Being a DWA student isn't all about constant reading and writing. On Oct. 17, several students voluntarily woke up early(ish) on a Saturday morning to join the first of what will hopefully become monthly student/faculty hikes. We met at the fountain at 9am and were greeted with fruit and granola bars (courtesy of Will Butenschoen, via ResEd), then drove to Simi Valley to hike up to Rocky Peak.
In all, 14 students came on the hike, including four freshmen. Some students were new to hiking while others have a lot of experience, and this was a good hike for all levels. Only Professor Hebert was able to come from the faculty side, but she she helped create a fun atmosphere where students could really talk to her honestly about classwork, the major, and outside interests such as running trails in LA. She also brought her husband Tim and her daughter Aiden, who was adamant about escaping the child carrier and walking as much of the hike as she could.
The hike was six miles round trip, beginning with a long ascent through rocky terrain. The trail, Rocky Peak, is aptly named, taking us through huge sandstone formations and showing us a part of LA completely different from the vast stretches of concrete we normally inhabit. We had plenty of rock climbing opportunities, from the small cave we all crammed into for a photo op at the beginning to the steep scramble to the peak at the turnaround point.
Part of the hike turned into a quest to find the elusive marker that pinpoints the border between Los Angeles County and Ventura County. This search involved some cross-country hiking, scrambling over rocks and exploring all of the likely-looking peaks. We finally found it at the top of one large rock formation, but even the students who stayed at one of the lower peaks got to enjoy sweeping views of Simi Valley and the geological formations that we hiked through.
At the end, Professor Hebert surprised us with snacks (including mini cinnamon rolls) and cold drinks. We arrived back on campus at around 1:30, feeling tired but grateful for the opportunity to get off campus, explore the outdoors, and meet interesting people from the major. We're excited for our hike next month!