Having lived in Southern California my entire life, this year is my first experience with an actual Autumn season. As I've been biking to school each day, I've noticed this tree that has been slowly turning from green to a fiery red. When Susan Zhou (SOM '15) suggested a hiking trip to nearby Sleeping Giant in order to see the "fall foliage," I was happy to agree, figuring that the hike would help recharge my batteries for another intensive quarter of classes.
We decided to get together for the hike the Sunday morning before Fall 2 started. After meeting up at The Whale for carpools, Susan and Joan Kim (SOM '15) drove the rest of us, myself, Chris Barr, Jean Thomas, Kelly Xu, and Wendy Pan to the nearby Sleeping Giant park in Hamden.
We were lucky to have Erik and Chris along because their experience helped us tremendously throughout the day. Erik was able to glean topographical information off the standard trail maps to help us gague the relative diffculty of the various courses. Erik also acted as the group's trailblazer and took one for the team when he stepped knee deep into a swamp. The swamp was invisible due to the leaves completely layered over the top similar to the photo below.
Meanwhile, Chris planned our route for the day and managed to get us towards an extremely scenic peak. This peak afforded us a view of Quinnipiac University in the foreground and New Haven along the horizon
The most surprising aspect of the hike for me was that not only did I get to see some beautiful fall foliage, I experienced the smells of the forest. The air was incredbily fresh and I could also smell the leaves giving off a wonderfully spiced yet fresh fragrance.
Overall, the trip was a great experience and a great way to bond with my fellow classmates. It totally revitalized my mind and prepared me for the classes ahead.