The 18 Hour Trip

Mckinsey West, Jr. Reporter

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The endless trek to a distant state started at 3 in the morning. Everything was going well,  then we started running into a lot of walls. Well, technically blocks of wood. About 30 minutes into our drive we ran into a random block of wood in the middle of the road. And with that, we had to restart our whole trip; loading into a different car because out tire was done for and setting out again. Stopping briefly every couple of hours or so, the trip felt endless. After 18 long hours in the car, we finally made it.

Stepping out of the car and taking my first steps into Grand Rapids, Michigan, I was excited. The first thing we did in Grand Rapids was going into an event center to pick up my athlete’s pack, because I was going to compete in The State Games of America, in archery. We were all excited. We were excited to be in a new place that felt like a different planet, and seeing how everything would turn out. Knowing that the next day would start off early and end late, we headed to the hotel to get ready for the next day.

Getting up at 6 the next morning, we loaded up into the car to head out to the first section of my archery competition. It was a small 3D course, with about 30 targets. During the second time I was running the course, the weather decided to change without warning. After shooting for 7 hours straight, it started pouring. But, rain or shine, we keep shooting for another hour. When we finally finished, along with getting soaked to the bone, we completed the 3D part of our shoot. Tired from the long wet day, went back to our hotel, and got ready to go the opening ceremonies.

The opening ceremonies was my favorite part of this trip. Apart from being the one to carry the Kansas state flag across the stage to represent Kansas, the performances were amazing. Carrying that flag was probably the scariest thing I have done. Walking across that stage with thousands of eyes on you, it’s a lot of pressure. When that part of it was over, they had lots of fun performances. People on trampolines, and bagpipers. They even lit a cauldron, to symbolize the start of the State Games of America starting. After that, we knew the next two days would be full of competition. 

After participating in the target competition part for the next two days of our Michigan trip, we finally come to an end with our mini vacation. Winning two 1st places and a 4th place, we start our long trip back home.  Driving for over an hour, we decided to take a fun break along our way back to Kansas, by stopping off at Lake Michigan to see the water and maybe getting to swim. Spending two hours at the lake, we had seen a lot. After seeing a couple of people we recognize from The State Games of America, and spotting two water spouts in the distance, we decided that we had enough break. Packing about 40 pounds of rock back into the trunk of the car for my sister Ashley, we go home. Breaking every couple of hours, we drive for what feels like forever. Then, in the middle of the night, we walk into our house at about 2 in the morning, we all go to sleep exhausted from our Michigan Trip.