Trekking Through the Semester

by: Celeste Holland
&
Amanda Korb

For the month of September the Arcadians have discussed and prepared for a six day backpacking trip in the Adirondack High Peaks.  We split into groups of seven from a hat randomly to meet capacity regulations in the park.  Each group, named Gryffindor and Slytherin, rationed out a week’s worth of food for backcountry cooking to fuel their bodies.  Did you know the average person eats 1.6 kilograms (about 4 lbs) per day?  Gear was sorted and divided.  Our rigorous itineraries, just shy of forty miles, would guide sixty pound packs up and over the Lower Great Range to the Dix Wilderness Area, or vice versa for opposing groups.  (We hoped to meet on day 3 somehow!)

Since our canoe expedition in August, our Modern Outdoor Recreation Ethics (MORE) class focused on four main topics: outdoor skills, leadership, communication, community and wilderness ethics.  The hiking trip was a cumulative test of our experiences and discussions centered around these topics.  Other than pushing physical limits with our burning quads and strained calves, we also had to write a poem for Creative Expressions about walking.  Below Amanda and Celeste shared their poems:

(Celeste)Title:   For six days we walk
                                Up over hills, through valleys
                                Tired, happy, home.

Day 1: Commencement
Chaos fills the air
Packs loaded up, heavy weight
Babbling stream, home

Day 2: Celerity
Light pack on the move
Up down over back, no water
Moving in darkness

Day 3: Crux
Rain can’t stop us now
Shwack Shwack conifer jungle
Zero to hero

Day 4: Chipper
Smiles for miles
Almost saved the Gatorade
Stooping for all red leaves

Day 5: Clinch
Cold morning sun rise
Hands clutch cold rocks going up
Epic day again

Day 6: Culmination
Sleep in, hike out fast
One last Shwack for good measure
Together, again.

(Amanda)            Humans Think They Live on Land,
But They Actually Live in the Sea.

Have you ever
                paused
to lay under the forest canopy?

Scuba dive deep into
cold conifers,
              marvel
at their depths.

Tips of scaled white pines
                bristle
from the brush of passing
cloud boats

Strands of sweet sugar maples
turn into sticky jellyfish
as they
                retreat and flow
with the current

Lick your sweaty lips; can you even taste the salt?