pumpkins spelling Dartmouth
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Have you ever encountered family friends in the supermarket who ask how your year is going? They’re interested, they want to hear about your life, but they want to hear about it for twenty seconds and then return to their shopping. In those situations, my standard, snappy response is that what I love about Dartmouth—beyond my friends and my classes—is living in the “middle of nowhere.” You may have heard Hanover is not exactly a metropolis -- and it’s amazing. Without the distractions of streets teeming with tourists and kids from a million different schools, Dartmouth’s rural location fosters interpersonal connection and self-reflection. Of course, the city is there when you want it—on the way back to campus after spring break, my friend and I spent the day in Boston exploring neighborhoods and the MFA, an art museum free with our Dartmouth IDs. After dinner, we took the Dartmouth Coach, a bus service (with free movies and snacks) from South Station to Hanover and got back in time to chat with our friends before turning in for the night. There is nowhere I would rather be than here, by the river and in the mountains, and nothing I’d rather do than explore it (and our thoughts!) with my friends.

"Dartmouth Street" sign, Boston, MA
Forget the Redcoats, Boston, Dartmouth is coming!
This past weekend is a great example of what Hanover offers. Hot and sunny, leaves just beginning to crunch on the sidewalk, the outdoors clamored for a last summer hurrah. On Friday, my friend and I biked along the Connecticut River to Thetford, Vermont, where we crossed a bridge and returned home on the New Hampshire side. Horses and cattle, apple trees and lily pads, railroad tracks and mountains rising straight from the opposite shore: the views were so beautiful that language failed me. I called the landscape “draw-joppingly” instead of “jaw-droppingly” beautiful and didn’t notice my mistake for a good thirty seconds. Luckily, however, my friend caught the sentiment—but if anyone knows a way to jop a draw, please let me know!
instagram snapshot of biker along river
Cruising to paradise, one pedal at a time :) (pc Rachel Rubin--who has an amazing instagram!)
Right before biking and again the next day, I encountered the river in a different way: canoeing with Ledyard, Dartmouth’s any-craft-with-a-paddle club. Friday, in the training session, we portaged a canoe and “rescued” a leader who had “fallen” out of her canoe and into the river.
five girls on boat dock
At the Ledyard dock before our Mink Brook trip (aka the Connecticut River from a different angle--isn't it beautiful?)
Saturday, we paddled down the river to Mink Brook, an inlet that traverses a park trail where I’ve gone on many a walk or run. The tree bark dappled with light reflected from the water was one of the prettiest sights I’ve seen.
Mink Brook
Mink Brook Park as viewed from terra firma (with far more flowers than fit in the photo!)
In addition to trying to become a flatwater leader in Ledyard, this term I want to learn to climb with the DMC, Dartmouth’s climbing team. Last week I went to Rumney, a world-class climbing destination forty-five minutes from campus, where I climbed outdoors for the first time ever. Although I had next to no experience, the leaders were super welcoming and friendly, enthusiastic about answering any questions I had, and the trip was free! I had such a great time I signed up for a beginner climbing PE class and can’t wait to climb again.
girl climbing
aaaaand if you squint you can see me!
All in all, both this weekend and last weekend were great. My days were filled with meeting new people, seeing my best friends, and exploring Hanover and its natural surroundings at all hours of the da. This evening, after an afternoon of homework, my friend and I walked around Occom Pond, one of my favorite spots, stopping halfway to go out to the golf course and look at the constellations. As we lay there, talking, the dew fresh against our skin, we looked up and saw a shooting star—and, however clichéd it was, I thought how there was nowhere I would rather go to school.