Written by Kevin Thompson
October 18th was a crisp autumn day as we set out from UTS for Minnewaska State Park for the UTS Mountain Day 2008.
Students and families were excited and the excitement was contagious as conversations on the way to the park enhanced the expectations of a great day. The prospect of seeing the beautiful autumn colors of the trees changing was on everyone’s mind.
At the park, after getting our bearings and talking a few pictures at the gorgeous Minnewaska Lake, we arranged into two groups who were to go off in different directions.The families would be heading around the lake and the main body of students would be heading on the more strenuous five hour hike which took in the spectacular views high above the Hudson Valley.
"It was cool weather but the fall colors were beautiful as we walked the short route around the lake in the park, as the other group took the way for more serious hikers. We followed close to the shore along small hills and valleys at a leisurely pace until we were a little more than half way round the lake, and we found ourselves at the top of cliffs that dropped straight down several hundred feet to the water. The view was fantastic; we could see the entire lake below us, and the horizon stretched away for a far as the eye could see, a sea of red, yellow, and orange hillsides. From there it was all downhill to the parking lot where hot coffee and snacks refreshed us. The drive home took us through many scenic small towns and countryside villages. It was a good way to spend some time in the great outdoors, surrounded by colors and clean air."
- Dean of Students, Eric Sylte (about the family group hike)
The views certainly lived up to expectations with the array of colors being rather breathtaking at times. The weather was cool throughout and especially at the top of the hike the wind blew and kept us bundled up but no one complained as the scenery and the joy of being in such a place was well worth any challenges which we encountered.
President Tyler Hendricks was at the front of the hikers and there was a chance for many wonderful one on one sharing between students as well as time to simply appreciate our God who gave us such a wonderful world. We met horseback riders, bicyclists, dog-walkers and other hikers along the way and even had the chance to take a few wrong turns here and there to make the adventure more fun.
By the time we returned to the starting point we were all well exercised and I the highest of spirits. A great day! We look forward to Mountain Day 2009.