By Victor Garcia, August 6, 2009
I have just returned to Houston from the camping trip at Garner State Park. It was one of the most fun weeks that I have ever had...and to make it better I got to spend it with my "green" family.
There were so many things to do at Garner that it was ridiculous. There was the obvious option of just loafing, but really who is going to do that when there is so much more to do? Swimming was always on the schedule, and hiking was a close option as well. From bike riding to dancing the cowboy two step, there was so much to do my head was spinning.
The scenery, however, made the trip for me. Climbing the mountains that towered above the campsites was simply breath taking. I felt as if the entire land was calling out to me and welcoming me to the world for the very first time. It was definitely my favorite part of the entire trip.
It was hot I have to say...so hot that the only way to stay hydrated was to carry a gallon of water to the top of the mountain or else you were bound to run out before the hike was finished. There were also a lot of dangers climbing up the mountain. The trails were made of rocks and were often loose and slippery making it difficult to climb. There were many obstacles in the way and....yes cacti! I had the unfortunate experience of having cactus needles protruding out of my rear end! Although it was extremely uncomfortable and a little embarrassing, I was glad to be an example of what not to do and the source of laughter and entertainment for the next two days of the trip.
The river was THE place to be during the day because that was the best way to cool off after any activity. The most popular site at the Rio Frio was a cliff carved out of the side of the wall with tree roots sprouting from the sides making it easier to get onto the cliff. On this cliff were two ropes tied to high branches of the tree nearby. Needless to say swinging from the cliff into the water was a highly amusing sport that almost everyone participated in. We even had some members swing into the water with a life vest on because they couldn't swim too well but wanted to experience the thrills!
All in all it was a very intense and unforgettable adventure. It was a great way to end an even greater summer and it makes me feel good about all of the work that I have done and all of the effort I have put into the sites and my fellow crewmembers. I will remember this summer and use the skills that I have learned and translate them into something that will be more valuable to me in my future and no one can take that away from me...not even if they have a cactus!