Escape with Campus Outdoor Adventures

Students gather in front of sequoia trees to pose for a picture at the Nicene Marks State Park. They are wearing jackets and have backpacks on ready to hike.

The writer, junior journalism/nutrition major Amanda Holst, with fellow students, alumni, and community members as they prepare for an 11-mile hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is just one of many outdoor adventures Campus Recreation offers (photo by Ya Vang).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Escaping in the middle of the semester doesn’t have to cost much or take away an excessive amount of time. That’s what I learned over the weekend hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains with Outdoor Adventures, a daylong experience offered by Associated Students’ Campus Recreation.

My outdoor adventure began not too far away from home in the beautiful redwoods of Nicene Marks State Park, four miles north of Aptos, Calif. As instructed, I brought ­­plenty of water, a packed lunch and lots of excitement. Never really considering myself an athlete or an outdoors person, I was a little apprehensive about ‘roughing’ it, but was open to experimenting outside my comfort zone.

My two knowledgeable adventure leaders eased my nerves about the terrain, emergency situations that we could possibly encounter and the proverbial mountain creatures that were lurking all around us. I also met eight wonderful SJSU students, alum and community members to make plenty of noise with and to connect with throughout the day.

There were many trails that we went on, each seeming like an adventure within an adventure. We came across exquisite scenery including the towering sequoias trees, brave runners and mountain bikers overcoming the many obstacles, and my favorite mountainside marvels- banana slugs!

I learned a great deal about myself, about nature and about an outdoor campus community. In a team setting, I found all of us problem-solving and thinking on our feet, most notably when we had to use our wits to cross a stream in order to get back on our trail.

My random get-away was a great opportunity to take time out to do something different and was just the challenge I needed to bring back my mental focus for the rest of the semester. Besides, if I can hike 11 miles, I can do just about anything, right?

Adventures can range in price and are open to students, faculty, staff and other community members. To find out more about the programs Campus Recreation offers, please contact Kirky at (408) 924-6218.