An Epic Trek: The Walk Down from the Junior Lot Involves Minor Suffering, Major Complaining

Ms. Olivia Cottrell

HINESBURG– On any given morning of the school year, you can see the 50 or so juniors, and few random lucky sophomores, making the long trek down from the junior lot. The walk isn’t too torturous. Unless it’s cold, rainy, windy, snowy, icy — or pretty much any other type of weather that isn’t sunny and dry. While the commute itself is not that long, less than ⅛ of a mile, it’s the conditions that make it seemingly tortuous.

For at least three months of the year, and  more often than not, closer to five and a half months, the walk seems to take forever. People stumble along, wrapped in layers upon layers of winter clothing. The whole way down the wind stings any uncovered skin and freezes your joints, as there is nothing in to stop it but the chain link fences, . The walk back up is rarely any better, except for the rare occasion when the weak rays of winter sun poke through and turn the snow into a blinding spectacle of blinding white.

Junior Lot 1

A hapless student scales the direct route to the Junior parking lot. Homework laded pack mules not pictured. Image by Isaac Cleveland

Though the path is plowed when there is snow, it is still slick if you are not wearing real boots, which many students don’t wear for the sake of style. The path from the junior lot winds down from Pond Road to the entrance to the faculity parking lot. It is made of white gravel that is loose in places, and will kindly stab your foot if you happen to find a loose piece and have on a soft soled shoe. The path is the safest, most reliable way down from the junior lot. But it is not the fastest, nor the most commonly traveled way down.

The more popular and faster way cuts a steep path down the side of the hill that the parking lot is on top of. It then continues along the normal path before cutting down the side of the hill and into the faculty parking lot before cutting across the lawn area next to the covered bus walk- way. This route, depending on where you park in the lot, can cut at least one minute off of the seemingly endless walk down to the school. In the winter, every moment seems to count as people rush to the sanctuary and warmth of the school, to a place where they can defrost their fingers and noses.

Unfortunately, the maintenance crew doesn’t salt either part of the shortcut. Logically, they do this to keep students on the safer, prescribed path. Understandably, many students ignore this thought and take the risky,  shorter path to avoid extra time out in the frostbite inducing weather. This leads to many students slipping, and sometimes falling, on their way down to school in the morning. This is totally the student’s fault, as it was their choice to not walk on the safety of the salted, longer route. While it is unfortunate that some students fall, it can make for some extremely comical situations.  

In the spring, when the ground is slick with mud, this can become particularly treacherous, as well as hilarious. It is not a particularly uncommon sight to see a male student, dressed up for a lacrosse game day, with mud down the side of his pants from an unfortunate wipeout. If you look at any junior’s feet, they are liable to have mud on the soles of their shoes as well as up the sides. Similarly, it is not uncommon to see girls holding their skirts down as a strong spring breeze comes along and tries to lift them up.

Junior Lot 3

Another forlorn junior braving the elements in the vast barren wasteland between the parking lot and school. Image by Isaac Cleveland

While it could be considered good exercise to have to walk down in the morning and back up to the lot in the afternoon, it is obnoxious. The walk is long and steep, it’s cold and icy in the winter months. It is a wonder that some students haven’t tried to sled down the hill in a valiant attempt to make the trip, at least down, a little more enjoyable. On the other hand, half the time they can just skate down on their boots. In the warmer months it can be hot and buggy, while It’s slippery in the spring and fall. In short, the walk is just something many students would rather not have to endure. The juniors who are lucky enough to get passes in the senior lot are envied by all others, especially as the mornings grow colder and brisker.

In the end, it’s just as bad as it sounds. It will be cold, wet, and downright miserable at times, especially if you fall, or if the wind helps give you an impromptu striptease. The administration is giving students a place to park that is an unreasonable distance from the building, at a whole ⅛ of a mile. While the walk from the junior lot is a sort of right of passage for CVU students, it is still borderline torture. Everyone at some point has to walk from the junior lot area.

The only consolation for the juniors is knowing that next year they will be right in front of the school.