Picture this: Three girls, walking alone through a field in (seemingly) the middle of nowhere, miles from home, as the sun quickly sets. Sound like the beginning of a bad horror film? Maybe…but it was just a casual Saturday night over fall break.
Two of my friends, let’s call them L and N, and I decided we should leave our apartments (for anyone who knows me, I can be the biggest hermit, so this was kind of a big deal), get some fresh air, watch sunset in the plantations, and complete #141 (Ring the Giant Bell in the Plantations).
This all seemed like a great idea at the beginning. It was one of those very rare fall days in Ithaca, when it was cool but not cold, the sun was out, and it seemed like the leaves were changing colors in front of our eyes. So we walked through Ho Plaza and saw a bride fail to throw her bouquet (from the top of the Clock Tower) anywhere near the vicinity of her guests…epic fail. Then we came to Beebe Lake, and did a lap, before we began our adventure to find the big bell.
I’d found the overlook with the giant bell twice before, but both times my friends and I got ridiculously lost and kind of just stumbled upon it. Same thing happened this time…it’s amazing; I’ve been there three times and could not tell you how I got there any time. So we find a pond and then look up and – BAM! (sorry, Emeril) – there was the overlook.
I personally was ecstatic as we wound our way up the hill, and I think L and N were too. N rushed toward the bell, and she gave it her all –she probably woke the dead from that one. Don’t worry, L and I rang the bell as well (and I’m a poet and I didn’t know it – so corny, but I couldn’t pass that one up). I wasn’t going to let anyone miss out on the chance to check off one of the 161!!!
Now the story gets cray cray. We sat and watched the sunset and then genius L, who realized 10 minutes into our walk that she had been looking at the map on her phone the wrong way, attempted to steer us in the right direction. Basically, we went the longer, more lit (got to give her some credit) path…but we were still in the middle of the plantations, and the sun sets uber-fast.
We walked past the stables, and despite my fear of horses, alllllll I wanted to do was take one (or three) and ride back to Collegetown. Ridin’ in style, ya feel me? Alas, all three of us were kind of afraid of the horses so that idea got shot down and we kept on trekin’. Then we arrived at a HUGE field (probably me grad student’s thesis work…sorry), and we realized that cutting across the field would be the quickest way to return to civilization.
It worked, and I must say I got a scenic tour of parts of Cornell I had never seen before (and Daddy, the new and improved Dairy Bar is looking good – maybe they’ll have some chocolate pudding for you by the time I graduate!!).
All in all it was quite the adventure, but we survived. Now seriously, how ‘bout them VENDING MACHINE APPLES!??