Some will get to do this in the great outdoors. A group of women going on a backpacking trip to Grand Marais, Minn located in northern Minnesota along Lake Superior.
The trip is being led by the Coldwater Foundation for Leadership and Community Development. The Coldwater Foundation uses outdoor adventure expeditions to help build community and leadership among students.
Linden Figgie, a 2013 NW alum, works for the Coldwater Foundation as an instructor and marketing assistant. She is leading this year’s backpacking trip. This is the fourth time NW has sponsored the trip.
The Coldwater Foundation has been partnering with NW for several years. The trip is an opportunity for NW students to get involved with the foundation.
“This is a great time to experience the trails because of the season changes,” Figgie said. “The fall colors are beautiful up her. This is the last bit of time before it gets too cold and snowy to have a good backpacking experience.”
The women going on the trip will have a retreat away from NW and will have the chance to journal, time to engage in personal reflection and an opportunity for fellowship with one another.
Senior Arynn Maznio is going on the trip. She went with the foundation her sophomore year and is excited to return to their trails. Maznio has been backpacking for three years.
“My favorite part about backpacking is the terrain,” Maznio said. “There are switchbacks and steep climbs, but also trails along small lakes and ponds. The trails in northern Minnesota are absolutely beautiful this time of year with their breathtaking views, and the crisp weather.”
The trail that the group will go on is along Lake Superior.
“There are no mountains up here, but there are bluffs and hills,” Figgie said. “There’s a different lifestyle and pace of life here.”
Backpacking has been a physical test for Figgie, but also the source of many good memories over the years.
“It’s a lot of fun but really challenging,” Figgie said. “Every piece of equipment matters and where you put it matters. You learn about your own personal strength and how your body works with the equipment you use. I am stronger than I think I am because I push myself when I don’t think I can go farther.”
Although Maznio has spent a lot of time on the trails of northern Minnesota, she hasn’t seen or experienced everything.
“I am excited to spend some quality time out in the woods on the trip and to experience new parts of the trails I haven’t explored yet,” Maznio said. “I’ve spent a lot of time in northern Minnesota participating and leading Coldwater trips, so making new memories with other ladies who participate in this trip is something I am definitely looking forward to.”
To register for the trip, go to coldwaterfoundation.org or contact Alice McFarlane at email@example.com.