While the majority of Kalamazoo College students went home to visit family or stayed on campus during the extended weekend, Ta-Yin Wang K’19, Kevin Bhimani K’19, Ryan Roberts K’19, Lucy MacArthur K’16, and Will Bartz K’17 ventured to the Manistee River Trail for this year’s Fall Break.
The five students departed campus last Friday at 8:30 am and drove for two and a half hours to hit the 11-mile long trail for a three-day backpacking trip.
As trip leaders, Will Bartz and Lucy MacArthur led the team of five along the trail: successfully initiating the idea of the trip, finding participants, buying the food for the trippers, driving to and back from the Manistee River, and guiding the trippers on the trail.
Although the weather was harsh during the trip, KOC members enjoyed the hike.
“It was very windy and cloudy, but the view of the changing color of the leaves was beautiful,” Wang said. All were equipped with warm (synthetic) layers and broken-in hiking boots.
Hiking with 15 pound backpacks in cold weather was only part of the experience; cooking was the other. The process of cooking meals is more complicated than many would assume. The KOC members packed bowls and portable stoves among other cooking material to be able eat nice warm meals while appreciating the simply living of the backpacking experience.
Wang participated in LandSea, K College’s pre-orientation program, just a few months ago, and said “It was great to be outside again. It was my first outing trip, and I missed being outdoors, especially after LandSea.”
Due to the unexpected low temperatures, the KOC members ended their trip early: “it was fun although it got really cold at night so we came back earlier.”
The Kalamazoo Outing Club’s next trip takes place on Seventh Week at the Arboretum for the “Haunted Arb Walk” in preparation for Halloween.