Spring Has Officially Sprung And I'm Loving It

Spring Has Officially Sprung And I'm Loving It

The weather is finally starting to become consistently nice and I have felt a positive effect on my mood.

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It's that time of year we have all been waiting for, the beginning of spring. Over the past week in Delaware it has been in the low 70's, the effects of this have been seen throughout campus. Whether it be more people wearing shorts and t-shirts, or people out on the green in the afternoon. Some students will gather with their friends to throw the Frisbee or football, while others will sit on the grass and either talk or do homework. It is really great to see how active the campus becomes when the sun is out, it creates a whole new vibe on "the green", which if you are not a UD student is the long stretch of grass in the center of campus the lies in the middle of academic buildings and some dorms.

It can be tough to stay motivated to attend afternoon classes when the weather is no nice out, especially since it has been something that has been unseen in Delaware for the past few months, with the exception of a few days. Now the weather seems like it is finally consistently great. For myself, I only have one afternoon class on Tuesday's and Thursday's, but some days it feels criminal to sit inside when it is sunny and in the 70's. I also feel the problem of staying motivated with studying and homework, I would rather just sit outside and soak up the sun. It can be easy to get caught up in that mindset, but it is important to remember that this is just the beginning of the nice weather, it will be here through August so there is time.

With the changing of seasons, spring can also bring a lot of unwelcome allergies to many, especially when the pollen is high. I don't usually suffer too much from allergies, but I know friends and family who consistently have problems during the spring.

For me, spring is better than summer because the weather isn't too severe. When it gets too hot it can be unbearable to stay outside for too long without feeling overheated and dehydrated. Walking outside in the evening and not having to put on a sweatshirt or jacket is one of the few great feeling that can't be beat.

At least now that the weather is nice, I don't feel as bad staying home over break while seeing all the posts of people on vacation in Florida and Punta Cana. I was beginning to suffer from some serious FOMO while being bored at home.

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Hiking Trails That Are Less Than An Hour Drive From Fresno

Access to beautiful, scenic hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous can be obtained within an hour drive from the central California city of Fresno.
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If you are looking for some trails before it gets insanely hot in Fresno, California then look no further! Here are three (semi long) trails you can hike before it gets too hot. This list includes Clovis, San Joaquin, and even Dinkey Creek.

1. San Joaquin River Gorge

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, this moderately strenuous-strenuous level trail is perfect for mountain bikers and hikers alike. The trailhead begins near Millerton Lake, which is about a twenty-minute drive from Fresno, California.

The trail splits into two, but the fork ( named squaw leap)eventually reroutes to the original trail. In spring, the trail is filled with blooming wildflowers, and if you are willing to trek a few miles, you will come across the San Joaquin river gorge bridge (pictured in cover photo).

Fair warning, though, that the trail can be narrow at times as it winds along steep mountain sides, so careful footing is a must. The summer brings sweltering heat to Central California, along with rattlesnakes in the foothills, so be prepared when choosing to hike this trail during the summer.

2. Dinkey Lakes Trail/Wilderness

The Dinkey Lakes Trail is located in the Sierra National Forest and is accessed through Highway 168 and Dinkey Creek Road.

Highway 168 begins in Fresno, CA at its junction with Highway 180, and heads north into the Sierra Nevada; the drive to Dinkey Creek road is about an hour from Fresno.

The trail is about 11.3 miles long and is available for backpack hiking (which requirea a permit) and day hiking. The trail heads into the Dinkey Lakes wilderness and includes a handful of small lakes and lies above an elevation of 8,000 feet.

The trail provides sweeping views of large pine trees and lush green meadows during the summer and is a great trail for moderate hikers.

3. Fresno-Clovis Rail Trail

The Fresno-Clovis Rail Trail connects the Clovis trail, which follows the path of a former railroad line, and the Fresno Sugar Pine trail. The two trails combined form a thirteen-mile paved network that weaves between Fresno and the neighboring town of Clovis.

The Sugar Pine Trailhead begins at the RiverPark shopping center and winds its way a couple of miles north to Shepard Avenue. From there, the trail goes a few miles east until its endpoint at Willow Avenue.

The trail then converts to the Clovis Train and heads south on Willow into the town of Clovis, and ends off of Dakota and Clovis Avenues. The trail, which is completely paved is mostly flat for its duration and a great trek for beginner hikers.

4. Avocado Lake Trail

This trail is a pretty short one, there's nothing fancy about it. However, if you do not want to take the time to do a long trail, this one is gorgeous. The water... well lake is right off the trail and you can even picnic if you want at the tables.

This is a park and a trail - but, it is oh so worth it. They have a little spot with rocks that is scenic and it's a really fun and quick hike to make if you just want to get some steps in. It is about a half hour away, depending on the traffic.

5. Lewis Eaton Trail

This is in Fresno, California at Woodward Park. This is less than an hour drive because for most it's about a half hour away. This is a trail that Woodward is known for it is about an hour front and back - it's a lengthy trail, but goes all the way down Woodward Park.

(And, at the end you get a slight surprise.) You can take this trail right from home if you live nearby, but be extremely careful at night!

It is not anything fancy, there's no high peaks or low peaks, it's flat as is unless you go off trail. But, this one is a good one to check out if you want to exercise and just going on a walk.

6. Edison Point Loop Trail at Pine Flat Lake

This is a moderate trail, but oh so lovely. This trail has a lake attached to it as well and the hike is beautiful when you are looking at beautiful water the entire time.

The flowers also bloom on this trail (depending on the season) so if you go at the right time, this is a place that you will love. What a hike! It is about a half hour away, depending on the traffic.

7. Pincushion Trail, Millerton

Beware this trail has cows! And, if cows make you want to scream like I do - then this trail is not for you. I still did the trail, but it was an experience, to say the least.

There are a ton of animals everywhere so if you don't mind that - check out this long trail. It is about a half hour away, depending on the traffic.

Cover Image Credit: Endless Trail

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6 Way To Fight Off Your Annoying Pollen Allergies This Spring Season

It's springtime again! This is an article to help you deal with those awful springtime pollen allergies. When your body just wants to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT that pollen, while you just want to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT all that sneezing, tearing, and high-key dying.

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So, to just start off, I want to have a brief science lesson explaining what allergies really are.

When the body comes into contact with foreign threats, it does its best to protect itself. In this case, during the springtime, the body often mistakes pollen- tree pollen, flower pollen, you name it!- as a foreign invader, trying to harm the body. Therefore, when the body's cells come in contact with these invaders, they send out signals to warn the body of the threat. These signals are known as histamines. When the cell is in danger, they start sending out histamines like a 911 call. Except, in the case of pollen allergies, there is no emergency, and your body is just being a drama queen. However, as a result, the body, who believes the world is ending, starts fighting off the pollen causing the body to try to flush it out, either through coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, or teary or itchy eyes.

1. Stay indoors whenever possible

Pollen throughout the day is at its peak during the day between 5 a.m and 10 a.m. while the trees are trying to send out their pollen to a special lady friend. Pollen is usually released during sunny days as evaporation of moisture helps spread the pollen further. Staying indoors and away from the pollen infested trees could be a great way to stop encountering some pesky pollen. If the pollen count is high for your area and you have to go out, remember to plan accordingly, either by taking medication or wearing a mask.

You can also check the pollen count for your area using this link.

2. Take a shower

Just like how rain stops pollen from spreading, a good shower can wash off the pollen off of you. This can help if you want to wash off any unwanted pollen that might be sticking onto you like in your hair, skin, or clothes. This may help you especially if you want to take a quick shower before you sleep to sleep more comfortably.

3. Stay away from booze

Alcohol contains histamines. Histamines are produced by the fermentation process of yeast or bacteria during the brewing process. As a result, this may aggravate your body even more when pollen is introduced. In addition, some alcohol like wine and beer contain sulfites that can stimulate allergies.

4. Drink more water

Like when you get sick, mucus is produced to catch, trap, or excrete harmful pathogens. And, sometimes one gets such a stuffy nose because of this! In order to decrease the mucus viscosity and allow for easier breathing, drink lots of water. In addition, because of the constant tearing and runny nose, your body loses a lot of fluids, so it is good to stay hydrated to make sure you are replenishing your body's lost liquids. Sounds gross, but helps a lot!

5. Eat these foods

There are some theories that eating your local honey would help incorporate pollen immunity into your body because your body is able to digest this pollen. In addition, kiwis are able to cut down on histamines, and pineapples can apparently reduce inflammation. Although foods are not the end all be all cure, these foods are known to help.

6. Exercise the allergies away

Although exercise is not the end all be all cure for allergies, it can help manage the symptoms when one exercises regularly. In general, exercise helps improve one's immune system. Exercising your lungs and heart can also help maintain the health of your body so that it makes it stay in tip-top shape to fight off those pesky harmless, foreign invaders.

Hope this helps! And, may the odds be in your favor.

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