Do you stress over upcoming finals? Is the apprehension burning you out? Do you find yourself pining to relieve built up anxiety over the readings and preparation required? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, then boy do I have the product for you! For three easy payments of $19.95 and one incredibly complicated payment, you’ll receive this one-of-a-kind stress-relieving product in the mail within 3-5 business weeks. Unfortunately, the legal eagles won’t let me tell you which payment will be complicated, but I can tell you it has to be paid in wampum.
Saying “finals are stressful” is no revelation; it is a self-evident truth. Thankfully we live in beautiful Santa Barbara, without the need for an infomercial gimmick or cheap man-made product to relieve finals-induced apprehension. We have fresh air, breath-taking views and miles of coastline to explore. So instead of playing the role of Atlas under a burden of finals-anxiety, shrug some of it off with a quick trip to Gaviota State Park for the Beach-to-Backcountry Trail.
Time is precious, especially around this time of year. The Beach-to-Backcountry Trail is a short hike that can be done in less than two hours. Located 20 miles up the coast from Isla Vista, it’s a quick getaway allowing you to exchange your stuffy study space for open countryside and expansive seascapes. As the name implies, it offers a variety of terrain, ranging from beach to meadows, wooded trails and caves.
The trail begins at rudimentary parking lot near Gaviota State Park. Before you pass through the State Park’s gates, take a right and follow the road for 0.2 miles until you reach a locked gate. This is your trailhead, so unload, jump the gate and follow the paved road for about 0.7 miles. Keep an eye out for a small dirt trail running off to the left of the road. This will take you through a field of shoulder-high mustard plants, which will briskly plant you on top of a rock outcropping.
From the rocky ridge, there is a series of large caves to the north. This is your next destination. There are several trails that lead to them, and some are better kept while others resemble small game trails. To avoid brushing away overgrown bushes at each turn, follow the trail that leads to the left side of the caves. This trail presents a fork, where left will leads to sandstone boulders in another meadow and right leads to the caves.
If you are short on time, I would recommend exploring the caves and enjoying the view. If time is on your side, then carry on and explore the trails that will carry you deeper into Gaviota State Park. The trail to the caves doesn’t loop back to the trailhead, so follow the same trail back when you’re ready to return. All in all, the trail to the caves and back is near three miles. Combine the mileage with the quick 20-minute drive and the total time comes out to around two hours, give or take some time for a lunch break at Gaviota Beach.
The end of the quarter comes with papers, presentations, finals and the occasional “mid”-term. As these mount up on the to-do list, stress and anxiety can weigh on the consciousness. It doesn’t have to be this way, and I can’t stress this point enough. So instead of punching the clock at Davidson for an eight-hour cram session, break up your studying with a quick trip on the Beach to Backcountry trail. As the ominous cloud of finals approaches, take shelter in the great outdoors.
If the trail doesn’t do the trick for stress, Daily Nexus columnist Harrison Gibson recommends repeating “woosah” and watching “Bad Boys 2.”