Last week's Travel Tuesday threw it back to the fall of 2011, so why not stay in that general time period? It was a pretty good one!
I took a travel writing class that semester, and we were fortunate enough to actually get to travel! Most of our assignments were completed in Miami, but my professor was really, really into national parks, so he arranged for the school of communication to partially fund our trips to visit some of them. Is that not the coolest? There were two options: Joshua Tree in California, or Grand Teton in Wyoming. I had a scheduling conflict with the California trip, which meant it was off to Wyoming!
Has anyone else ever traveled with a class? It's a very strange experience. There was an interesting mix of being chaperoned and being totally independent to do our own thing; after all, we were all adults. Our group was really small, because obviously more people wanted to go to California: my professor, three classmates, a grad student and myself. That was it. I didn't really know any of them particularly well, so I was kind of nervous going in, but it was actually a pretty fantastic group of people. We each had two stories to write, so it was quite the adventure trying to coordinate schedules so we could all get the interviews we needed to get at all the places we needed to be. I wrote one story on the park's hiking trails, and one story about the hoppin' art scene in Jackson Hole (the little town we stayed in -- and I say "hoppin'" completely un-ironically. I think there were more art galleries than there were people!). We spent a ton of time in the park, which was just mind-blowingly beautiful, and got to explore Jackson Hole, which looks like the set of a Western. On our first day in the park, two classmates and I spent several hours hiking around a lake. It was actual perfection.
It was such a cool part of my time in college. Unfortunately, the school has stopped funding these trips and they now have to be paid for entirely out-of-pocket. So I feel really lucky that all I had to pay for was airfare!
All that foliage makes me kind of sad that Colorado Springs is extremely lacking in the fall colors department. Do I really have to drive three hours to Aspen to see some pretty leaves? Come on, man.
Anyway, happy fall! :) Has anyone else been to any of America's national parks?