The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

GORP’s Fall Break Adventure

For those in search of a change of scenery over fall break, Grinnell Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) offered students a chance to leave the flat cornfields of Grinnell and discover the wonders and beauty of Mother Nature. This past week, GORP sent nine students on a canoe trip to explore the Buffalo National River in Arkansas.

Members of the GORP fall break trip enjoying the Buffalo National River. Photograph contributed.

The trip was organized and led by Joe Lohman ’14 and Michael Korte ’15.  Lohman previously had doubts about Arkansas, but those doubts quickly vanished.

“It’s gorgeous out there. I definitely had written off Arkansas in the past, just [like] ‘There’s probably nothing down there,’ but this is a really amazing place to go camping,” Lohman said. “The river’s absolutely beautiful, as well as the bluffs that line it.”

After the 10-hour drive to Arkansas, the group was ready to conquer the river. The group planned to travel 38 miles over the course of four days, camping alongside the river each night.

Due to poor weather conditions, with temperatures reaching below freezing at night, the group changed their plans and decided to spend the duration of the trip camping in one location. They continued to complete smaller canoeing day trips for the remainder of the week.

By staying in one location, the trip became more of a relaxing outdoors vacation, while still having the added excitement and rush that came from canoeing on the river, according to participant Jack O’Malley ’17.

For O’Malley, the added time for peacefully exploring their surroundings and appreciating nature was one of the best parts of the trip.

“Building the dam [at a fork in the river] and making sand castles reminded me of childhood days,” O’Malley said.

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was the groups’ interaction with two Sasquatch enthusiasts from Texas. While in Arkansas, the pair had found Sasquatch footprints, which they eagerly showed to the group.

Campfires, lying under the stars, large, hairy, apelike creatures—life could not get much better.

If you would like to participate in GORP, but do not want to wait until next break, GORP offers numerous day outings and activities throughout the year. For the rest of the semester they plan to offer hikes, horseback riding and silo climbing trips, granted appropriate weather. Email for details.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *