Filed under: Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Uncategorized
Spring Break with Six College Students! Part 1–The Plan
Through a series of rather curious coincidences, we ended up spending Spring Break, traditionally our annual Easter trip, with six college students. Six terrific college students., four of whom we were meeting for the first time.
Both our son and daughter attend college at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, seven hours away from our home in Manitowoc, WI. For the past year now, our son has been a member of the Outdoor Club (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!) which has as its mission to assist its members in engaging in as many outdoor activities as possible. For fall break in October, the group took a camping, hiking and kayaking trip to the Ozarks.
Ryan has been camping with us over every summer and has visited, camped, hiked, and rafted Taos, NM nearly every time we did. He was the first of our children to visit the home we purchased and eagerly embraced our move to the area. Over the years, as I would listen to the local radio station online, I would update him on the adventures and celebrations at the local ski hills as there are three in the immediate vicinity of Taos: Angel Fire, Sipapu and, of course, Taos Ski Valley.
As the downhill ski season winds down in spring, they all have hilarious adventures occurring, such as car-load day, cardboard races and pond-skimming. Cardboard races are just as they sound; participants decorate a piece of cardboard and race others down the mountain on the cardboard. Hilarity ensues and prizes are awarded for the best decorated and to those actually staying on the “board”. Pond-skimming is a local favorite—a large pond is created at the bottom of a run. Participants ski down the run and attempt to “skim” over the surface without sinking to the bottom. They are rarely successful.
This spring, the Outdoor Club was looking for an adventure for Spring Break. Ever the eager host, Ryan suggested that they all head out to Taos to take advantage of the great spring skiing opportunities and end of season prices. The group was in favor of his idea. He then asked if they could all stay at our (only partially furnished) house in Taos over the break. As many of you know, Terry and I have been going through teen withdrawal since our “baby” went off to college last August. We (mostly) eagerly jumped at the chance.
Also, given that Meghan has the same break as Ryan (and is NOT a member of the outdoor club—no surprise there!), and did not have a bank roll to take herself on a more typical spring break trip, we planned to pick her up on our way through Des Moines and just bring her with us. However, given how planning among college students often goes, we had no idea how many students we were hosting until the day before the trip. When we would ask Ryan, we would get the response, “it’ll be between 6 and 10.” (!)
The reason this was an issue is that we only have one bedroom furnished until we officially move to the house next month—our room. We do have a futon that is a queen size bed and a sofa that folds out into a queen-sized sleeper. But we wanted to buy nice, double queen-sized air mattresses for everyone who would not be getting an actual mattress. We took a chance and bought two, then promised one of them to Meghan by herself in the smallest bedroom, as she had never met any of these students either. This represented a great relief for her!
Next post—Part 2—The Skiing!
For more information about what to do and where to stay in New Mexico, check out New Mexico camping.