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Spring Breaking

By Staff | Mar 31, 2021

It’s that time of year again. This week is spring break for Sanpete’s two school districts. At least they had the decency to wait for spring to officially arrive before they started their breaks. March 20th was the first day of spring. Snow college already had their break the second week of March.

Easter is this Sunday. So that’s convenient timing. It’s good when the break and Easter work out to be together.

Spring break is traditionally a time for students and teachers to get a few days off before the last push to the end of the academic year. I suppose students need a break from memorizing the Pythagorean theorem, writing essays about how the electoral college works, and learning the difference between an adverb and a dangling participle.

Young kids need time off from learning arithmetic, fohneticks, and school lunch pizza. (I wonder if the pizza is still two inches thick, like it was in my day?)

For the college kids nationally, it’s often a time to travel to a sun splashed, warm area, preferably with a beach.

Some of these kids stereotypically “go nuts” with partying and wild behavior otherwise. It’s best that their parents don’t know the details of these vacations. I don’t think it’s the majority of kids who do this, but there are the highly publicized, rambunctious groups who do get lots of attention.

We drove from Orlando to Daytona Beach in Florida for a beach day some years ago during Spring Break. It was interesting to say the least. It kind of made me wish for college days again. (I get these flashes of temporary insanity occasionally.)

As I think back on my student days, I’m actually hard pressed to remember any significantly memorable spring breaks. Well, now that I think about it, there was the spring of 1971, when a bunch of us camped at Colby’s Hole in Zion Park. But that’s a story for another time and place. But, I have no tales of escapades in Cancun or Ft. Lauderdale. (Dang it!)

In recent years, places like Cancun have tried to be stricter in enforcing underage drinking and public nudity laws. This is not good news to some spring breakers.

Some time ago, when they began clamping down on some of these behaviors, I read a quote from one Scott Schechter, a third year student at Harvard Law at the time, who was quoted as saying: “It is our God-given right to stampede into foreign countries to do things that would get us arrested back home. Dude, I mean, then what the hell is the point of having Mexico if they’re just gonna have the same rules as the U.S.?” (Scott has a good shot at a seat on the Supreme Court in his future, don’t you think?)

St. George isn’t in a foreign country but it has been stampeded as a popular spot for spring breakers. The temperatures there are usually mild. There might not be an ocean, but there’s lots of sand. It’s a great place for fun, though not as “wild” as the nationally known spots.

The missus and I did a 24-hour spring break get-away this past weekend to the St. George area. We left Sanpete Friday mid-afternoon in time for a 7:30 pm concert at the Tuacahn Amphitheater in Ivins. It was Colbie Caillat’s first concert in a year. She’s an impressive songwriter and performer.

There were nearly 2,000 of us there. Everyone was masked up and obeying the Covid-19 rules. It was the biggest gathering we’ve been to for more than a year. It was a coat and blanket night. Colbie and the band braved the cool temperatures and put on a great show wearing clothes that would have been more suited for a much warmer night.

We ended up driving back as far as Cedar City after the show. Room rates were super high in St. George. Can you imagine a room priced at $466.00 in an old, no frills vintage 50’s era motel on the Boulevard? (Thanks spring break!) I couldn’t either, so we booked in Cedar and got into the new’ish, pet-friendly Comfort Inn for less than a 1/3 of that other rate.

My personal spring breaks have not traditionally involved activities that if discovered would land me in jail. Mine have been more like the ones I saw once in a list of Top Ten Amish Spring Break Activities.

Here are a few from that list: Drink molasses until you heave. -Throw a “Keg of Buttermilk” party. — Attend a wet bonnet contest. — Blow past the Dairy Queen on a really hot Clydesdale. — Get a tattoo that says: “Born to Raise Barns” — Sleep in until 6:00 A.M.

There are alternatives to the traditional spring break. Not all students go crazy. I have read about many students who take “service vacations.” During their break time, they travel to places where they can spend a few days volunteering to help with social and environmental issues.

If there are any readers who are interested in coming to Sanpete for a service spring break this year, I suggest that you contact me. I have environmental issues in my back yard that would be a great service project.

I’m wondering what Sanpete actually has to offer in the spring break marketplace. Well -umm – hmm. (Scratching head – still wondering)

I guess someone traveling to Sanpete for a spring break would have to be willing to adjust traditional expectations. Our tourist board would have to get creative to sell us as a destination.

We have to face it. The beaches at Palisade State Park and Gunnison Reservoir aren’t quite like the ones you see on spring break television shows. And, the temperatures in Sanpete right now just aren’t very conducive to wearing skimpy clothing 24/7. (Even though, my observation is that some Sanpete students like to pretend otherwise.)

On the other hand, Sanpete offers spring time fun in the snow in the canyons and on the mountains. For the spring breaker who doesn’t want to fight crowds, we have solitude in nature.

No matter how you decide to spend your time “spring breaking,” – enjoy yourself. Make sure you have tons of fun. And remember, if you can’t be good – be careful. — — Merrill


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