Twenty-three Campion academy students backpacked a total of twelve miles reaching American Lakes and Lulu Mountain in Jackson County this past weekend while enjoying the scenery and each other’s company.
On Friday afternoon, the outdoor club hiked four miles up a steep side of a mountain to reach their campsite. Sophomore Marcela Zuniga says “I loved hiking even though it was hard, I thought I wasn’t going to make it to the campsite, so as I was walking up the mountain I asked God to help me and He did!”
Along the way, a few of the students got a surprise visit by a mother and baby moose that temporarily blocked the trail. Haley Beckermeyer, senior commented, “I thought it was really cool seeing the moose and her baby up that close. Even though she kind of halted our hiking process a bit, it was spectacular.”
On Saturday, the whole group made their way up the steep trail to Snow Lake. Some students chose to spend most of the day at the lake. Sophomore Keaton Drake reflects, “It was really awesome getting to climb on the rocks, play in the water, and look at the scenery. The view of the forest and valley was honestly incredible.”
The second option that students could do was hike up the 12,002 foot peak of Lulu Mountain. Keon Paez, sophomore, said, “At first I didn’t think I would make it up because it’s super tall, my legs got really tired, mostly because I didn’t get a lot of oxygen up there. But, once I got to the top, I felt very relieved because I didn’t have to climb anymore. The view was incredible and captivated me. The hike was hard but definitely worth it.”
The weather in the mountains was constantly changing. Junior student Dwayne Rey says, “The weather was crazy, at times the sun would be out and it was chill, but then like two seconds later, it disappeared. It was super windy, then it would stop. It was raining, then the hail came. It was CRAZY!”
After breakfast on Sunday, the group hiked back down to the vehicles. Zuniga says “The hike down was a whole lot faster and more fun because of the steepness of the trail. It was such a relief to make it back to Campion after having many challenges and many good times.”
For the students who hadn’t camped or backpacked before, there were a lot of new skills they had to learn, including filtering water for the whole campsite, cooking food on a tiny stove, and even fitting a sleeping bag into its sleeve. Sergio Enriquez, freshman states, “We all were working together to stay alive. We got water together for the entire camp. We bonded by experiencing the same struggles and the same laughs.”
Toby Quillin, Campion News Team
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