Written by Veronica Dominicis
CORE will take a canoe and kayak trip during spring break to the Big Bend National Park where leaders and participants hope to explore the diversity of the Rio Grande located in west Texas.
Participants will embark on their journey on March 16 and will arrive back in Valdosta on March 24.
During that time, CORE has planned activities including hiking, canoeing and kayaking the Rio Grande, camping and site seeing.
The final meeting for the CORE trip is March 13 at 6 p.m.
Big Bend National Park is home to many geological features that differ from those in Georgia including ancient rock formations, hot springs, canyons and of course the Rio Grande River.
Wildlife is also different in the West. Some creatures that may be seen by participants include black bears, javilinas, antelope, buffalo, roadrunners and other types of wild birds.
The trip costs $295 for students and $325 for non-students. The trip may seem expensive for some, but Jordan Broadway, a senior psychology major, student trip leader and ropes course facilitator at CORE, says it is worth the cost.
“This trip is a great opportunity at a crazy price,” Broadway said. “It would cost way more to go to the beach after all is said and done.”
The money paid by participants covers all costs, including transportation, equipment, park and camping fees. The cost does not cover personal items and additional food for the trip.
Participants will not only be able to experience the physical advantages of Big Bend National Park , but will also be able to experience the rich culture of the region and the history that surrounds it.
According to the park’s website, Spanish people crossed the Rio Grande in the 16 and 17 centuries searching for gold, silver and fertile land. Comanche Indians crossed the river in the 19th century traveling to and from Mexico with their raiding parties.
“In the desert town of Lajitas, we will visit the Big Bend Museum to learn about flora, fauna, history and in the campgrounds they often offer talks by rangers in the evening,” Thomas Taylor, assistant director of outdoor programs, said. “On the return, we will visit Texas’ number one tourism site, the Alamo.”
The participants will be staying within the National Park’s limits camping at designated campsites with showers and sheltered screens. If activities go according to plan, Taylor would like to engage students in a different camping experience and camp alongside the Rio Grande on sand bars.
CORE members are answering questions and checking gear as the trip gets closer, ensuring a smooth and stress free trip for its leaders and participants.
“I have been to this region for spring break for the past 10 years so I am trying to let others know the fun, adventure, and uniqueness of this exciting trip,” Taylor said.
Like all CORE trips, the safety and enjoyment of its participants is what they are all about. Being able to connect to nature outside of the state of Georgia will hopefully leave students well rested and stress-free for the final stretch of the semester.
“We have had students who have never canoed, kayaked, hiked, or rock climbed go on our trips before, and each one of them loved it,” Broadway said. “We teach you all that you need to know.”