Embracing my Inner Crunch
As I opened my email one night during mid-October, I came across the headline "Break Trip Application Update", which I anxiously opened up:
What is WHEATSTARCH??? You might ask... Well...
A quick google search tells you that WHEATSTARCH is different from mung bean starch (who knew?)
But to us, WHEATSTARCH is
- Winter Hiking
- Second College Grant Sunsets
- Chillin in Cabins
- New Friends on Mountains
And WHEATSTARCH is YOU!!! All of this can only mean... You've been accepted to the WHEATSTARCH break trip!!!!!
The Dartmouth Outing Club is made up of various sub-clubs such as Cabin and Trail (hiking and cabin camping), Ledyard (canoe and kayaking), Climbing Team, Bait and Bullet (hunting and fishing), POCO (People of Color Outdoors), Timer Team (logging), just to name a few. Every winterim (winter break), the sub-clubs run a variety of break trips around the United States that we have the opportunity to apply for. This year, some break trips include Big Bend National Park, the Second College Grant, Mount Lemmon, Zion National Park, and Catalina Island. The break trip I was accepted to was WHEATSTARCH, which stands for Winter-Hiking-at-the-Same-Time-as-Regular-Cabin-Hopping, one of the annual tradition break trips by Cabin and Trail; this year, the break trip was held up at the Second College Grant (a township owned by Dartmouth in Northern New Hampshire) and was five days long. As a big fan of hiking and a member of Cabin and Trail, I excitedly accepted the spot for WHEATSTARCH - I had never been winter hiking, but how fun would it be to hike some mountains and make new friends along the way? With that being said, here are some highlights through a photo series.
- No. 1
Table Rock of Dixville Notch
This was the first hike of WHEATSTARCH, and also my first snow hike. Although it was a steep and tough hike, my fellow trippees kept me entertained with jokes and laughter along the way. After we got to the top, we enjoyed a beautiful snowy view of Dixville Notch and ate a delicious lunch consisting of pita bread, hummus, red bell peppers, corn nuts, trail mix, peanut butter, jelly, and very delicious dried mango (thank you to one of my trip leaders Abigail for introducing us to Wellsley Farms Dried Mango! ) that we devoured after a beautiful hike.
- No. 2
Crossing to Canada
The next day, our group of 9 trippees split up into two groups for two different morning hikes: Tumbledown Mountain and the 4th Connecticut Lake. I decided to do the International Peace Trail of the 4th Connecticut Lake because it is located between the line of what separates New Hampshire and Quebec, and marks the beginning of the Connecticut River that also runs through Hanover. Throughout the hike, our phone signals switched over to Canada and we even got text messages from our cell service provider that said “Welcome to Canada!”, which was definitely a highlight. After we regrouped back at the cabin, we had delicious vegetarian taco burrito bowls for dinner and reflected on how each group’s hikes went.
- No. 3
Never a Dull Moment
This photo was taken by Kelby, who was the second trip leader for WHEATSTARCH. I really appreciated this moment being captured as my fellow trippees and I sat at the dinner table talking about a variety of things, and learned more than a few things about each other along the way; this was basically how we would end our nights after dinner - crazy how five days can change the social interaction as we shared various storytimes while also learning so much about one another.
- No. 4
Got Raided By My Boss
On the last night at the cabin, a Dunkin Donuts box with a karaoke microphone showed up on the front door steps (sketchy, right?). As my trippee Mateo brought the donut box in, closed the door, and turned on the microphone, the song “Blame It On The Boogie '' came on. Suddenly, a group of people were knocking on the door, rushed in, and started dancing; of course, we followed. Turns out my boss, Kevin, who is a ‘21, was also staying at the Second College Grant with some of his fellow ‘21 friends and decided to come say hi - Thanks Kevin for the delightful surprise!
- No. 5
As we packed our bags and said goodbye to Sam’s Cabin, we did our last hike to Lonesome Lake. After we made it to the very iced up and snowy lake, we ate the last of our lunch on a lake dock and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. There was the Lonesome Lake Hut above the dock, which we checked out before heading back down.
Overall, I am unbelievably grateful to be able to participate in WHEATSTARCH - the friends made along the way, the wisdom shared, the stories told, and the non-stop laughter are what made my first DOC winter trip worth it.