Day Trippin': Enjoying nature at Newark Reservoir
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 01:05
Why not end near the place it all began? This week’s Day Trippin’ didn’t take me to far-off islands, ships or cities. Instead, I lounged at the top of a hill overlooking our college town—the Newark Reservoir, located off Paper Mill Road.
It was a cloudy, breezy Sunday afternoon, which was thankfully brightened by the faces of some fellow Review editors, Chelsea Caltuna and Leah Sininsky, and fashion columnist Megan Soria, who joined me for a quaint picnic by the water.
Hiking a portion of the 1.8-mile paved walking trail shouldn’t have been such an endeavor, but for some reason I decided to trade in my usual scuffed boots for a pair of my mom’s wedge shoes (shh, she doesn’t know). Despite a blister or two forming on my pinkie toe and Chelsea accidentally flinging the bottle of root beer onto the pavement, the four of us made it to the top, relatively unscathed, to take in the breathtaking view.
“Is this the reservoir?” Megan asked tentatively, as if the 318 million-gallon body of water in front of her wasn’t convincing enough. “It’s like standing on top of a mountain.”
“I feel like we’re in another state,” Leah said staring out over the city. And right they were. The first time I came to the reservoir, all I could say was “What!” over and over—I never even knew it existed. But I couldn’t say it any better than Megan and Leah. It’s like standing on top of a mountain in another state—especially since Delaware doesn’t even have mountains.
We found a nice spot far enough from the edge of the steep hill and pulled out the Mexican blankets and snacks. Between Chelsea’s cookies, Leah’s bruschetta made from “big a— organic tomatoes” and stove-popped popcorn from yours truly, it was a delightful feast for all.
I must have been the only one out of the reservoir loop all these years, because a plethora of people populated the 112-acre park. They jogged, biked or took Sunday strolls throughout the area and its surrounding trails—it even connects to the nearby William M. Redd, Jr. Park.
The path loops all the way around the water, separated by rocks. A lone building on a pier jutting into the reservoir, surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, is the only thing breaking up the peaceful view.
Our conversation jumped to a variety of topics, and of course, eventually came around to May 26 and our soon-to-be lives after college.
It’s so strange to think how everything is changing again, just like it did this time four years ago. When I started out here as a trembling freshman, I would have laughed in disbelief—or panic—if someone told me that I’d work at the newspaper, and in doing so meet and interview the leader of one of my favorite bands in high school, Andrew McMahon from Jack’s Mannequin. Or more crazily, interview Bill Cosby himself. Or if someone had told me about the friends I’d lose, make and keep, and the experiences both good and bad—well, I guess that’s why we only take it one day at a time.
And now, in the midst of rushing to finish final papers and projects, I feel like my subconscious is taking scrambled, sentimental snapshots and compiling that senior list of “lasts.”
I couldn’t have done any of this without my family. I want to thank my parents, sister and brother for not only letting me drag them around Day Trippin’, but for always remaining consistent, strong and genuine people. So thank you for always being an inspiration.
I’d also like to welcome one of my best friends, Kristen Dempsey, as the new Day Trippin’ torch carrier. I can’t wait to see the wonderful places you take it.
And as for me? I’m already planning my by-the-pool summer reading list. I’m not that lazy, though—I plan on spending two weeks in Africa doing humanitarian work, and working as a photographer and tutor.
But when the summer winds down and most of my graduating friends will probably be Real People in the Real World, I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing. But not knowing what’s next is part of the ultimate adventure, right? As that old saying goes—it’s not the destination, but the journey. Adieu for now, my friends, and may your journey be as rewarding as mine has been.