Student Experience Blog

The Call of the Wild

Ah, nature.

Nothing quite beats the sweet aroma of pine needles, the gentle warmth of a campfire, or the never-ending feeling of impending doom that accompanies a hike through the woods.

Or is that last one just me?

This week I ventured out of my comfort zone (i.e. wifi range) for the rugged, gritty terrain of the Payette National Forest. And let me tell you, Bear Grylls I am not.

Being a connoisseur of movies, I was all too-familiar with what could possibly go wrong. During any of the four days I was out there with my family I could have A) been attacked by bears B) kidnapped C) encountered quicksand or D) been led astray by a witch in a candy-house in her elaborate plan to consume my brother and I. Don’t tell me that never happens, the story had to come from somewhere, people.

But, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your sense of adventure) none of that happened. I had a fantastic time. I spent hours swimming and rafting Goose Lake, went exploring, and ate way too much food. But I didn’t see any geese, which I felt was odd. What was their naming method, I wonder? I must investigate further.

I went on a hike with my family that, despite what I had convinced myself during the uphill part, I managed to survive. It wasn’t easy, but I made it. I laughed, I cried, I’m pretty sure I passed out a little bit, but I came out at the end of it better for the experience. I highly recommend the trip. The view I saw atop those mountains was one that could inspire any writer or artist stuck in a creative deadlock. The stuff of legends, I would even go as far to say. I was even inspired enough to write a haiku. At that point I was exhausted and possibly going through various stages of delirium, so it’s a little hard to follow. It’s just not my best work, I admit.

People tend to forget just how remarkably beautiful Idaho is. Patches of wilderness lay untouched and ready for exploration are dotted across the entire state. Here, you are never more than 30 minutes from a Jack London-esque adventure (minus any weird, dystopian overlay of course).

It was nice to get one last hurrah in with my family before I leave for school in September. This trip is something that I look forward to every year, as it is the ultimate escape from the world and a way for me to bond with the family. With the hustle bustle and excitement of college, it’s easy to forget your roots. Luckily, being so close to home, those roots are never too far out of grasp. If I’m feeling homesick, I can call my aunt and have her stop by for an obligatory trip to Orphan Annie’s, the Chinese restaurant only a mile from CofI. Or I can drive ten minutes to visit my sisters in Boise. Or I can just watch Homeward Bound and sob like a small child. Whatever works.

That’s it for me this week, readers. I’m getting ready to start my last week of work before I head to Canada at the end of August and, after that, the beautiful C of I campus for the adventure that will be my sophomore year. It’s one of those choose-your-own ending stories that I never could resist when growing up.

-Ashley A. Miller

Ashley is a sophomore Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.