We just heard back from Savi, this year’s Gruffie Scholarship recipient, who completed the Rockies to Canyonlands Pathfinder semester this November. In the photo she is setting the pace as Leader of the Day. Thanks to Savi for sharing about her course! If you would like to support COBS and our students, you can make a donation online.
I took time off from school to do this course, which is something I promised myself I was never going to do. I can honestly say this the best decision I’ve made for myself since moving away for school.
I learned that people- whether they are family or twelve random people hiking with you- are worth the effort. My course was full of people from across the country I would never have known existed. Somehow by the end we all knew each other better than the friends and family waiting for us at home. The 13 people on my course will probably never all be in the same room, but that sense of finding family wherever I go has stuck with me.
I also saw firsthand how attitude can change everything. We hiked through the mountains for two weeks, and canyons in the desert for the other two. We put ourselves in places many people will never go: sleeping in the desert with the stars for a rooftop, hiking through snowy mountains at 4am, and drinking water out of small puddles we found in the desert. We were tired, cold, sore, hungry, and frankly pretty skeptical that iodine would kill the swimmers in our drinking water. Instead of thinking about that stuff, we were all insanely happy. We woke up excited to see what the way would hold- it was the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. I learned to appreciate things I wouldn’t normally think twice about- a pretty rock sticking out of the dirt, a dry pair of socks at the end of a long day, or the way a pillar of sandstone stands impossibly on a hill of soft dirt. After this course, I feel more prepared for the hard conversations, more comfortable sitting with the thoughts in my head, and more excited to be alive.