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Colleen at Gile Mountain
haunted house

If you ask any of my friends, they will tell you that I am crazy in love with fall! My adoration of autumn likely stems from my upbringing in Buffalo, NY where playing in piles of leaves and drinking hot apple cider with friends and family were some of my favorite childhood memories. But, it wasn't until I spent the fall of my sophomore year in Peru that I realized just how much I missed witnessing the changing colors of the leaves, the transition from summer to sweater weather, and the abundance of apple cider and pumpkin-spice everything that came with the changing seasons. 

At Dartmouth, I aim to spice up my academic and co-curricular activities with spontaneous excursions that coincide with the seasons. Here are my favorite autumnal adventures from senior year thus far:

1. Haunted Hayride

I am certainly not a fan of anything haunted or horror-related. But in the spirit of embracing my final year at Dartmouth, I decided to join my friends in experiencing the "80 Acres of Horror" just a few hours from Hanover, NH. In addition to a haunted hayride, we also went through three haunted houses and did a terrifying walk through the woods during which actors basically chased us with fake chainsaws. While I am glad that I conquered my fears of haunted houses, I think I have had my fill of horror for a while.

2. Foliage Hike

In the midst of skydiving and haunted hayrides, going on a foliage hike up Gile Mountain fire tower this fall may seem a bit more tame and doable. In my opinion, Gile Mountain Fire Tower is one of the best places to take in the fall foliage in the local area. The hike itself is only about a mile each way, and the tower at the top of the mountain allows for breath-taking 360-degree views. I did this hike with my family when they came to visit, which made the experience even more memorable.

3. High Ropes Course 

Just because the temperate is dropping does not mean that the outdoors activities have to end. To celebrate fall, my friends and I spontaneously decided to do a high ropes and zip-line course in Vermont. We showed up, got our harnesses on, and had three hours of uninterrupted fun swinging from the trees, climbing up rock walls and rope ladders, and just having a blast. I think the lower temperatures may have scared other people away, so we had the whole ropes course to ourselves. 

Those are my favorite autumnal adventures so far this term. With peak foliage in full swing, I am excited to see what else my friends and I can get ourselves into before fall is over.

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