Tree Hugger

By Abby Volkmann ’13Environment Columnist

In trying to figure out post college plans, I am repeatedly confronted by the same intimidating question: Where do I want to be?

I turned to geography to better understand the places to which I’m considering moving post-graduation. I discovered that although geography is usually defined by a single point on a map, it is also a complex way of telling the story of a place through physical, biological, and cultural features. Geography explains why we drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and why certain smells remind us of home. Geography knows why Blue-footed Boobies have bright turquoise feet and why some people never leave New York City…

While discovering the stories of places new to me I grew prematurely nostalgic for Southern California’s geography, like the jagged mountain silhouettes, the warm Santa Ana winds, and the murky green California sea. My panicky, I’m-nearly-out-of-here nerves compelled me to get out there and enjoy the Southern California geography as much as possible. I encourage everyone to do the same! Here are a few ideas of places to start:


• Deep Creek Hot Springs (clothing optional)—bathing in hot and cold water pools


• Bridge to Nowhere—an arch bridge that was built in 1936 in the San Gabriel Mountains, accessible via 9 mile round-trip hike


• Kelso San Dunes—located in the Mojave National Preserve


• Idyllwild—displays of beautiful wild flowers


• Salvation Mountain—folk art instillation made of adobe, straw, and lots of paint


Stop by the Outdoor Education Center at Pomona and talk with the On The Loose staff about your spring break plans!