At the end of each segment, we take a break from academic work and spend four or five days visiting different Western locales.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE SEMESTER
We love the West and we want our students, many of whom hail from places like Pennsylvania and Michigan, to see what we love. That’s why we build travel into the structure of our semester. Our travels include short weekend and day trips as well as three major trips in-between segments: a backpacking trip, a coast trip, and a city trip.
THE BACKPACKING TRIP
After the first segment we divide into four or five groups and take off backpacking into a few spectacular mountain wilderness areas: California’s High Sierra or Trinity Alps, Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness in the Cascades or the Wallowas in the Snake River country. We offer a choice of trips that range from relaxing to physically challenging.
No previous backpacking experience is necessary.
THE COAST TRIP
In October, we enjoy a long weekend on the rocky Oregon coast. Students can relax and read on the beach, explore the marine life in the tidal pools, and take a dip in the Pacific ocean.
THE CITY TRIP
In November, we spend several days exploring the streets of a West Coast city, either San Francisco or Portland, staying overnight in youth hostels. Like the other breaks, there is no academic structure to this excursion.
Since we want our students to have an opportunity to see the West, we fit other field trips and weekend excursions in whenever possible. These trips vary each year, depending on the weather and student interest. In the past, we’ve gone exploring the Lava Tubes of northern California, climbed Mount McLaughlin, cross-country skied at Crater Lake, and done day-hikes in various parts of Oregon.