Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Madelyn Carlson Writes About Leadville: Adventures in Friendship

Leadville: Adventures in Friendship

This weekend we took a trip to Leadville for some bonding activities with all the students. This was a nice experience because it’s usually so hard to get everyone together at once, since we all have different schedules with our field experiences, internships, and student teaching. Not to mention all our classes and homework.
We arrived at the Leadville Hostel on Saturday afternoon, and we were welcomed to a cozy house with friendly hosts and fellow guests. When we were all settled into our rooms (I chose the bunk bed with the Care Bear sheets, because why not?), we did an activity to help acquaint ourselves with one another, which was valuable to start placing names and faces with personalities. But let’s be honest, we were all just really hungry.
Luckily, the owner of the hostel, Kathy, was an amazing cook. Pork (veggie burgers for the vegetarians, of which I am one), an amazing homegrown salad, mac and cheese, and potatoes all made our stomachs enormously happy, and we ate as much as we could.
After our delicious meal, we broke into two groups and got to know each other even better: discussing deeper, more personal aspects of ourselves. This activity helped us see each other for who we really are, and it was exciting to get to know everyone this well!
I ended the night by playing Scrabble in Spanish with one of my new friends. We determined that English Scrabble isn’t very well equipped for the functionality of Spanish words….
Sunday morning, half of us hiked Mt. Elbert, and the other half went white water rafting in Buena Vista, each of which were just a short drive away. I participated in the hike. Mt. Elbert is the tallest mountain in Colorado, and we could see it from our hostel. We left around 7am, and reaached the summit at about 2pm. It was a long and exhausting trip. We all wanted to give up multiple times along the way, but the view at the top was incredible. Not only that, but we got to know each other during the hike, and you’ll be surprised by the strong bonds you make encouraging your friends to climb a mountain. Or, more realistically, by sharing in complaints about how much our bodies hurt, how little oxygen there was, and how exhausting it was to climb this stupid mountain.
We ate another delicious home cooked meal that night when we returned, and ended our night celebrating one of our classmates’ 21st birthday at a karaoke bar. Everyone had a great time (including Nelson and Bonita!). Another unintentionally great bonding activity was singing songs together by the Spice Girls, BeyoncĂ©, and the Fresh Prince.
Overall, our weekend was a giant success. Though conquering the tallest mountain in the state was rewarding, the best part for me was getting to know my partners in crime for this semester. I know I can rely on any of them for encouragement, adventure, and most importantly, a good laugh.
Cheers to Leadville, to Wartburg West, and our weekend in the sun.

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