By Sarayu Pai
If you haven’t heard of the famous “one-unit wonders” or “terrific twos,” you need to take a gander at their website. Through this website, you can find out about a wide gamut of super cool classes like horse medicine (lit as all get out) and camping trip classes like “Living on the Edge.” This spring, there were two sections of “Living on the Edge,” and I signed up to go on one. It might be the easiest unit you ever earn — just a few meetings (two pre-trip and one post-trip), and then the actual trip, which takes less than a weekend, so you can be back in time on Sunday to cram in some homework and take a much-appreciated shower.
The trip consisted of about 24 students and professionals from the Earth sciences department boarding a cozy bus and traversing the coast of the western Bay Area. We departed from campus early on Saturday morning (about 8 a.m. — an ungodly hour). Our stops included the Sawyer Camp Trail at Crystal Springs Reservoir, Mussel Rock, Devil’s Slide Trail, the Moss Beach Landslide, San Gregorio Beach, Pebble Beach and Año Nuevo State Park. The views were gorgeous, especially at Devil’s Slide Trail and Pebble Beach, with craggy coastlines imbued with shade of green, gray and orange. For the camping Saturday night, we pitched our tents on a couple’s property close to San Gregorio Beach. Although it was a bit chilly, the air smelled fresh and reminiscent of pine.
On the trip, I learned a lot about geologic formations, met a lot of cool people (including a long-lost relative — a fascinating story for another time) and acquired the vital skill of pitching a tent. You don’t really have to worry about rigorous hiking; the “hikes” are pretty chill and more like walks along a beach or grassy paths, and they don’t involve much exertion. Having only been camping one other time in my life, doing this trip was a good way for me to step out of my comfort zone. I recommend that all, whether you totally prefer “glamping” or you’re a bona fide outdoorsman/woman/person, go on a camping trip like “Living on the Edge.” It’s a nice way to break out of the Stanford campus bubble, while still doing something fairly productive, from an academic point of view.
Contact Sarayu Pai at smpai918 “at” stanford.edu.