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GET OUTSIDE Special Section

Karen Garcia Living Editor Rebekah Markillie Design Editor

Outdoor Pursuits creates outdoor adventures By Rebekah Markillie THE BEACON They sat huddled in a circle, headlamps off, in pitchblackness. “You don’t even know which way is up when it’s that dark,” senior Hannah Thorson said. “That was the best trip,” senior Talbot Andrews added. Last November, Thorson and Andrews led a caving trip to Lost Lake near Mt. St. Helens, Washington, with UP’s Outdoor Pursuits Program (OPP). They led six other students and brought with them an old map of the forest roads with vague handwritten directions like, “look for three-foot dip in road, followed by fallen tree with very big stump, walk 100 paces into the forest and look to your left.” They crawled through four caves, slept overnight, ate pancakes for breakfast and went on a hike — a memorable trip, to say the least. “It was very very cool,” Thorson said. OPP is a special group — it acts as a passport that allows students to put down their books for a day and enjoy the outdoors. Every weekend, six students, a leader and an assistant leader crowd into

“Bertha,” their van, and take off for a nature getaway. Those active in OPP get the chance to take part in a lot of different activities, including paddle boarding, hiking in the Gorge and camping on the coast. Best of all, students don’t need to be lifelong outdoor afficionados to to take part: the trips are geared towards all experience levels. “As a trip leader my favorite thing is taking people outside who haven’t really

My favorite thing is taking people outside who haven’t really been outside...watching people fall in love with nature.

Talbot Andrews Senior

been outside,” Andrews said. “That’s my favorite part — watching people fall in love with nature.” Thanks to the new Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center and a large investment from Columbia Sportswear Company, as of this year OPP has gained the resources needed to expand: A new position, Outdoor Pursuits Program Manager, was created, the bike shop is open more hours, they have

a shiny new office, the rock wall scheduling is booked and an order for new gear was just placed on Monday. “This extra help has really changed our world,” Andrews said. Hired in July, Nathan Hingley, program manager of OPP, works directly with Co-Coordinators Andrews and Thorson on scheduling, outdoor education and planning. “He’s like, ‘This is great. Let’s build on it. Let’s make it better,’” Thorson said. With the additional oversight, Thorson and Andrews have been able to plan more diverse and complex trips. They have four overnight trips planned for the semester and Hingley hopes to eventually send out multiple trips every weekend. In another effort to diversify, Hingley is working on adding trips that are accessible to students of all abilties— not just just those who are able-bodied. “We are just looking at ways in which the program can reach more of the student body,” Hingley said. Contact Design Editor Rebekah Markillie at Twitter: @r_markillie

Cour tesy of Arran Fagan

Seniors Hannah Thorson (left) and Talbot Andrews (right) are the student co-coordinators for the Outdoor Pursuits Program (OPP). OPP organizes outdoor trips every weekend and manages the campus bike shop, gear rentals and the Rec Center rock wall.

You can find the Outdoor Pursuits Office in the Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center // Sign up for trips in the Outdoor Pursuits Office or online at:; Facebook at “Outdoor Pursuits Program UP”

10 Hiking Essentials Compass

First-Aid kit


Sun protection Extra food



Knife Extra clothes

Extra food

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Molly Vincent •

PIONEER PLACE Time: 30-50 minutes


Catch the 44 outside Shipstad or the 35 on the corner of Willamette and Portsmouth.

Get off at SW 5th and Alder.


Freshmen aren’t allowed cars on campus and gas is expensive, so sometimes exploring this home we call Portland can be a little stressful. The cheapest and easiest way to access Portland without a car of your own is to use the TriMet system. Once you’ve mastered the routes, you can easily get the hang of getting a ride for only $2.50.

CATHEDRAL PARK Time: 45 minutes


Walk down Willamette towards Fred Myer.

Take a left on N. Richmond Ave.

Keep walking down 5th.

Take a right on N. Edison St.

To come back: Catch the 35 from SW 6th and Washington or the 44 on SW 6th and Salmon. Get off at UP.

Take a left on N. Salem Ave.

OREGON ZOO Time: 1 hr 5 minutes


Catch the 44 outside Shipstad or the 35 on the corner of Willamette and Portsmouth.

Get off at SW 5th and Alder.

Keep walking down 5th to the SW 5th Ave. MAX station

Get on the MAX Blue Line towards Hillsboro.

PITTOCK MANSION Time: 1 hr 15 minutes


Catch the 35 on the corner of Willamette and Portsmouth.

Get off at SW 5th and Pine.

Walk towards W Burnside and NW 5th to catch the 20.

Get off at W Burnside and NW Barnes.

Take a right on N. Crawford St. and kind of meander down to the river. Get off at Washington park MAX Station. To come back: Retrace your steps. [Tip: Stop for pastries at Cathderal Coffee.]

To come back: Get on the MAX Blue Line at Washington Park Station. Get off at Rose Quarter Transfer Station. Catch the 44 and ride back to UP.

Get off at W Burnside and NW Barnes Rd.

Walk down NW Barns and take a right on NW Pittock Ave.

Walk about a mile to get to Pittock Acres Park.

To come back: Retrace your steps to W Burnside and NW Barnes, get on the 20. Get off at SW 6th and W Burnside and transfer to the 35. Ride back to campus.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

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explOregon #


Nataša Kvesic • THE BEACON

Forest Park

Forest Park is a classic location for hiking and exploring in Portland. Full of beautiful scenery and over 70 miles of walking and hiking trails, this is the best escape within the city. You can download the park’s app and make your own custom trail, but if you want to do things traditionally, look up a random trail on a map and go. There are also hikes led by local experts and staff members each month — we’ve listed some of them on the calendar on the next page, and you can visit the park’s website to see more. Explore and learn some new things!

Oneonta Gorge

One of the most popular destinations on the Historic Columbia River Highway after Multnomah Falls. Driving in from Portland, the Oneonta Gorge is one of the first sights seen. Once on the bridge, walk down the stairs on the right side. It’s pretty much up to you what you want to do from there. You can walk up the creek and climb over the logs or walk down and carve your name into the bridge. Once over the bridge on the gorge, you’re going to get wet but the water’s only three feet deep.At the end of all the walking, you’ll reach the Oneonta Falls -- which makes the failed attempts at climbing the rock and getting wet worthwhile.

Battle Ground Lake State Park

If you’re looking for a great weekend barbecue spot or just a fun day adventure, head to Battle Ground. From Portland, take the I-5 N towards Vancouver and the exit for WA-502, continuing to follow the exits for Battle Ground. When you get there, you’ll have your choosing of either hiking, swimming in the lake, or setting up a picnic or barbecue spot. The best spot for a barbecue is the bench right by the lake — not only is it the spot with the most shade, but it has a great secret path leading to the lake. Bring a frisbee, some speakers for music and enjoy a great day with friends.

Maps © OpenStreetMap contributors

Horsetail Falls Loop

Located on the Historic Columbia River Highway, the Horsetail Falls Loop is fairly easy and packed with some breathtaking views of the river. The path is clearly visible and easy to follow all the way through the trek, with signs leading you towards the waterfalls. If you start at the Horsetail Falls trailhead and go along the path, you’ll run into three waterfalls: Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls and Middle Oneonta Falls. Prepare to take a lot of photos during the hike, since the views are impeccable. Remember to pack some water, pace yourself and have fun.

hiking & adventure spots

Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Creek State Park has plenty of activities available for a group of friends or family. From multiple trails all around the park to hosted events every weekend, you’ll never run out of things to do. But deciding on what to do is the hard part -- luckily, there’s some suggestions on the park’s website, along with PDF’s for every trail and activity that you could do at the park. For example, you can print out all of the different trails and they give you options for what to do on the trails. You can go bird watching, search for certain plants or just hike and enjoy the nature surrounding you. Make sure to check out their recommendations before heading out so you don’t get overwhelmed once you get there.

Macleay Park

This park is not only a great hiking spot, but also chockfull of history. Within the park, the Lower Macleay Trail leads directly to the stone house ruins. The historic ruins on the trail are none other than that of the “Witch’s Castle.” It is believed that mysterious happenings have occurred in this home because of the ghosts of the people that once lived there. If you’re the least bit intrigued, look it up online and hike to the house. Other than being a major attraction because of the mysterious house, Macleay Park has wide trails perfect for hiking with friends and family. Most of the trails are near creeks and the branches are covered in moss, which makes the scenery all the more enchanting. The main trail connects to the Wildwood Trail which you leads you directly to Pittock Mansion, so you can pile as much history as you can in one hike.

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SLUG sprouts again By Cheyenne Schoen THE BEACON Last January, The Purple Post, a student-run class project blog, reported that the Student Led Unity Garden (“SLUG” for short), would “dump the garden for good” after chemistry professor Raymond Bard retired from his post as the club’s adviser. Christie Assistant Hall Director Nathan Widdicombe caught word of the garden’s dismal fate last winter. “Someone told me that the garden wasn’t a thing anymore, so I started sleuthing,” Widdicombe said. Widdicombe, along with Mike Wode and Tyler Hale, Corrado and Haggerty and Tyson Hall Directors, respectively, decided to take the garden into their own hands. Widdicombe estimates he has put 50-60 hours of work into the garden since April. Student volunteers followed suit. This Sunday, over 30 students showed up to exercise their green thumbs in the SLUG. “When we came out here for a work day in April, it was so overgrown that it took five of us an hour to get one bed cleared of weeds,” Widdicombe said. Over the summer, a dozen students watered and nurtured the garden, which was instrumental in keeping it alive during the hot days. Junior Gabriel Wihtol started helping out with SLUG a year ago. “None of this existed before [this spring],” Wihtol said, pointing to the ripening tomatoes and bright

Hannah Baade • THE BEACON

Juniors (from left) Gabriel Wihtol, Tyler Gustavson and Stephen Gallivan put their green thumbs to work at the first SLUG meeting of the year. purple cabbage. “Everything was overgrown with grass. I started this patch of cabbage and I’m loving it. If something were to happen to it, I’d be devastated.” Other produce includes tomato, cucumber, zucchini, artichoke, asparagus and soft herbs, just to name a few. SLUG also harvests an orchard

of pear, apple and plum trees next to the veggie garden. Physical Plant has teamed up with SLUG to maintain the land, which boasts an incredible view of the Willamette River. “Our whole goal in partnering with P-Plant is to keep this a beautiful place that everyone can enjoy,” Hale said.

Out & about Your outdoor calendar

SEPTEMBER 9/18: Ancient Forest Beer Walk

12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. A mellow three-mile hike in Forest Park. Learn about the forest, and how edible plants are used to make beer.

9/19: McNeil Point Hike*

8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Price: $30

9/25 - 9/26: Saddle Mountain Beach Hike and Overnight*

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Price: $35

9/26: Woodland Workout

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Learn about the history of Forest Park in this four-mile workout.

9/27: Day Climb*

8:00 - a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Price: $25

9/30: Bike Maintenance - Level 1

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Learn some basic bike maintenance skills for free at the Portland REI.

OCTOBER 10/3: Hamilton Mountain Hike*

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Price: $15

10/4: Day Climb*

8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Price: $25

10/4: Portland Marathon

Register online at: $150 - full marathon $125 - half marathon

10/10 - 10/11: Salmon River Backpacking* 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Price: $35

10/17 - 10/21: Smith Rock Climbing Overnight* 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Price: $150

10/25: Run Like Hell

Walk, jog, or run your way through this Halloweenthemed half-marathon. Prices range from $89 - $109

10/31: Eagle Creek Hike*

8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Price: $15

NOVEMBER 11/1: Ape Caves*

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Price: $15

11/7-11/8: Fort Stevens Yurt Overnight* 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Price: $40

11/14: Ramona Falls Hike*

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Price: $15

11/15: Multnomah Falls Loop Hike* 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Price: $40

11/21-11/22: Trout Lake Caving Overnight Hike*

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Price: $35

11/21-11/22: Trout Lake Caving Overnight Hike*

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Price: $35

*Oudoor Pursuits Program events. Sign up for trips in the Outdoor Pursuits Office or online at:; Facebook at “Outdoor Pursuits Program UP.”

With the combined efforts of new students and staff, SLUG looks forward to a fruitful future. Freshman Theresa Valdez, who has grown up gardening on a ranch, looks forward to refining her skills. “I want to learn the native versus invasive species, so that I know what to weed,” Valdez


said. Wode likes to see student leaders get involved in the garden. “I didn’t want to see it go away. No fear, though. We are up and running, have a lot of support from Physical Plant, and are excited about it.” Contact Staff Writer Cheyenne Schoen at

health benefits of being outside Alana Laanui • THE BEACON

1. You absorb vitamins: Exposure to Vitamin D from sunlight helps reduce future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other health concerns.

5) You get the opportunity to see a whole new world: Literally! Being outside improves distance vision, reducing the chances of being near-sighted in the future.

2) You get to think outside...the box: Breathing in fresh air can stimulate some fresh ideas. A simple stroll can help you approach a problem with a new perspective.

6) You can get some spa benefits, for free: The natural scents that are found in nature such as lilac, pine and other plants can promote a sense of relaxation and reduce anxiety.

3) You can breathe in some fresh air: Leave the drab air in your dorm. According to the California Air Resources Board, inside air contains 25 to 62 percent more pollutants than outside air.

7) Aid in weight loss: Hiking doesn’t only provide a great view — in fact, just being at a higher altitude can speed up weight loss and curb hunger.

4) You’ll learn as you go along: Data from the National Wildlife Federation shows that schools that incorporate environmental education programs score higher on standardized tests.

8) It makes you happy: Being outside is thought to raise serotonin levels — the neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel good.

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