Summer calls each WashU student to different things: work, research, classes, travel, sleep. And while every student has a unique calling, there’s one period of time that all of them can agree to as their favorite: that transitory phase between the end of the semester and the beginning of summer commitments.
I started research this summer fairly quickly (right at the end of May), but that still gave me a few weeks to enjoy with some of the people I’ve come to think of as family here on campus. A group that has been featured in my blog posts before, ACF (Asian Christian Fellowship), planned an especially enjoyable outing to Elephant Rocks and Johnson Shut-Ins State Parks one warm weekend. As of now, it stands as one of my most beloved off-campus experiences. The two are located quite a ways away from campus (around two hours), but having a community of friends willing to coordinate rides there and back is something that I can thank WashU for.
Elephant Rocks State Park was absolutely stunning. It’s basically just a short uphill hike towards some massive boulders that one can climb. I’ll admit, there were some dangerous leaps between the rocks that some dared — and most didn’t — to attempt, and I’ll also admit that I might have been one of them.
Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, not too far from Elephant Rocks, is more of the typical hiking trail. It was a different kind of dangerous; the forest surrounding the trail was so expansive that it would be easy to get lost. Thankfully, it’s hard to get lost for too long when you’re in a group of thirty or so people. The river that this state park houses is absolutely dazzling. It’s one of the most beautiful bodies of water I’ve seen in person.
While most of us will be launching — or have launched — into summer plans very soon, my group of friends and I have been lucky to have experienced many adventures already, following the end of the school year. Our visit to these state parks were just one of them; stay tuned for more! 🙂
Enjoy some of these clips of the amazing scenery!