Everglades 2009

Organized by: Kelly McFadden, Joe Moran

The first Thanksgiving Break trip to depart, this trip explored the wonders of the Everglades National Park. The trip had varying degrees of difficulty depending on the current. As would be expected the weather was warm (80 degrees) and sunny, however it being Florida the weather was also unpredictable at times (high winds and downpours). All the perishable food perished within the first 3 days and large dry-bags were required to keep water-sensitive equipment safe and dry. The trip went smoothly. Note: many notes to follow.

  • Long-term weather forecasts are unreliable for Florida
  • it is suggested that perishable food be purchased in Florida to minimize spoilage
  • lots of bugs
  • bare feet = cut feet
  • sun = sun burn
  • Campsites in Everglades National Park must be reserved in person at the visitor center less than 24 hours before arrival at camp

Members in Attendance:

  • Nick Clabbers
  • Adam Cota
  • Brian Kocher
  • Pamela Lin
  • Thaddeus Line
  • Kelly McFadden
  • Joe Moran
  • Ed Wilson-Ewing

Colorado 2009

Organized by: Adam Scheletsky

The second Thanksgiving break trip to depart our college campus was a trip to Colorado State Forrest State Park [sic]. The trip consisted of snowshoeing form yurt-to-yurt (Montgomery Pass >> Ruby Jewel >> North Fork Yurt). The difficulty being mainly due to snow-depth and elevation. The weather on the trip was cold with 2 ft of snow, it is 10,000 ft after-all, but the yurts were toasty. Many layers of bacon and clothes made this trip awesome. MSR lightning ascent snowshoes are super bomber, Adam is buying a pair when he gets the money. Adam also forgot the back of the report sheet. As such we have no idea if everyone got along or if there are any dangers, but with no pending lawsuits we assume everyone survived and had a good time.

Members in Attendance:

  • Adam Scheletsky
  • Brandon Scherzberg
  • Rosemarie Scherzberg
  • James Basham
  • Toma Zikatanov

Backpacking South Dakota 2010

Organized by Rosemarie Scherzberg

This wild and wacky trip to the Black Hills Nation Forest and Badlands National Park took place over the ’10 Spring Break. The first few days of the trip met awesome weather, allowing the group to follow PSOC fashion and get hopelessly lost somewhere only to find a beautiful views and have things work out in the end. The group then blew around the area hiking over ice flows, lakes, snowy fields, and through mud… lots of mud. The itinerary also included Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, and a stay at Ann’s Motel. All of which are entirely memorable, and no doubt will make it into the strange amalgamation of hilarious misadventures that is PSOC.

Members in Attendance:

  • Rosemarie Scherzberg
  • Doug Weinhold
  • Kaitlin Pope
  • Catherine Hewlett
  • Toma Zikatanov
  • Nick Clabbers

Neusiok Trail North Carolina– Thanksgiving Break 2010

Organized by: Joe Moran

This relaxed trip to “the beach” took place over the 2010 Thanksgiving Break. The crew left a little later than expected due to a map confusion and a utter mistrust of GPS technology, however the group did eventually leave for the great Atlantic Ocean. Upon arrival the group decided to take a break and sleep for a few hours on the visitor center lawn. After the brief nap they spent the day on the beach, running around in the ocean, and playing with lacquered wood balls. The next few days were spent on the trial, or board walk, or road, or whatever the forest service calls the thing you hike on. Baring the occasional fly-over by Marine Harriers and the never-ending road, the group had an awesome time sleeping on the beach and in shelters. The super-chill nature of the trip provided adequate time for the group to bond, and friends were made all around. For more details ask one of the people who went, as the trip cannot be fully expressed in this trip report. Everyone had an awesome time and no one died, also Joe took great pictures.

Members in Attendance:

  • Joe Moran
  • Dan Trew
  • Dave Himes
  • Sean Meadows
  • Bethany Johns
  • Tom Johnston

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 2010

Organized by: Emily Riddle

This Thanksgiving Break trip to the Great Smoky Mountains was a little more “intense” than the other trip that went out. The group average was 10 miles per day, but the work was worth it. The following is a recount of the events during the trip as told by Emily [when you see these I added a comment].

The very spooky night our last night in the backcountry. Extremely large amounts of mist/ fog that limited our visibility to approximately 10[!] feet. Felt like a scene from “The Mist’… seriously. We were all ready for a foreign animal [watch out for those immigrant bears] or zombie attack at any moment. Along with the mist, the extremely high winds blowing our tarps around all night made for about 10 hours with very little sleep.

Aside from the spooky night at Icewater shelter the trip was FABULOUS! Many great expansive vistas – Charlie’s Bunion is just one. The 3rd day on the trail we hiked along the AT along the state line between TN and NC. We could see for miles and miles over the mountain ranges of both states – pretty awesome. Also, along the AT shelters, bear bag ropes, and outhouses are established in the backcountry.. yes it is very luxurious. [You needed Sherpas]

Oh.. and many many pudding packs were eaten during our short stint in the backcountry (8 by me alone… )[funny, considering you don’t even eat cookies.].. delicious to say the least. [cookies everywhere are crying]

Use the bear bag ropes provided – bears are a known problem. [especially the foreign ones…]

Be prepared to hike with lots of elevation change – we were only hiking 8-11 mile days and were sufficiently tuckered out. One could easily hike for 3 to 8 hours.. uphill the entire time. However, the views and vistas are well well worth it.

Also, make sure you at least take a drive to the top of Clingman’s Dome (6,643 ft). It is the 3rd highest peak east of the Mississippi River just short of Mount Mitchell (6,684 ft) and Mount Craig (6,647 ft).

One last thing.. Gatlinburg, TN is a crazy tourist town.. [I’ve been there] if anyone else does a similar trip, time budget for at least a bit of time to walk around the town.. it is filled with an upside-down house, a titanic replica thing [it’s just as random as you’d think, considering TN is landlocked], castles, go carts, ski lifts over the town, Ripley’s believe-it-or-not, hard rock cafe, and many more ridiculous attractions.

Get outside and explore!

Members in Attendance:

  • Greg Smith
  • Mike Collins
  • Catherine Hewlett
  • Emily Riddle