College Outdoors trip ends in wrong state(s)

Illustration of Ohio state with adventurers in foreground
Rosalie Zuckermann / The Mossy Log

Today I returned from a weekend getaway to Mount Adams, run by LC’s very own TripAdvisor, College Outdoors. But what began as an adventurous bonding experience with my peers quickly devolved into madness more chaotic than the 11:20 a.m. lunch rush. 

The first sign that something was wrong was that the van ride took a few days, instead of the anticipated five hours. Our beloved trip leader, Geode, had mixed up his gummy bears and edibles — silly REI backpacks with too many pockets — and routed the GPS to the Mount Adams neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

As I’m sure you are all wondering, yes, I can confirm that Ohio does actually exist. 

Upon exiting the vehicle, four of the participants immediately went into anaphylactic shock due to severe allergies to suburban conformity, requiring immediate treatment with Anatase crystals (in place of antihistamines.) A fifth fainted at the sight of a straight couple. 

We knew we had to find some nature quickly otherwise all their “wild and free” tattoos might spontaneously fade away. Fortunately, Ohio happens to be rich in biodiversity. Just outside the Walmarts and Culver’s lay endless fields of oats, soybeans — basically any starch worth making into a non-dairy milk.

We packed up our cooler of Guayakí Yerba Mate, heaved on our backpacks full of ambiguously packaged gummies and began to trek into the Wild (mid)West. On the trail we came across some mushrooms that looked just like the cute earrings sold at the art fair. 

“How can something so adorably cottagecore be dangerous?” we thought, so we took the liberty of snacking on them, especially after the gummies had proven a risky bet. 

We had all been excited for a steep expedition up a mountain and were sorely disappointed by a landscape flatter than Bon soda. But luckily, after our snack, gravity began to tilt and the soybean fields shifted upwards into what felt like mountains. Potential causes of this change remain a mystery.

That night, our short-lived good fortune came to an end. I was lying awake, cushioned by a Thermarest roomier than my twin XL dorm bed, when I heard some unsettling noises emanating from the other tent. For a group of yoga buffs, I could tell it was definitely not meditation breathing. At last, I managed to drift off to the white noise of my tentmate sleep-quoting Marx.

A heavy rainstorm awoke us the next morning, but we peered out of our tents to find only blue skies. As an all-Californian group, we were used to being confused by precipitation, so we had a significant amount of questioning whether we had entered a simulation and Ohio did not, in fact, exist after all. 

At the sight of an Old MacDonald man in the flesh, we realized that the water had to be coming from a sprinkler system. This was no ordinary field; this was a farm! It all made sense: soy curls have to be grown somewhere, after all. Since trespassing is not a sexy crime (the sexiest crimes being arson, tax evasion and selling the moon, for those curious) we packed up and turned around. 

Finally, we returned to the van, only to discover a family of raccoons had made themselves at home. Geode made the executive decision that it would be a PETA violation to evict them, so we used the last of the trip fund to buy roller skates for everyone. Whoever said that partying is easy never tried discoing down I-69.

Before you sign up for the next College Outdoors trip, think twice, and make sure your trip leader takes you to the right place. Otherwise, you may find yourself in several states you did not originally intend to be in.

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