Rain or shine: Despite deluge, students learn and grow during Point Reyes spring break trip

By Hadley Polinsky

No matter how much planning goes into a trip, things can still go awry. Puget Sound Outdoors (PSO) discovered this on their Point Reyes spring break trip. The group’s plan was to drive to California and go backpacking around Point Reyes; however, an unexpected storm hit their campground.

Co-leaders Ruby Krietzman and Makenna Craige, both sophomores, started planning for this trip approximately six weeks before the group left campus. “A lot went into the planning of the trip,” Krietzman said. “We decided we wanted to go to Point Reyes so we looked at different routes and different hiking options. We met with the PSO coordinators and they were there to help us with the logistics of getting permits.”

Krietzman and Craige meticulously planned the trip, but they have no control over the weather. “Right when we got to camp we got a storm. We had about 40 mile-per-hour winds. It was pouring rain,” Krietzman said.

Despite the rain, the group started to get situated for the night, but it did not go well. “We started to set up our tarps and we’d set up one and then another one and that one would blow over and then we’d fix it and the other one would blow over. I think each tarp blew over at least twice,” sophomore and eyewitness Claire Crist said.

While Point Reyes offered beautiful scenery, the first night did not go as planned. “It was a rough night. It was super windy. Everyone got soaking wet. People’s sleeping bags were damp,” Crist said. In particular, sophomore Evan Lebakken experienced a hard night. “I woke up at 2:30 because I was getting rain on my face. I felt my hair and it was post-shower wet,” Lebakken said.

“We had planned so much for the trip and we had to throw it all down the drain,” Krietzman said. After the stormy night, it was decided that the group would not continue on their route. “Ruby and I made the decision; it was hard, but we made the decision to turn around. We ended up staying in a Motel 6 in Petaluma that night,” Craige said. “We dried out and regained some hope.”

Even though the group was not able to follow the route they set out, they still got to experience the outdoors. “The next day we drove way up Northern California to a campsite in the Redwood National Park and did a day hike on one of the trails,” sophomore Emma Wood said. “We camped for the last time and the next day we drove about 8-10 hours all the way back to campus, stopping at another beach along the coast for a little bit.”

The change in plans, while originally disheartening, turned out to be an enjoyable adventure. “My favorite part of the trip was actually making burritos in the parking lot of the motel we stayed at,” Wood said. “It was fun and spontaneous and was somehow the perfect way to reaffirm for myself that going on this trip was a good idea, despite the entire plan having been changed.”

The group ended up getting back to campus earlier than anticipated, so a day hike was offered. “We went to Rattlesnake Ledge, which is like an hour away. It was super sunny here all week, so we got that good weather and did a hike,” Craige said.

Although the trip did not go as expected, PSO members still enjoyed the trip. “The group I was with was my favorite part. That really made it a positive trip versus a negative experience because of the weather,” Lebakken said.

Craige agreed: “We had a great group and everyone kept high spirits the whole time. Even though it was hard for Ruby and I to kind of just throw away so much planning, it ended up being a great trip.”


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