It is not always common to get a diverse group of people together that clique and get along as well as the group we had on the backpacking trip this fall. A mix of undergraduates and grad students from diverse backgrounds led to a trip that was full of excitement. We set out for Ouachita National Forest late Friday evening. After driving for a while we made it to our camp site for the night in cold and rainy weather. After getting camp set up we went to bed eager for what awaited us the next day.
We started out on the trail in rainy and cold weather, but that did not get the group’s spirits down. As we walked through the mist and into a cloud, all we could see while looking out to the mountains was a blanket of gray. Although we could not see the beauty of the trees and mountains, the mist and clouds was beautiful in its own right. After hiking for a while, we sat down for lunch to rest and fuel our bodies. There was a strong consensus that bagels and peanut butter have never tasted so good. While back on the trail we saw some of the smaller aspects of Ouachita National Forest such as close to a hundred stick bugs. After a few hours of hiking we set up camp by a waterfall. We rested and filled up our water bottles. Our dinner consisted of burritos with beans, rice, and chicken which tasted nearly as good as Chipotle, except we had a much better view. At night, the sky cleared up and we could see a vast array of stars, something that is not possible within the city of Dallas. We also saw a small horned owl as we sat by our campfire.
The next day we woke up to cold weather and hot oatmeal. We hiked through rivers and were eager to get back to warm van as our feet and socks were wet and cold. We eventually got to the van and departed for our drive back to Dallas with dirty clothes, cold feet, and an eagerness to take a long warm shower. The trip was great and new friendships were made.
Colton Ciavarra, SMU Outdoor Adventures Trip Leader