’s ecosystems, Assistant Professor Andy Rost and his Fundamentals of Environmental Interpretation class learned it all on March 7-9 at California’s Central Coast.
“I think I left my beacon in the truck,” my friend said. The quarter-size snowflakes stuck in his beard as he rifled through his pack. I peered out over the edge of the chute that carved a path down to the frozen lake below.
Castle Lake is a small glacial lake located approximately 10 miles outside Mt. Shasta City. On your typical morning in June, the lake would be bustling with families unpacking picnics, kayaks and fishing gear from their cars. Today was different. Today only a small caravan of skiers braved the two feet of fresh snow to take advantage of the rare powder day in June.
The veiled woman watched us with careful attention. Perhaps we captivated her by our conversation that at times switched from Spanish to English, or the distinctiveness of our bi-racial portrait—a gangly Americano and a Morena. I’m sure the conversation was hard to follow, and it was getting rowdy in the bar car of the 18:20 train going from Tupiza to Oruro. A group of four Argentinians, a few Germans and a Brazilian couple joined us to drink wine and beer in their booth.
My ears popped. I put a finger in each and adjusted my jaw. At that moment a muffled blast shook the mine shaft. Dust and small pebbles bounced off my helmet.
“The miners are blasting deeper into the mountain.” Jesus chuckled and brushed dust off the mouth of his whiskey bottle, as if in this environment he was concerned with contamination.
Idleness has never been my strong suit.
Perhaps that’s why I list six states when people ask where I’m from. Perhaps that’s why I love to drive. Perhaps that’s also why I spontaneously decided to spend Spring Break drifting through Southern California with no plans whatsoever.
Here’s what I knew before the trip: It was Thursday. My roommate Kat would travel with me, and the only ride available would be leaving in two hours.