Cheers erupt throughout the worn, velour interior of the dated Astro van as each delirious passenger lays eyes on the words they endured 26 hours on the road to read–Welcome to Gulf Shores.
Cruising through the rolling plains of Kansas, the scenery blurred into a sea of beige by the time the Astro van reached the all too frequent tolls of Oklahoma, hour 10. Night approached as the caravan hummed underneath the big sky of the east and western corners of Texas and Arkansas, hour 15. Into the darkest hours the van observed the stars under the Louisiana sky awaiting the dawn, hour 20.
The world wakes to the mist of a Mississippi sunrise full of every color under the rainbow and a jungle of trees lining the never-ending highway, hour 25. Cross a bridge over the crystal waters of the gulf that expand over the horizon, hour 26. Welcome to Gulf Shores.
The caravan of 15 restless and wide-eyed students clapped and giddily bounced as each car pulled up a gravel driveway. The teal paint of their beach house chipped from the winds wear. The quaint home stood proud on stilts overlooking the water.
They were scrambling for their bathing suits before the car could be put into park. Deprivation from large bodies of water is a common ailment plaguing many Boulderites. Running through the white grains of sand to the sea’s edge they screamed in awe at the beauty the state of Alabama held. A beauty unknown to many in the west.