I’ve recently had the pleasure of spending the weekend with Cybil at her grandmother’s cabin in Huntington Lake.¬† I invited my boyfriend Gary to tag along, it turned out to be a weekend for the books inside the most charming house I’ve ever seen. I met her Grandmother Ellen, husband Chase, son Caiden, their friend Jacob and their Great Pyrenees Thor. Thor was one of the largest dogs I’ve ever seen, “I want one!” I tell Cybil. She responds, “It’s all fun and games until you get one.” I couldn’t stop laughing after that. Her family is warm, hospitable and hilarious, again couldn’t stop laughing.

I learned she spent every summer of her childhood at her grandma’s cabin and grew up not too far from it still in the mountains. She grew up drinking great, clean water straight out of the faucet and with a father who was conscious of how to treat land. When we wrote about our concerns, I didn’t mention environment, and in class I learned that her concerns were of access to clean water, air and outdoors for recreation or leisure. I don’t think I fully understood or felt her concerns until the weekend.

I noticed I wasn’t as congested as I normally always am in Visalia or Fresno, and that I was able to drink great tasting clean water right out of the faucet. I went out to go Kayaking on Huntington Lake, surrounded by the surreal views of what seemed to be endless amounts of trees upon multiple hills. I was able to close my eyes, feel complete silence in nature and feel at peace with everything. I then couldn’t help but start thinking about our group project with Adventure Risk Challenge, their mission to help increase academic skills along in an outdoor setting along with knowledge of nature. This weekend cemented the importance of ARC’s mission and¬†converted me into an environmentalist.