SLO: Sleeping on a couch, hiking the 'P'

(If you are reading this from Facebook, you can also check this out on my blog at )

Well after 4 years in this town, I must say things have truly come full circle. I started my stay in this house sleeping on the couch. Now I'm sitting on the couch once more, where I'll be sleeping before my flight tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. The house is now a shell, just as it was back in the fall of 2nd year. I mean, just look at our rooms, we're gone (sorta):





I mean, Nikki's working on it, although I'm sure she'll hold true to the lease and definitely be here until 11:59:59 on June 30th. It's amazing to think of all the history we have with this house (just look back at my list a few posts back). It was a good house and I'll miss it...

The same thing is true of my hike up the 'P' hill today. I drove to campus thinking I'd feed a meter and quickly hike up and down this hill to feel accomplished. After all, I said I wanted to hike all my usual trails, and this was the last one on my list. The hike, like the couch, invoked another string of memories and stories from my time here in SLO.

I'm glad to see my 'StM' was still carved in the boards next to the 'P', although Khanh's 'Genghis' is now pretty faded. I continued up past the 'P' to the top, a mere walk now to me compared to the tough haul it used to be for me freshman year.

After getting to the top, I searched out another familiar sight: the folding chair. It's always been tradition for there to be at least one folding chair stamped with "Cal Poly Housing Department" up there. This time there was not one, but a whole family of seven chairs up there. I'm glad to see the viewing section for SLO is growing. The sight from the top of that hill is still just as great as when I first hiked up the 'P' hill almost four years ago.

The first time I hiked the 'P', Khanh and I just decided to try our hands at hiking up there. Hell, I still have the pictures from then, man do we look like little freshmen! (Too bad my old photos are on a hard drive that's packed somewhere, maybe I can put them up later) I stood on the edge of the rock face overlooking Cerro Vista, although I passed on doing the Titanic pose off of it like Khanh and I did years back. Same thing goes for the fake "Help! I'm falling!" poses. It took a while to master those...

On another occasion, Khanh and I went up the steep way instead of following the trail. One the way down, Khanh kinda slipped and fell on a yucca plant. For those unfamiliar with a yucca plant, it looks like an aloe plant, just much larger and with little spines on the edges ( ). The spines on those things will draw blood even if you're wearing jeans. MAN, I never heard Khanh swear so much in my life! Those things have gotten me from time to time also. No wonder then call the back of the 'P' hill Yucca Ridge; the entire hillside is an old botanical garden for yucca plants.

The 'P' is also where Rob and I met Kristen and Marlize for the first time. Rob and I were really into exploring everything on and around campus, especially at night. One Friday night, we decided to hike the 'P'. Using Rob's flashlight, we made our way up the trail. We stopped on the service road to check out all the little lights up at the 'P' from other people up there already. One seemed to be blinking at us. Taking it as a signal, Rob flashed his light on and off several times at the light. We continued on our way up there and took a seat on one of the steps next to the 'P'. While sitting there, we overheard two girls behind us talking about who the hell just blinded them with a flashlight. We felt pretty stupid, so we introduced ourselves as the jerks who did it. They turned out to be pretty cool with it. We went on to hike up to the top of the hill that night, and then hike Bishop's Peak and have dinner later that weekend.

Now, I know I've left out all my encounters with animals on the 'P' hill over the past few years. That includes the horses that graze up there. On more than one occasion, I've been chased by the horse, and I don't know why. I steer clear of them and they still find me. On the other side of the hill, I had a bad experience with a stampede of hungry cows. Apprently, opening the gate signaled food to them, so I swung it shut as fast as I could when they came running over. Finally, I had a flock of wild turkeys pursue me up Yucca Ridge. I guess animals must naturally want to chase me...

Finally, I will never forget our night hike to the 'P' second year. It was very foggy, but we climbed above the fog and stopped at the 'P' to check it out. All around, you felt like you were flying above the clouds. All you could see was the clouds below lit by the moon and stars above. I will never forget that sight...

With that, I bid my final goodbye to SLO. Of course I'll be back in July, and back again either as a recruiter at a job fair or as a grad student, who knows. Another chapter of my life has ended, but only to begin a new and exciting period full of unknowns, challanges, and plenty to do. Sounds good to me!

Later SLO and I'll see you Detroit tomorrow afternoon...


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