Tasks nearly as daunting and dradful as the hills here at Blue Ridge themselves – though they may seem simple, actually fighting to come out of it all alive doesn’t become a mindset until the problem itself comes up. What are these things? The travels to and from CONA, safely tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina. Ranging from short hours to overnight stops – and definitely everywhere in between – at some point, everybody caught themselves staring out the window, aimlessly asking aloud, “Where are we?”

The ride itself is more like a piece of candy that’s way passed expired, but the rewards at both ends are rather satisfying, as everybody knows. Though the ride to may have had it’s rough spots, and excitement wore thin sometimes, here’s to hoping the ride home can be a little  more bearable, offering satisfying entertainment to delegate’s intellectual palettes other than movies, Crab naming and iPods.

The first attempt to create a list of things to do was supposed to be inspiried by what everybody else did on their trip here. However, most people spent the trip working! It’s highly doubtful anybody will be working on their trip home. The staff of the Blue Ridge Journal got wise and created a list of things to do during the trip, to prevent mind-numbing, drool inducing boredom.

– Before getting on the bus – because a shower might not be accessable, grab some damp towels or moist wipes and give yourself a pretty good wipe down, this way you’ll feel less grimey later on. Also take the time to stretch out and wear comfortable clothing.

– Journal – while blogging may seem like the current way to record your times, write down periodically on your trip of sights you’ve passed, hilarious quotes from your busmates, scenery you enjoy, or write down your thoughts on where you are. This may seem pointless, but in 10 years or so, you’ll probably love reading through it. Stuff it with photos and souviners if you can.

– Books, magazines, puzzles – if you stop anywhere on your trip, find a cheap Sodoku puzzle book, coloring materials, or something light to read through.

– Never Have I Ever – this game gets hilarious pretty quickly, and it can help ease some stress of the ride. Everybody holds up ten fingers and takes turns saying things they’ve never done. If somebody has done it, though, they put a finger down. Last person with fingers up wins.

– The Yellow Car Game – this is simple; every time you spot a yellow car, shout out “yellow car!” and if you’re the first one to spot it, you get a point. Yellow bug cars are two points each.

– 20 Questions – this classic is easily forgettable. Think of anything, and others try to guess what you’re thinking of by asking a series of questions. Once they get to twenty, if they have no guess, they lose the round.

– Car bingo – Play with road signs, car colors, scenery etc, etc…

– RELAX – after a long week at CONA, your body is due for some down time and sleep. Curl up with a warm blanket and let yourself get some serious shut eye.

– When the ride seems to suck, remember – it could be worse; you could still be walking up the mountain.

My personal favorite activity to pass the time is the yellow car game – I always win.
So, delegates, how do you plan to, or how did you, pass the time on your long journey home?

~ Sam Jamgochian