Spring Break 2017

Spring break was quite the logistical set up for me. Over the recess I traveled by (in this order) bus, car, train (three times), then another car, a different car, then another different car. Then I traveled by foot for 30 miles, took two more cars, two planes, a Lyft, and then another car—I never actually drove a vehicle myself. To my delight, relief, and, in the case of Amtrak, surprise, all 14 of my carriers delivered me to my destinations safely and on time.

After spending my first night of break at home, I traveled by train(s) to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where my friend Joe (yes, the same Joe who visited Luther two weeks ago) and one of his friends picked me up from the train station. We then sped off into the Pennsylvanian countryside to the town of Lewisburg where Joe attends Bucknell University. I spent several days with Joe experiencing life at Bucknell and exploring the surrounding areas. Bucknell is similar in size to Luther with around 3,500 students and is also located in a small rural town. However, Bucknell's campus has a pretty different feel from Luther. The boundary between the campus and the rest of town is less defined than Luther’s so the sense of a cohesive school community felt lessened (though there are some benefits too—such as less walking to grab something to eat at a local restaurant).

Once my time at Bucknell was finished, I met up with my dad for a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. The trail, marked by simple white blazes, runs from Georgia to Maine and is famous for members of the hiking community and others. The Northeast had received about 2 feet of snow the weekend prior to our hike; our route was mostly comprised of a portion of the trail that runs along a high, rocky ridge so we were anxious to get on the trail and find out how bad the conditions were. The first day was only about 50% trudging through snow and our spirits were high as we settled in for our coldest night of the trip (about 14°F). The next day turned out to be much tougher. We hiked about 19 miles, 80% of which involved walking through snow, often over hazardous boulder fields. We got to our second camp just as night was setting in and feasted on some mac and cheese. We had been planning to do a 40 mile trip, but with freezing rain in the forecast and the trail getting even more treacherous with snow and increasing altitude, we decided to hike just 6 miles the next day to a B&B where we got a ride back to our car.

The next day we drove to Philadelphia for our flights back and got the chance to spend the afternoon in the neighborhood of Mt. Airy where we had lived for a year while my dad was in graduate school. We then flew to Chicago where my dad returned to our home and I continued on to Minneapolis. In Minneapolis I spent the night with my friend Sean and in the morning, my friend from Luther, Dan, picked me up for the final trek back to Decorah.

Overall the trip was really exciting and I’m happy for the adventures I was able to experience over break. My adventures over break were so rapidly moving that the normal routines and schedules of school are actually a welcome change.

My dad, after our first ascent of the ridge, eyeing our next segment of trail.

{ Return to Forrest's Blog for more posts. }

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