Finding Family on The High Seas by Erin Bottino

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Putting the sunglasses on the lobster was the best decision I made all day. John and Sarah, the pair of middle-aged Michiganders we’d been seated next to, started chuckling when they noticed what I’d done.

“Don’t say anything!” I begged, checking to see how far my mother was from the table. Sarah mimed zipping her lips, then cracked her own lobster open and went to work.

When my ma got back to the table, she laughed so hard she nearly dropped her plate. “How did you do that?” she asked, joining me at her seat along the long banquet tables set up to accommodate the hundred-odd cruise patrons joining us. I showed her the glasses’ temples, hooked behind the first pair of the lobster’s bright red legs, then took a couple pictures before tucking the shades away and tucking in. Continue reading

Crash and Gamble by Brooke Lyman

 

In the early 1900s, when the European training routes iced over, a group of road cyclist challenged each other to stay fit by racing to the next town, but through the fields, over the fences, and across the iced-over streams. Over a century later, this sport is known world-wide as cyclocross. There are local races, national championships, and world championships, each course featuring different challenges, terrain, and conditions. They can consist of a combination of gravel, sand, grass, mud, and dirt, and every course has obstacles that 99% of individuals cannot ride and must dismount to run through instead. If you can ride it, you are allowed to do so, but for most individuals, certain obstacles pose such great a risk for costly crashes, that it is simply not worth it. The obstacles can consist of barriers (vertical wooden boards about two feet tall), stairs, a very steep, loose hill that is not ridable (called a run-up), or sand pits. Essentially, cyclocross is the obstacle racing of the bike world, where crashing is simply part of the sport. Continue reading

What a Beautiful Life by Jaiden Barney

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 The car is filled with the sound of rushing wind and tires crushing rocks as we slowly turn into the campsite. A few weeks prior to this year’s trip to the Tonto National Forest there was a flash flood in the nearby canyon that took ten lives from a family of fourteen. Slight anxiety prickles through my body as the clouds engulf the sky with rolling thunders.

We park and immediately set up camp. Continue reading