The Heemstra wing of Colenbrander Hall is well-known for its boisterous and adventurous spirit. The weekend of Friday, Sept. 20 was no different for this clan as it ventured to Colorado Springs, Colo. to climb Pike’s Peak.
The climbing of Pike’s Peak as a wing began in 2006 and has been a tradition ever since. This weekend getaway is hosted and planned by the residents of Heemstra, but any male on campus is invited to join. This year, five guys currently living on the Heemstra wing and four graduates of the Heemstra residence hall made the 12-hour trek to Colorado Springs.
“We took two cars, and one of them was manual, so only a few of us knew how to drive it,” said freshman Jesse Lehman, one of three freshmen to go on the trip. “Lots of people would think that the drive would go by super slow, but we told a lot of stories and got to know each other way better.”
The group arrived in Colorado Springs early Saturday morning and enjoyed breakfast while they geared up for the hike ahead of them. Pike’s Peak is a national landmark and stands more than 14,000 feet tall. The guys conquered the mountain in three hours and, from the top, spent time conversing, eating and enjoying the view of Colorado Springs.
Once everyone reached the top of Pike’s Peak, a journal was brought out for the guys on the trip to sign and write down their most memorable moments from the hike.
“My favorite memory of the trip was definitely getting to the top of the peak,” Lehman said. “It was really satisfying to be standing up there and taking the view in. Being able to read the journal and record our own memories was really neat. Hopefully the journal will continue to get filled by many others.”
An adventure in the mountains isn’t complete without getting lost, and for this group, the hike back down Pike’s Peak did not go as smoothly as the hike up. The guys encountered a minor hiccup when they ended up on the wrong side of a lake and had to backtrack to find their way down.
“The way back down the mountain is shorter, but it ended up taking an extra hour because we went down a different way than we intended,” said Lehman. However, we got to see a wolf sanctuary. The wolves were fenced in, but the woman who owned it was there, and we were able to talk with her for a while as well.”
After arriving back at the cars, the group headed to Lehman’s house — which was also in Colorado Springs — to spend the night. The guys took off early Sunday morning to return to Orange City.
“I would encourage anybody to go. It’s an adventure. Why not? It’s just one weekend and you aren’t missing out on anything on campus,” Lehman said. “Plus, you get to grow closer to people you would not have expected.”