The Hill Winds in Our Veins: Unlocking the Outdoors @ Dartmouth
"They have the still North in their hearts,
The hill winds in their veins,
And the granite of New Hampshire
In their muscles and their brains."
Every day at 6 PM, the Baker Library Bell Tower plays the alma mater. One full month after moving to this "College on a hill," I found the lyrics of our alma mater a precise description of my new college life.
As someone who has lived in a bustling city for my entire life, I am constantly astounded by the wealth of convenient and mostly cost-free outdoor opportunities that this place offers.
My Dartmouth experience kickstarted with a sunrike (sunrise-hike) to Mt. Moosilauke during the first year trip. Waking up at 3 AM in a cabin and hiking 4 miles in pitch dark, we hiked with the Milky Way above us, the frogs' croaking and birds' chirping surrounding us, and reached the peak with the brisk hill winds tousling our hair (at the fastest speed that I've ever experienced). When the sun rose and painted half the sky fiery red and golden, our whole sunrike group cheered in some sort of happiness that words fall short to describe. Happy for the "feat" that we just accomplished, for the simple yet boundless freedom at the moment, or for the magical bonds crystalized through this starry experience…
As the official school year kicked off, my outdoor adventures only became more enriching. The gorgeous Occom Pond lies right next to my dorm, with the picturesque Pine Park gracing the opposite bank. I found solace in jogging around Occom Pond after mornings filled with back-to-back classes. On more relaxing weekend mornings, I love hiking through Pine Park with my floormates, coming across some deer from time to time.
One other thing that I love to do is to browse the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) Trailhead—this oldest and largest collegiate outing club in the country hosts a variety of (FREE) trips around the week. In just the past few weeks, I've had my first time kayaking and canoeing in the Connecticut River, and I love the inner peace I felt rowing a small boat in the middle of a calm river.