Last November a couple of students asked about doing an art hike. So Slagle and I planned a hike up Table Rock and no students showed up. But I had a great hike in perfect weather with Jim, his wife, his sons and their friend. This year a different student asked about planning another hike and several students seemed interested. What the heck, right? So Slagle and I planned another trip to Table Rock State Park.
I arrived a few minutes early and started having a deja vu feeling. That feeling grew stronger when Jim arrived next and the two of us stood alone in the parking lot again.
But soon the carpool vehicles started arriving and we had a herd of hikers. One car had to deal with a flat tire and ran late. Cessquatch managed to somehow be driving around inside the park without finding us for 15 minutes. Once she arrived and devoured the last doughnut, we set out to take a starting photo. This was the only way I could get all of us in the photo.
But since Jim and I look alike, it really didn't matter. So from the left that's Elizabeth, Chelsea, Paige, Lindsay, Logan, Laura, Me or Jim, and Cessquatch.
That's Jim doing a little free rock climbing on the way up.
And those two tiny people way over there on that rock are Lindsay and Chelsea.
Most of the large rocks on the way up needed to be climbed. On this one they tried to spell out "LU ART" with their shadows.
On our way up the last carpool car arrived with Ashley (Whisk), Blake, Cam and Charlie the dog. They caught up to us quickly and then passed us. Ashley, Blake, Cam, Cessquatch and Charlie the dog were in pretty good shape.
About 3/4 of the way up there's a lookout called Governor's Rock. The students may not have been in as good of shape as their professors...so we took frequent breaks. This was a good spot to rest and take photos.
Those are the students resting.
While they rested and snacked I made some temporary tags.
Then after a bit more uphill walking/climbing we reached the end of the trail.
The weather was perfect again and the view was spectacular.
Here's the entire crew in a photo taken by some friendly hikers. Lindsay and I are doing the "sorority pose".
Because we are art people and this is the digital age, we took a ton of photos and videos for various people at the top. This is the first jumping photo.
And this is the second one. I think everyone is off the ground at some point in one of the two photos. Except Charlie the dog. He just seemed confused.
It was beautiful at the top but also pretty cold.
The water draining off the rock face was frozen.
The trip back down the trail is always faster but there were already some sore muscles and tired feet.
Which gave me time to take photos and aggravate people.
When we reached the bottom of the trail this bunch was beat.
I couldn't talk anyone into getting into the waterfall with me. I walked down and dipped my hands in and was instantly glad no one agreed to get in.
Jim, Lindsay and Chelsea on the waterfall.
I think this photo shows exactly why this sort of thing makes Lander awesome. I haven't had Elizabeth, Chelsea or Lindsay in my class yet. Still, we were able to get to know each other and apparently they felt comfortable enough to give me rabbit ears. This opportunity to interact and get to know each other outside of the studio is one of the things that sets our department apart from all the others. And our students...our students are wonderful people. Not only do they want to do things like this on their own time but when they do they are well behaved, good citizens. Well, except for Logan's potty mouth! Right Logan?
Seriously, what a great day with great people. This is why we get sad when our students graduate. And perhaps why graduates like Whisk and Cessquatch come out of student retirement to go hiking with us. I guess once you're a part of the art family you're always a part of the art family.
My day, however, was not done. I pulled out of the parking lot and headed the opposite direction of everyone else. I still had artwork to deliver to Walhalla some 50 minutes away. After a really quick visit with Stan and Robin at End of the Road Studios, I turned the truck back toward home, picked up BBQ at Sticky Fingers and got home just before bed time.