Thursday, November 02, 2006

Destination Unknown

Not too long ago, Christopher was nearing another 365 day cycle of life and, in light of this fact, the rest of us were trying to figure out what we could get him. Chris nonchalantly mentioned a list of VF products he was interested in, but then said that he would probably just buy them himself. So we congratulated him, theoretically stuck our hands in our pockets, and forgot about this whole birthday thing…or so he thought.

As I continued to run through ideas of something to do, Tait went and talked to Mr. Gobart, the CS department chief, and came away with some great ideas, particularly a hiking trip on the second largest rock in North America concluded by an authentic German meal in the town of Fredericksburg.

We brought our idea to Mr. Turley and asked if there were any assignments for us on that particular day (Saturdays are usually reserved for community service projects). We soon found out that Mr. Turley did in fact have an assignment for us - to rectify damages made behind our warehouse by an individual who seemed to have mistaken the area for the city landfill. After hearing the mission run down, it was soon determined that we could formulate this slight deviation as part of the bigger plan.

“Chris, we just found out that we need to be at the warehouse around 6 A.M tomorrow morning.” His shocked response couldn’t have been better. The reason for the early start time was that the Enchanted Rock, our planned climbing location, was over 2 hours away and usually filled up pretty fast.

The next morning found four halve awake interns in a dark back alley, picking up trashed building supplies and tree trimmings, while we talked about the strenuous day of work ahead of us with a family in the country.

After driving through many miles of winding, single-lane, Texas countryside, we all saw in the short distance a large rock formation followed by signs indicating a nearby state park. We all grinned as Christopher mentioned how much he would like to trek up the massive rock.

As we approached the area of interest, one of the guys mentioned that we should at least drive in the park, but then the issue of paid parking came up. As we all debated whether or not we should waste the money to see something we couldn’t enjoy, I drove my car closer to the ticket man. In the midst of this debate, I spoke up. “Well Chris, I think it’s time that we tell you something.” Silence. “Happy Birthday!”

By this time I think Christopher was ready to smack at least one of us for pulling his leg the whole time, but excitement over our new scheduled day of events quickly changed this initial reaction.

I’m sure you’d like to hear what happened next, but as I think I’ll let the pictures we took tell the rest of the story.

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