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Intrepid Hikers Brave Rain on Mt. Sugarloaf

A Report by Sofia Walker '11

The view of the Connecticut River and Sunderland from the top of Mt. Sugarloaf on a soggy Sunset Hike.

The cold weather drags on, but Smithies are undaunted! Last Saturday's Sunset Hike took place in spite of the cold drizzle coming down all day. The group of hikers gathered in the chapel's Bodman Lounge before departing and debated whether or not to stay in and watch a movie instead, but ultimately decided that they were all still up for the hike. Everyone bundled into extra layers provided by Hayat Abuza, Smith's Interfaith Program Coordinator and the leader of the hike, and piled into a van for the drive to Mt. Sugarloaf in South Deerfield.

After the 30-minute walk to the summit was complete, students looked down at the Connecticut River from the mountain's observation tower, shared a moment of contemplative silence, and then sat under the picnic pavilions snacking on granola bars and reading each other poems. Offerings included works by Emily Dickinson, Lenelle Moïse, and Rumi. "It's still really nice up here," observed one student, "even if there is no sunset."

On the walk back down I asked one of the hikers what motivated her to come. "I really miss nature," she said. "I get tired of the built environment." Another said that she came in order to de-stress and take some time away from her work. The conversation continued all the way back to Smith, students sharing tips on going abroad, the best place in Northampton to get one's ears pierced, and discussing the latest campus news.

The hike certainly proved that one can still have fun outdoors in the rain, but all were grateful for the hot chocolate waiting back at the chapel!