Despite challenges of hail, cold nights, rocky trails, and high altitude, the 25 students and four sponsors in Campion's Outdoor Club had a successful and unforgettable backpack trip in the Snowy Range mountains in Wyoming this past weekend.
The group left Friday after classes, completing a two-and-a-half hour drive to the trailhead, where they were met with rain and hail. Jahir Marcenaro, senior, reflected on the start of the trip: “It was memorable because Mr. Kast started our group on the wrong trail, and when we got onto the right trail it started raining and hailing. But, when that passed, we got to see the beautiful night sky.” Once everyone had settled in and set up camp, the club had an evening worship under the stars.
The club started their Sabbath off with breakfast and a devotional thought by Mrs. Harlow. Then they tore down camp and started to head to their next campsite, about 6 miles away. The hikers enjoyed the beautiful views, even though they had to push their physical limits as the trail got steeper and surpassed 11,000 feet in elevation.
Matthew Winokan, junior, commented, “Getting to be in nature was very peaceful; I feel like being out there distracts you from school and any stress you have. You get closer to God, and you have time to talk with friends.”
When the club reached their new campsite they got settled in and they had time to themselves to explore or relax. Noah Sturges, senior, said, “One thing I really enjoyed was the freedom we had, especially on Saturday because I could wander off on my own time, and it wasn’t restricted to staying at camp or on a trail.”
After the club’s free time they were called in for an evening worship under the starlit sky, where students shared what they learned about God throughout the day. Preston Sturges, junior, reflected, “Seeing the stars makes you realize how small we are but how God still cares for us.” The club members then headed back to their tents and hammocks to rest after such a challenging day.
Early the following day, a group of ten club members took the opportunity to hike to the summit of Medicine Bow Peak, while the rest of the members opted to sleep in. “I really enjoyed the hike on Sunday morning,” said Ekenna Kwankwo. “Even though it was really hard, it was awesome going to the summit and looking down on where you just came from and how far you got. It also relates to your own spiritual walk, where you need to go through a struggle so you can look back and see how far you’ve come.”
Once everyone had eaten and packed up, the club embarked on their last hike of the trip, the hike to the vans and busses to transport them back to campus. Love Pickle, senior, summed up her weekend saying that, “The people and the views made backpacking fun.”
Jared Marcenaro, Student News Team
Photos: Noah Sturges, Airi Nomura, Jill Harlow