A place full of Wilderness

Students and teachers were enjoying the view of the frozen waterfall. PC: Guadalupe Flores

By Stephanie Solis ’20

Have you ever heard of the number one acclaimed attraction in Illinois? Well, Starved Rock State Park, a wilderness area surrounded by trees, a river, caves, etc, happens to be this wonderful number one attraction. Everyone seems to be buzzing about it. It is voted the number one attraction of Illinois. Pritzker students get invited every year to this amazing site.

Mackenzie Kelly, sophomore chemistry teacher and chaperone for the Starved Rock trip, mentioned “I always like to be outside in nature and just [explore] in the quiet. We had a really quiet group, so it was really fun. Just go out there and go for a walk.”

Kelly expressed that for the last two years, the trips were amazing in different ways, but she preferred this year’s trip due to the group of people she had. “For me, the group I was with was much quieter and peaceful, and we just had a fun time with nature. Last year’s group was a little bit more rambunctious and we played lots of games, and they are both fun in different ways,” Kelly expressed.

Whenever Kelly volunteers for the Starved Rock trip, she is always excited to see the frozen waterfalls.

The following sophomores attended the trip and reported all enjoyed the waterfalls and canyons, very much. For the most part, they all loved the wilderness.

Sophomore Guadalupe Flores mentioned, “The thing I enjoyed the most was [seeing] the  waterfalls and canyons and having a good time with my friends!”

As sophomore Nayeli Hernandez explained, “[What] I enjoyed about the trip [was] spending time with my friends and with my older sister. The trip is a good way to get away from the suburban environment and be in tune with the environment and nature. It feels great being around trees and looking at the waterfalls, and just walking.

Both Flores and Hernandez described the trip as being amazing and fun. Although, there were some cons to the trip, such as it was raining.

Hernandez mentioned, “The trip was very fun […] Something that I never expected to do during the trip was walk across a small stream of water. It was like a small waterfall, [and] I got my pants wet from the bottom during that walk. I felt like I was going to slip and fall.”

Flores also expressed she, “would describe it as amazing because it is just a time to be in nature and to have a good time.”

Other possible deceptions were the big stairs, muddy floor, and the long trip that Hernandez, Flores, and all the other students had to endure.

Hernandez expressed, “Something I disliked was the big stairs, where at some point we had to use in order to go up during our hike, and those were too much and too tiring. Also, I didn’t like the bus ride […] I hate sitting down for such a long period of time since the bus ride was about two hours.” Furthermore,“One of the things that I disliked the most was the weather because it was foggy and it was kind of raining making the road muddy and the viewless enjoyable,” Flores said.

Overall, despite the cons, the trip seemed very enjoyable for both the attending staff and students, as Hernandez, Kelly, and Flores can all attest to. Both Flores and Hernandez recommend this trip next year because it is a fun way to spend time with friends and just explore the environment.