Recreation and Reflection: Humanities in Action series takes to the woods

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Forty adventurers and lovers of the humanities recently gathered at the Ravine Lodge at the base of Mount Moosilauke for a guided hike along a popular 7 mile loop – up the Gorge Brook Trail and down Carriage and Snapper trails. They were accompanied by NH ski legend Penny Pitou and renowned hiker and Appalachian Trail record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis, author of Becoming Odyssa. Later in the afternoon, Terry Osborne, who teaches English and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College and Scott Stokoe, former manager of the Dartmouth organic farm and an environmental educator, led a different group of 15 on an inspiring and refl ective nature walk along the Baker River.

This second in a series of Humanities in Action events was designed to combine recreational activity with reflective thinking on enduring human questions of our role in nature, our relationship with place, and how sustained activity in a natural setting impacts our connections to one another. After the hike and walk, Pharr Davis gave an inspiring talk about her own hiking adventures and how they had changed her life. She asked those gathered to consider big questions about self and community, such as, How does the trail change you and how do you demonstrate that change in the world? What gifts do you discover while you are “out there” and how do you use them?

New Hampshire Humanities enjoyed the company of three Dartmouth College undergraduates from the Outing Club who helped lead and “sweep” on the trail, and is grateful to the Outing Club for use of the Ravine Lodge and to event sponsor Checkmate Workforce Management Solutions.