Reminiscing on spring break adventure

Photo courtesy of Sara Roman

Shelbie Goulding

On March 25, Kent State students embarked on a week-long spring break adventure in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.

After hiking, camping, zip lining and whitewater rafting, participants reflected on the experiences and memories they created from the enlightening adventure.

“Each day had different and amazing experiences,” said graduate student Kelsi Turk. “From hiking alone to exploring a new city, I made so many memories that it’s hard to choose my favorite.”

Turk said she got an energizing experience, an education on how to backpack safely and made new friends while partaking in the trip.

“My favorite place from the trip was a spot on the trail called ‘Jump Off Point’ where you are on the edge of the mountain and the trail switches back sharply, so there’s a drop off with a fantastic, unobstructed view of the mountains and the valley.”

Turk highly encourages others to participate in the adventure programs offered at Kent State. The experiences were fantastic and many people would enjoy and benefit from them, she said.

Freshman Sara Roman agrees with Turk when it comes to “Jump Off Point” being a fan favorite from the trip.

“It’s a huge rock face that overlooks miles of mountain range,” she said.

Roman learned that the Appalachian Trail had a beautiful culture she never knew existed.

“Hikers from all over, no matter how far they’ve come or the differences they have, will gather around fires and tell stories as if they were lifelong friends,” Roman said. “They come and go, hiking at their own pace with their own goals, but everyone is kind while doing so.”

Administrator Blake Osborn believes this is one of the best trips they have led in terms of activities, location and feel of the group.

“The fact that we combined two groups into one trip created two levels of experience for the participants,” Osborn said.

Osborn said the participants got the chance to meet other backpackers along the trail.

“We had the opportunity to meet many thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail who start their 2,200 mile hike in Georgia and end in Maine four-to-six months later,” Osborn said. “It was great for the beginners on our trip to meet them, hear their stories and get advice from backpackers who are about 135 miles into their journey.”

Osborn thinks this was one of the highlights from his group’s trip. He thinks the students learned a lot from the trip and many told him it was a relaxing way to “unplug from reality.”

“It is hard to sum up, in words exactly, how the trip went,” Osborn said. He agrees the trip was enlightening and adventurous for all of the participants.

Osborn is excited to finish up the remaining adventure programs this semester and start planning the upcoming trips for next semester.

Shelbie Goulding is the recreation and fitness reporter. Contact her at [email protected].