The Wolfpack

Left to Right: Zach Ienatsch, Myself, Nia Jaramillo, Cassandria Alvarado, and Rebecca Stone. Photo by Nia Jaramillo.

Four women and one man got in a white Tahoe. We had met each other before. We had even camped together before, but we were basically strangers. There were twelve travelers total and three vehicles, but we had assigned ourselves to the Tahoe, which also packed most everyone’s duffel, sleeping bags, and pillows. Fourteen days of travel stood before us across some 2,300 miles. Today we were leaving on the first leg of the journey and traveling only a small portion of those miles. We were excited, but none of us knew exactly what the trip held in store for us.

Professor Fox was not joking when she said there would not be cell service in West Texas. We tried to play our music through Spotify and iMusic anyway, but after the first two hours or so, it stopped working. We resorted to some of the only music any of us had actually downloaded to our phones: Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

The piano began, and you could feel the anticipation as everyone geared up to sing along. All five of us sang in our best Freddie Mercury voices (or, in some cases, our worst). We turned the music louder, and we jammed. I mean really jammed. Heads were banging, people were singing and playing air guitar, no holds barred, jamming. When the song ended we all took a breath, but only a short one because the next song was already beginning to play: Don’t Stop Believing. And we jammed some more.

These 10 minutes of riding and singing and purely enjoying each other’s company set the tone for the rest of the trip in the best way. We told stories and talked about life. We found shared interests and learned how different we all were. We discovered each other’s talents and celebrated each other’s triumphs. If any of us had any failures, I’m sure we would have helped each other through that, too.

We called ourselves The Wolfpack. We were only half-serious, but it stuck anyway.

Somehow, we went from strangers to friends. But just like that, our 14-day adventure was over, and we headed back to real life. It doesn’t matter though. I’ll never forget the sites we saw, our adventure, or that time I was a part of The Wolfpack.


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