From feeling the sand in your toes at a tropical beach to feeling the burn in your thighs climbing a mountain, Wright State’s Outdoor Resource Center (ORC) offers the adventures of a lifetime.
One such adventure was a mountain-backpacking trip in Colorado from Aug. 1 to Aug. 8.
Rock by rock, students climbed slippery slopes with nothing but a backpack, experiencing the fresh taste of the outdoors.
Mindy Hartings, the challenge course manager at the ORC, was the trip leader. “I love being off grid and away from the pressures of society,” said Hartings, who is studying creative writing and plans to become a travel writer. “You have everything you need all on your back.”
The Colorado group consisted of 11 people hiking through mountains elevated from approximately 8,000 to 12,000 feet on the first day. They hiked for four days and visited the Continental Divide. They experienced many challenging switchbacks while hiking, or hiking through a zigzag-like path.
Hikers were sore, but the view from the mountain peak made it worth the climb.
“It just keeps you motivated, seeing all those beautiful scenes,” Hartings said. “It’s just breathtaking. You have to take that moment and really be aware of everything around you and just try to capture it all in your memory because pictures just don’t do justice of a moment like that.”
Hartings said that the teams’ tents and belongings were covered in frost and snow. “Our boots were frozen,” she said. “I don’t like being cold, so it was interesting to know that I can sleep (in a tent) on a bed of snow inches below me.”
Hartings has led many trips, including a horseback-riding trip in Indiana. One horse complicated the trip, acting rowdy and making Hartings’ teammates nervous. The hrose’s rider “shouts in the most outrageous voice, ‘don’t worry guys, I know how to cowboy up, I can handle this,’” Hartings said. “The rest of the trip if something went wrong we’d be like, ‘don’t worry I know how to cowboy.’”
Hartings said the ORC is the best avenue for outdoor trips because of the staff’s experience. “It takes a lot of the stress away because we do all of the planning,” she said.
“The trips that we have are student-lead so we do trips that we believe other students would enjoy,” she said. “And by not having to worry about other stuff, you’re able to feel the release of pressures back home.”
The ORC also has affordable group rates and offers trips from the Dayton region to as far away as Florida and Puerto Rico with different levels of physical activities. Trips are opened to Wright State students, staff, faculty and alumni. Each participant is allowed to bring one non-Wright State affiliated guest.
Weeklong trips are limited to eight people and 10 people for weekend trips. All trips are accompanied by two ORC trip leaders.
Activities scheduled for the 2015-16 school year are available at wright.edu/campus-recreation.