Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies
Cadillac Ranch, located in Amarillo, Texas, is a public interactive art installation.

My Great American road trip

Sarah Frosch, Digital Media Editor

Spending 60 hours in a car clocking roughly 4,000 miles with your four closest friends and no fewer than 20 Baja Blasts may seem like a daunting spring break. But when you find yourself looking over the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time in your life, those hours in the car don’t seem so significant. Everything melts away.

As a Great American Road Trip virgin myself, I feared the unknown. I wondered how being in close quarters with friends I’d only known about a year would impact our relationships on our way out west. I’m someone who is not the most athletically inclined, so a somewhat hiking-centered expedition was daunting.

I debated taking a quieter, beach-filled spring break, despite desperately wanting to be surrounded by the mountains stretching across our journey from Boulder, Colorado, to Flagstaff, Arizona.

After days of debating my position, I decided that no matter the outcome of the trip, I shouldn’t limit myself based on fear alone. The only way to know how I would fare on this ambitious trip was to go.

I set out on my trip with no fewer than three cameras in my hands, channeling the likes of Ansel Adams and William Henry Jackson. Determined to take the best photos of my life, and hoping for the best photos in history, I packed up ten rolls of Ilford film and several SD cards.

As it turns out, the stories detailing the majesty of the West do not even come close to doing it justice. The farther you adventure into the rocky peaks, the more you crave.

As the other members of my party end their time at Miami University, I can look back and see Devin Ankeney’s death defying antics, Meta Hoge’s intrepid souvenir magnet search, Sean Scott’s determination to pet a squirrel or Luke Macy’s newfound Target heart-shaped sunglasses obsession with such joy.

While I may not have taken the best photographs in recorded history, I can say, without a doubt, that I was able to make this trip wholly my own, I illustrated our adventures every step of the way.

I am forever grateful that I didn't choose to relax on a beach for eight days straight, as I found myself enveloped in a different world.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Big Ben, Big fun: My week in London

Ellen Long, Staff Photographer

This spring break, I made my first trip outside of the United States to London, England. After several modes of transportation and 10 short hours, we were in Trafalgar Square. I got my first glimpse of the city: a dizzying juxtaposition of old and new.

It’s a strange feeling to finally experience something in person that you’ve seen a million times before on  screen or in a book. I felt like pinching myself because I could hardly believe I was actually in London– I’d made it.

London is unlike any other city I’ve visited – it is so much older than the oldest western relics. Every street corner has something historic and significant, but most locals pass without a second glance. You could spend years exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the city and still leave something undiscovered.

Some of the city’s highlights included the Tower of London, the National Gallery, Westminster Abbey and the thrill of driving on the left side of the road. Even after a week, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was going to crash or get hit by a rogue double decker bus.

The warnings about under seasoned food were unfortunately accurate. I added copious amounts of  salt and pepper to my fish and chips, and just about everything else I consumed. There was also no drip coffee to be found, an alarming discovery for my caffeine-addicted family. 

What Britain lacks in flavor it certainly makes up for in architectural flare. We saw soaring Gothic Cathedrals, the imposing dome of St. Paul’s cathedral, and the beautiful Georgian columns of Bath (a town about 2 hours from London) Additionally, Britain is home to modern skyscrapers boasting interesting shapes and evocative names: The Shard, the Gherkin (a type of pickle) and the walkie-talkie. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

London was a trip that gave me lifelong memories. I can say now that I’ve gotten to see some of the most iconic art, architecture and landscapes in the world. This trip was the perfect way to dip my toes into the water of Europe and the world beyond, and I can’t wait to go back someday.

Spring Break: Family Vacay Edition

Jessica Monahan, Photo Editor

Sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, beautiful buildings and history.

Spring break this year was a wonderful family vacation to Puerto Rico! For all four of us, it was our first time going to Puerto Rico and we weren’t sure what to expect.

It was an easy four hour flight from Cleveland to San Juan, and no passports were needed since Puerto Rico is a United States territory.

This trip offered a plethora of artsy photo-ops for me to express my passion for photography, and even after narrowing them down, I still ended up with over 200 photos from my camera. I was able to stretch my knowledge of photography and explore new settings such as El Yunque National Rainforest where I was constantly on the lookout for frogs to capture in the frame, but sadly didn’t spot any. Other creatures and critters we saw include many lizards, iguanas, pelicans and even stray cats on the streets of San Juan.

Throughout the week, we stayed in San Juan, and in addition to sunny beach days, we took day trips to explore everything we could. We went to Ponce in the south of the island, Luquillo and Fajardo to visit El Yunque, and El Viejo San Juan to explore the castles and history of the island.

A common theme throughout the island was gorgeous colorful buildings lining the cobblestone streets. It makes me think that the morale of Clevelanders such as myself would be much better if our buildings were just as colorful.

Overall, I had an amazing week exploring a brand new place with my family, and can’t wait for our next adventure. 

A lil suffering never hurt nobody

Teddy Johnson, Co-Humor Editor

Spring Break, a time to relax, reset and prepare for the final push of the semester. Many students flock to the Florida beaches to tan, drink and party their spring break away. Not me though.

Nothing is inherently wrong with taking a spring break like this, but I want a break from the hustle and bustle that often comes with being a student in Oxford.

My solution? A backpacking trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Backpacking over a couple of days is not for the faint of heart. GreenHawks Editor Sam Norton and I hiked 34 miles with 30 plus pound packs over a span of four days.

Oh, and we gained over 8,000 feet of elevation during our trip (this means we hiked uphill … A LOT).

To say we were in physical pain at certain points would be an understatement. One day, Sam and I woke up to ice frozen over our tents. We were freezing trying to break camp and hit the trail.

Then on the same day, we hiked 12 miles and gained 3,000 feet of elevation in the first five miles. Hiking those five miles proved to be one of the hardest tasks I have ever done.

My legs were jelly, my ears were thumping and I was sucking some serious wind. To get me through the pain, I repeatedly told myself, “Teddy, you can do it. Teddy, pull it one more mile.”

But, I would not change the pain I felt for anything.

I firmly believe that chosen suffering prepares you for unchosen suffering. Taking on physical challenges and suffering through hard tasks will make your tolerance for life’s stressors even higher.

It gives me the confidence that I can do hard things. Think about it, if you can hike up mountains and push yourself to the brink, you can accomplish way more than you imagined.

Our modern day society hyper focuses on avoiding suffering and it shows. People choose to stay in the comforts of home rather than exploring and finding new challenges. How are you supposed to grow as a person if you do not try new things and challenge yourself?

So here my words: seek some suffering and see how it impacts your life.