The Mirror Guide to the Outdoors
By Amanda Smith And Seanie Civale
Published on Friday, July 13, 2012
Summer is well under way, and we are collectively getting the hang of how Shakespeare doth speak while grudgingly setting our astro NROs (that midterm was a doozy).
But the further we get into 12X, the harder it becomes to actually hit the books instead of the docks.
The sun is hot, the sky is blue and the only thing we want to do is get outside and soak up some rays.
Our hearts pine for the great outdoors!
While we can’t speed up the clocks in class, and we do not (officially) condone lack of attendance, we can provide you with ways to fill your free time with the best of the Upper Valley’s outdoor activities.
Straight from the mouths of experts of sophomore summers past and present — with sprinklings of our own less qualified words of wisdom — we bring you the 12X guide to outdoor fun. Get wet and wild:
The Ledges — Take a short drive through West Leb, continue South on 12A, turn left on True Brooks Road and you’re there.
You can jump off rocks into natural whirlpools and go for a dip in the swimming hole.
“The ledges are a great place to go with a big group,” Alejandra Herrera ’14, who visited the spot early in the summer, said. “If you really don’t want to jump, you can lay out on some rocks or go on a small hike, which is really nice.”
Mink Brook — Go down Main Street and take a right onto Maple until it dead ends into a trail. Take said trail down to this picture-perfect tributary of the Connecticut. “Mink Brook is cool because you can wade into the river instead of having to jump off the docks,” John D’Antonio ’14 said. “You can swim without boats or canoes around, so it’s really easy to just chill.” For some noms: Lodge dinner — Almost everyone interviewed by The Mirror said Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is the prime place to go for summertime eats. “The food is great,” Alexander Toth ’10, a leader for the Ledyard Canoe Club, said. “The Lodge is less than an hour away, and if you are adventurous and have some time you can hike Mount Moosilauke and get sweet photos of yourself up on top of a beautiful mountain with your friends.”
Zachary Martinez ’13 encouraged sophomores to embrace the Lodge as a peaceful getaway. “Things are very slow there,” Martinez said. “Stopping in for dinner is great, but spending a whole day is better. The mornings are key.” Get picky:
Sophomore summer is the perfect time to indulge your love for picking and planting.
Organic Farm — Only three miles north of campus, the questionably abbreviated “O Farm” can be reached by hike, bike, canoe, kayak or car.
Seed, weed and harvest crops, learn all about veggies and jump in the river after a few hours of working in the sun.
Poverty Lane Orchards — Visit Poverty Lane in Lebanon for raspberry and blackcurrant picking (so alternative!). Call the orchard to plan a visit. And don’t forget to BYOB (bring your own bag… for the berries)! Hikes and other things:
Hiking is the perfect go-to for those like us who lack the skill set (and upper body strength) necessary for some of the DOC’s trickier climbing trips.
Gile Mountain — Both the panoramic view from the top of Gile’s fire tower and the mountain’s close proximity to campus make this hike a sophomore summer necessity.
Plus, as Martinez noted, “It’s actually just walking, so it’s quite cheap.”
Gerben Scherpier, summer president of the Dartmouth Outing Club, recommends heading to Gile early, particularly if the weather is nice. “If you’re willing to wake up for the sunrise, Gile Mountain is really impressive because you can see Dartmouth and the Connecticut River Valley,” he said.
Those less inclined to wake up in the wee morning hours can catch an equally beautiful sunset from Gile instead.
DOC cabins — Bring along some friends and some food for a cozy night of Bananagrams, guitar playing and story swapping. We recommend Hinman Cabin for swimming and canoeing or Nunnemacher on the Skiway for bigger groups. Check availability on the DOC website and call for reservations.
Fairlee Drive-In — A personal favorite only 19.6 miles away, you can catch a flick at the drive-in theater every night at 9.
Forrest Barnhart ’14 recently visited the Fairlee Drive-In with her sorority.
“I loved snuggling with my friends in the car and watching ‘Brave,’” Barnhart said. “There were tons of fireflies there, which made it a magical Pixar experience.”
Wherever it is you might find yourself over the next six weeks, we hope that more often than not it’s outside. When you can bear no more of Hamlet’s soliloquizing, no more talk of nova, supernova or crab nebula (confession: we don’t actually take astro) and no more of the bleakness of Baker-Berry, heed Martinez’s last piece of advice about getting outdoors. “Do it,” Martinez said. “12X comes once.”