Location: St. John

Dates: 3/23/15 to 3/29/15

Trip Difficulty: 3.5

Trip Type: Spring Break Voyage

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This spring break we escaped the land of the cold and fled to St. John! Here we camped at Cinnamon Bay Campground and hiked around the island all day stopping at certain snorkeling spots. On Day one we got to explore all the reefs in Cinnamon Bay (the largest bay in St. John) and get our snorkeling skills down. Day two involved hiking out to Waterlemon Bay and Maho Bay where we saw sea turtles, nurse sharks, white mules, mangrove trees, barracuda, and tons of fish.




The wildlife was abundant everywhere we went and I miss the little hermit crabs that inhabited our campsite. I do not miss the sand fleas though… Anyway, on day three we hiked the Maria Hope Trail to the Reef Bay Trail and saw petroglyphs and sugar plantation ruins along the way.



There are ruins all over the island from the old sugar plantation days. On the trail we met a local who led us along the Lameshur Bay trail to Greater Lameshur Bay where we rock hopped all the way out to the bay’s point and snorkeled along the cliffs. Lemon sharks, more barracuda, spiny lobster, and an octopus are just a few of the things we saw there! Don’t forget about all the coral either which covered the rocks.


It was a relief to crawl into our tents after coming home on the $1 bus and hiking down the John Horn Rd back to Cinnamon Bay. All in all we hiked about 9.5 miles that day and swam another half a mile or more. The days can be as difficult or easy as you want to make them on this island. Come Friday we went to Trunk Bay and went on the underwater snorkel tour and experienced some hard swimming because of the huge waves. We wanted to swim out to Jumbie Bay but the surf was too much for us. The hiking was phenomenal, the weather was even better, and the water was a dream. If you want to go to a laid back place that offers many hikes and unbelievable snorkeling this is it! The hikes vary in difficulty, but make sure to bring plenty of water everywhere you go because it is HOT out there, and reapply your sunscreen often. For future trips: Do not bring any food that will melt/not do well in heat (so no cheese), really be careful about the sun sapping your energy, use the $1 bus so you can explore more bays, and be sure to bring all your food in from the States (it’s reallllly expensive down there). Here’s one last photo for your enjoyment:


HOWDY! After tending to some technical difficulties, the minutes return to the blog!

Spring Break Trips were thusly epic (in brief):

St. John – sea turtles, octopus, sting ray, hiked up hills, twisty roads, bugs, sunburns, WILD WHITE MULE (sickly), bird thieves, burritos, rice and jam, spam, B, S, N!

Big Bend – we went up really fast and it was tiring, and then we went down, and then we went up again. Much wind, tent blankets, rattlesnake fear insomnia, deer, ghost town (“not a lot going on there”), a rodeo (“sam got asked to dance by a real girl!”) B, S, T, N (a solid amount).

Puerto Rico hostel, enterprise difficulties,  rainforest (it rained), post 6 pm badassery, moonlit hikes in a stream, highest mountain in PR, insane views, B, S, T, N!

Zion – it was perfect. it was awesome. sunrise, sunset. “risky climbing,” much sweat, yum yum of spam, river swims, John thought he lost the car but he ran to the wrong parking lot. B, S, T, N

ADK/Whites – Tasteful, ratchet, meat stick (lost on 1st day, found on 3rd! Hallelujah!), macaroni, AMC huts, mixed nuts container. Adirondacks didn’t convince john…B, S, T (wind), N!

***Please stay tuned for forthcoming epic blog posts by all of our Spring Break Trips.


T-Shirts: its highly suggested that you buy one – no pressure no pressure

→ important

→ look for email from Sophie regarding tabling for this week!

→ If anyone wants to spearhead an alumni newsletter, email esimpson@colby.edu!


Leader Training Trip

Interest exists. email esimpson@colby.edu if you have strong preferences about what weekend this trip should be.


Upcoming Trips

Madison this Saturday (with Sophie and John, and Teddy and an unannounced friend…?)

Gregory would like to lead the weekend after Leader Training Trip (18th) in Acadia (overnight) and this would be GREGORY’s last trip with the COC!!


Are you interested in being on the K-Council next year?! Platforms are due in the foreseeable future! Email coc@colby.edu with quomments. 

…Au revoir mes amis

Trip Date: March 7, 2015

Trip Location: Burnt Mountain: Carrabassett Valley, Maine

Trip Type: Snowshoeing

Trip Difficulty: 3.1

There we were, facing the goliath of rock that stood unmoving, unfaltering, unyielding to any force of nature. Burnt Mountain. The beast. The ice monster. The challenge. We were going to climb it and conquer it. Nothing could stop us. There we were, facing the goliath.

We set off, trekking the snowy path that drifted and sloped, winding around tawny birch trees and shivering pines that peppered the mountainside with spurts of green. We were shivering and sniffling in our snowshoes but soon the blazing sun put beads of sweat upon our brows, forcing us to remove layers. The ski trail was packed and smooth so we made excellent time to Burnt Mountain Trail. Upon arrival, we caught our breaths before continuing our schlep through the powder.

The real journey began once our boots hit the trail. The group muscled through the cold, churning up snow fine as confectioner’s sugar, stubborn as mules. The hike seemed to drag on but we refused to give into the cold that gnawed at our legs and bit at our faces.


Suddenly, a Yeti leapt out from behind a rocky alcove where it was lurking. The hulking, hairy beast whipped its white claws at us, roaring ferociously. Someone had worn cotton…and Yetis love eating cotton. Knowing this, we fought back. We threw snowballs and chunks of ice at the furry animal. Then, out of nowhere, it snatched up our courageous leader, Gregory, and gobbled him down. This was Gregory’s last snowshoe before graduation and we were not going to let it end like this. We gathered our resources and bombarded the beast until he spat Gregory, still thrashing, out of his mouth. The Yeti knew then that we could not be beaten! It whimpered and slipped back into its cave, never to be seen again. (This would have been totally awesome if it actually happened but as it turns out, Yetis are very peaceful and reasonable creatures so instead of fighting, we shared some of Gregory’s Nutella with it and swapped riddles.) Cool beans!


The author of this blog post. Multiply this by eight, and this is how we felt during the hike.

We said our farewells to our Yeti pal and dove back into our strenuous hike. The next section was steep and unrelentingly slippery. Finally, we wound our way past the last scraggly, stunted tree and emerged onto the wind-swept land above tree line. Rocks littered our path with sharp edges and jagged points but we found a spot to eat lunch. After our short break, we pushed through the last bit of icy incline and breached the top of the mountain. We summited the beast at last! We were there going camera crazy, taking pictures of peaks and hills in every direction.

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We soon became extraordinarily cold being exposed on top of Burnt Mountain so we shimmied back down. We almost lost a few trippers to the deep snow. They sunk through and fell but they persevered through the giggling and hysteria and we all made it safely back down to the car.


Our next hike began at the base of the Sugarloaf Lodge. This was the most difficult part of the trip. We had to hike steep staircases and maneuver around boisterous skiers and snowboarders. At last we reached our desired destination: the restrooms. After we summited that, we packed up the gear and drove back home to Colby.


Trip Date: February 22, 2015

Trip Location: Old Town, Maine

Trip Type: Snowshoeing

Trip Difficulty: 1.3


Sunday was a beautiful day for snowshoeing in the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge. Last night’s snow sparkled on the undisturbed trail. Our little group was the first to mark the untouched winter landscape. The white drifts were fluffy and deep, like plowing through powdered sugar.

Unfortunately we saw no real live wildlife at the refuge, but we did see many tracks. Fun fact: chipmunk tracks are incredibly cute strings of dots from tree to tree.

untouched trail

The untouched trail leading off into the majestic distance.


For a sense of snow….

Hirundo sign

Here we see our fearless trip leader surveying the plan of attack into the depths of the snow-bound forest while the troops stand idle in the background.

Gregory with map

The snow was so pretty, still sticking to all the branches.

snow on branches

We discovered a delightful shelter about a mile down the trail and stopped for a quick bite to eat. It was quite cozy. Much fun was had!

in cabin 1 in cabin 2

Farther on we came to the overlook point. I didn’t even take a picture because it was so underwhelming. A circle around a log that is two feet higher in elevation than the rest of the trail is not an overlook in my opinion. Whoopee!

Lunch was made all the better by having Nutella to put on our oreos. It almost made us forget how cold our butts were sitting in the snow.

Sophie in the snow


We also found a sign that said YOU ARE HERE tacked to a tree. And in fact that’s exactly where we were. How did it know? [insert philosophical thought here] This is also happens to be an excellent picture of everyone on the trip.


All in all it was a fabulous adventure into the wilds of snowy Maine. And what a day for it too! It was almost above freezing as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.

It may be cold and windy, and we may have had to postpone to next Sunday the planned trip to the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Old Town, but some of us still wanted to be outside. So Sunday morning, at 11 AM, Anna, Lydia, and Gregory strapped snowshoes to our feet and headed into the Arboretum.

We snowshoed over hills and through valleys. The wind alternately blew in our faces and didn’t blow at all. We took main trails, side trails, dead-end trails, and loop trails. We spotted familiar landmarks and went through totally new areas. But despite everything the weather could throw at us, we still had an amazing time.

Sadly, no pictures were taken so we can’t liven up the blog with those, but this is what the conditions were like:

Picture 2

Picture 1


Trail Difficulty: 1.2

Weather Difficulty: 3.7

Location: Oakland, ME

Date: January 25, 2015

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 1.3

Trip Length: Half-day trip


On the bright, sunny morning of January 25, six enterprising Colby students embarked on a casual jaunt along the Messalonskee Stream Trail toward Oakland in search of an amazing brunch. We enjoyed snowshoeing at a leisurely pace through the newly fallen snow.

Eventually, the trail briefly came right up to the stream.


We then walked through a beautiful snowy forest, paralleling Messalonskee Stream, until we arrived at the 5-way intersection in downtown Oakland. The Early Bird Restaurant was just a short walk from there.

We went right in and ordered our brunches. Our waitress was Gerry, who, according to Sara, who has had her before, is excellent. Our walk had built up our appetites, so we ate our food with great delight.

Lydia eating


We made excellent time on the way back, and got back to Colby at around 1:30 in the afternoon.

I can’t think of any ice cream or yeti metaphors to add here, but suffice it to say we all had a great time!

Location: Great Pond Mountain

Date: January 24, 2015

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 2.2

Trip Length: Day trip


This Saturday a group of trippers braved the snowy roads and the icy trails to hike the mountain of the Great Pond near Orland, Maine.  Unfazed by an oncoming storm, the group dominated the hike up the mountain and reached the top in record time.

View from summit

The summit provided the group with some great views and lots of smiles.

At the summit

The way back down the mountain brought about many more challenges than the way up, but along with that came a lot of fun.  The group was faced with trails covered in ice, and no obvious way down the mountain.

Icy trail

Of course, the group made the best of the situation and saw a chance to get some solid buttsliding in.

Maddi buttsliding

Our fearless leaders led the way down treacherous terrain and back to the cars to brave the snowy roads home.

Gregory crossing the ice

Snowy icy road


Despite the lack of microspikes (that were all being used by John and Hannah’s trip), no serious injuries were suffered, even though everyone did fall at least once. That did not prevent our intrepid group from having an amazing day on the mountain.

Location: Camden

Date: January 17, 2015

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 2

Trip Length: Day trip


This Saturday a brave troop of Colby students journeyed to the deepest depths of the Camden Hills in search of the monstrous and mysterious yeti. We are proud to say that not a single explorer was lost along the way during this perilous expedition. And despite the danger, all members of the group were able to don a hearty smile.


At times, the snowshoes they wore gave them trouble…


Near the cliff

… but they eventually got their act together and straightened themselves out.

Our snowshoes

The group’s first order of business hiking on the trail was to find the renowned Maiden Cliff, where 150 years ago it is alleged that a yeti threw a girl over the edge, where she fell to her death. This story was confirmed, as the trippers discovered a large white cross in the place where she was pushed over, and quite a spectacular view to accompany it!

In front of cross

Gathered around cross

After confirming the existence of the yeti, the troop moved onwards in search of the creature himself! They followed what appeared to be his tracks for a few miles…

Open ridge

Just because the team was on a mission doesn’t mean they didn’t have loads of fun!

Dagmar and Kimberly disguised themselves as the yeti to surprise the rest of the group…

Snow in the air


… and they all had a good laugh.

Eventually they arrived at Zeke’s Lookout, the deepest point of the woods, and a fantastic spot for looking out at the ocean.

Zeke's Lookout

There, the team sat down for a refreshing lunch, which refueled them for their long journey home. The balmy 7 degree weather provided perfect conditions for a possible daytime yeti sighting, however, it did not prove to make eating lunch an easy task. Even so, the team prevailed with all limbs intact!

Back out of the woods, no yeti having been spotted, the team of explorers decided to utilize their talents instead by surveying the frozen lake at the bottom of the cliff.

Frozen lake

Overall a fantastic day. Trees, snow, sun, cold, spectacular views, and no wind! But most importantly, the awesome troop of explorers lit up the forest with their good attitude and heart-warming camaraderie.


Location: Lincolnville, Maine

Date: January 10th

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 1.5

Trip Length: Day Trip

This past Saturday, 11 brave souls attached micro spikes to their boots and ventured into the woods. Fernald’s Neck, just outside of the Camden Hills area, proved to be an excellent hike.


As we trudged through the powdery snow, it was decided that both Nick and Eric would be eaten first if our trip turned Donner-esque. Within the half hour, we arrived at our first overlook and enjoyed a quick photography break.


We continued onward in hopes of finding a way onto the frozen pond. We came across the “silver trail” which took us to Balance Rock.


When we reached the edge of the lake, we saw snowmobile tracks and decided that if the ice could hold a snowmobile, it could hold us. But, just to be sure, we shed some layers and took awesome photos.


After sharing lunch on an island in the middle of the lake, we packed up our supplies (including cholula hot sauce thanks to Hannah) and headed back for the cars.

All in all, it was an awesome day. The wind was minimal, the snow was fresh, and the people were awesome.

Location: Rome, Maine

Date: November 22nd

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 1.3

Trip Length: Day Trip


This Saturday, ten gregarious Colby students set out with one special banana and the hope of seeing flying saucers turn the snow into flying monkeys. The trip was amazing. We hiked casually, taking breaks often, told lots of stories.

Alyssa and Kyle

As we were almost done ascending the round mountain, we took a break at a scenic overlook scattered with rocks. Within the rocks, A PORCUPINE EMERGED!! The group was in awe. Pictures were taken, memories folded into our minds, and the porcupine receded into his warm bungalow.


A special guest, YOB the Banana, joined us in our adventure to find the roundlieness of the top. Although he had a much more adventurous life than many other bananas, his body had to be consumed shortly after the hike. External and internal bruising turned his peel brown. He needed urgent remediation from this depraved physical state, so with my newly primed WFA certification, I assessed the hazards and consequences of this matter. I opened my mouth and my stomach’s fluids welcomed his doughy substance with great pleasure. He had a good home in my digestive tract for a few hours.

Yob the Banana


Nick with Yob

Outside matters of YOB the Banana and a porcupine, the group had a fantastic time hiking. All matters of fun were explored, including, but not limited to: picture taking, whittling, cold, stories, makeshift spear throwing, snowballs, standing on ice, and climbing rocks. At the top of the mountain (it was a very round top), the group sat down for lunch. Though it was very cold to sit bundled in our warmest clothes, the view was fantastic, and the company was even better.

Greta, Eric, and Nick at sign

This hike was like a round scoop of ice cream because of the roundness, the cold and the sweetness! First, the roundness of the top is similar to the roundness of ice cream. Second, it was so cold it felt like we were swimming in ice cream!! Third, the people and hike was as SWEET as doughy cookies n’ cream ice cream!!