A midspring night’s disaster

By Ben Hedstrom
NEWS Reporter


 

A stunning shot of a viewpoint during the expedition

       A stunning shot of a viewpoint during the expedition

 

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hh, yes, spring time! That time of year when the return of the sun’s warmth coaxes the flowers and animals out of hiding. I couldn’t wait to walk through the woods with birds chirping, trees blooming, and a general feeling of relaxation returning. This seemed to be a reasonable expectation of spring hiking, but boy did Mother Nature have another thing in store for us MOE hikers!

On Friday we drove out to a trail just past Cowan’s Gap for a three-mile hike up the mountain, an overnight stay, and a three-mile hike back. Nothing to it, right? As soon as we got out of the vans and got ready for our ascent, I realized I had made a great mistake. I stood there watching some of my fellow classmates and campers suit up with hats, gloves, and winter jackets, while I put on my light fleece. As we began our trek, Mother Nature reminded us through a gentle and light snowfall that winter does not end in March, a lesson you would think I had learned back home in Massachusetts. Hands frozen, we pushed forward, telling ourselves our sleeping bags would be warmer (they were of little help). When we got to the campsite many of us immediately grabbed socks from our bags and put them on our hands in a pathetic attempt to warm ourselves.

Once we finally pitched our tents, we headed down towards the shelter to make our food. The cold sting of the air was temporarily remedied by boiling hot food. After dinner we retreated back to our tents to endure the long cold night.
Things seemed to be getting better, until we heard a scream from a neighboring tent. Davis Anderson ’20 rushed over to find an animal alive and moving under one of the girls’ tents. I guess spring does coax the animals out after all. We moved the tent and tried to go back to bed. The next morning we packed up and enjoyed a relatively warm descent. The trip ended with a stop at Milky Way Restaurant in Fort Loudon.

About the trek, trip leader John Henry Reilly noted, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear and bad attitudes.” He was, of course, correct. We may not have prepared as we should have for the hike, but our ability to

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