Tag Archives: fall

Hiking, Biking, and Bouldering: Athens in Autumn

Daniel Riordan

Daniel Riordan,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 6 November 2017

During the fall semester in Athens, Ohio, a funny thing happens where nearly every day is warm enough for shorts or cool enough for a wind breaker. The winter weather rarely ever hits before the end of Finals Week, so every weekend or free afternoon offers an opportunity to get outside and have some
fun.

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway (in other words, the Athens bike trail) offers bikers, joggers, and walkers a scenic route on winding pavement under the canopy created by the autumn-colored trees lining the path. I’m a huge fan of the spot, and whether I’m feeling a short six-mile round-trip bike ride or if I’m feeling adventurous enough to go further, I do my best to head over there a few times a week.

Even if you don’t have access to a vehicle that can take you far from Athens, plenty of hiking opportunities very close to Athens are best experienced this time of year.

I’ve enjoyed my first trip down a mountain bike trail near The Ridges, but the best memories of the area are from going on runs up to the top of Radar Hill and back with my roommates. The trails at the Ridges, especially the one leading to the top of Radar Hill, are my favorite places to escape and get a breath of fresh air this time of year. The rolling green hills are pretty to look at, and I can’t think of a more beautiful and more convenient way to get a calf workout than exploring them.

Fall in Athens

Nicholas Burton

Nicholas Burton,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 26 October 2017

Week 9 is in the books. We have not had many fall-like days so far this semester, so shorts and t-shirts to class have changed to coats and jeans in a matter of days.

So far, this semester has gone pretty smoothly. I feel like I have understood my core classes pretty well and I have started scheduling for next semester already.

In addition to the core classes, I am taking my first non-STEM related class since high school, Philosophy. I tell you what, it’s quite a change to go from equations and math in every step to a class that involves no numbers at all. It has made me use a different part of my brain than I have used in a while, and I think this has benefited me.

As the last little bit of the true fall weather comes to a close, it is only fitting that Halloween is this weekend. Like I said before, this is my first fall in Athens so I have never gotten to experience the well-renowned Ohio University “HallOUween”, and I am excited to see what it is all about. To make the weekend even bigger, Ohio State plays in the biggest game of the year on Saturday afternoon, so a win would make the celebration that much sweeter.

Fall in Athens

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 29 September 2017

Some say the fall leaves in Boston are the sight to see. Yet even though I’m biased, I tend to disagree (rhyme intended).

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, the weekend exploration in Athens gets even more exciting. One of my favorite parts of going to school here
at Ohio University is the amazing history and scenery of southeast Ohio. The beautiful array of color that covers the hills is something that always stops me on my walks to Stocker Center or the ARC. By the time the weekend rolls around, my itch to explore southeast takes me away from the books and onto the backroads.

One of my favorite places to visit and hike is in Zaleski State Forest just west of Athens in Vinton, County. Zaleski State Forest is home to some of the best hiking trails in Ohio and has a lot of interesting historical places. One of the most frequented places is the Moonville Tunnel, which is an old railroad tunnel that is reportedly home to numerous ghosts. Although I never have seen any ghosts on my trips there, the civil engineer inside of me enjoys examining the
structure of the old tunnel and all of the engineering work that took place for its construction.

Fall semester at OU is also the semester of senior design projects for most civil engineering seniors. For my senior design project, my team and I are designing a complete residential subdivision with roadways, sewers, and lots for homes. The design also includes surveying the topography of a land parcel in Alexandria Township.

Even though senior design takes a lot of my time, the activities and adventure in Athens makes the journey worth it. Just a few hours spent in the wilderness of southeast Ohio takes me away to a time where cars weren’t self-driving and cell phones weren’t the center of our lives. Yet, coming back to school just motivates me even more to create and think outside the box in life!

First Fall in Athens

Nicholas Burton

Nicholas Burton,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 22 September 2017

4 weeks down, 11 to go. These are the kind of thoughts one like myself experiences at this point in the semester, where the joys of “syllabus week” and early semester fun ends and it becomes time to buckle down for the first round of exams.

Ohio State’s loss to Oklahoma has brought some sour feelings to the beginning of the best season in the world, but with that being said, I am really enjoying my first true fall semester in Athens. Last year at this time, I was in Cleveland cheering on the Tribe during my co-op at Soils and Material Engineers and the year before, I was at a different school, so finally I am able to be in Athens for a fall semester. I’ve done all I can to be outside and soak up as much of the nice weather that I can, and it’s nice walking to class in the sun rather than getting wind burn in sub-zero temperatures that come with spring semester in Ohio.

I am actually happy to be back at OU and keeping busy with classes. I was able to enjoy the beach all summer working down in Charleston, SC, but I did miss my home state and it’s good to be back (stay tuned for my next blog post to see if this positive attitude remains the same). I like all of my classes so far this semester and I am ready to keep grinding them out every day and learning as much as I can.

Camp Ohio University

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 5 September 2017

There’s something beautiful about the Fall season in Ohio that is amplified by living in Athens in the hubbub of campus life. I know that this is an engineering student blog, but let me be sentimental here for a few lines. The first few weeks of the first semester in Athens are fun because you get to meet new friends and together explore what I affectionately deem “Camp Ohio University”.

Local wildlife spotting at Camp Ohio University while walking to a 7:30 am class

The campus has so many hidden gems to find—interesting art, local wildlife, rainbows hidden in fountain spray, surprise performances by the Marching 110, cozy coffee shops (my favorite is named after an animal) and more. Everything is new and as the weeks progress, the forest of trees that fills in campus gains a golden hue as autumn settles in.

Throwback to my first week freshman year, when we enjoyed our downtime by doing yoga in the lobby of Read Hall!

What’s even better, in my opinion, is coming back for subsequent fall semesters. As a returning student, the opening of the semester is no longer about finding your way and meeting new people. It’s about rejoining familiar friends at favorite spots and enjoying local fare together. That’s what this past week has been for me.

We all know that our classes will pick up soon—after all, engineering assignments inevitably end up looking like big puzzles and group projects. However, I have learned to take advantage of the downtime that accompanies the first week of each semester in the “calm before the storm”.

Group projects tend to be more creative and fun when working with friends. Just notice the matching galaxy cat shirts we wore for a team intro video used as a part of our final project in computer simulation!

As the second week of the semester rolls around, I’m preparing to settle into the rhythm of classes and student organization meetings. In other words, it will be back to working on group projects with my friends and planning events for our chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. And while I wouldn’t venture to say that these coming weeks will be as relaxing as the first, I know that they will be rewarding in many other ways. Here’s to a final fall semester in Athens!

Fall Motorcycle Rides

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 4 November 2016

Fall is by far my favorite season of the year. The temperature is cooler in the morning and during the day it usually warms to the low 60s. Along with the very comfortable temperature of the outside air, the trees change to beautiful colors. With all that said, there is nothing that clears my mind and gives me a better break from school than motorcycle rides with some of my friends.

There are countless winding roads and destinations outside of the city limits to choose from. One of my favorite rides is to Lake Hope, which is about 17 miles from Athens. The scenery on the way is breath taking. I usually ride with some of my friends that also have motorcycles and I take whoever wants to ride on my back seat as well.

ALT

Discovering what awaits outside of the city limits is quite an experience. There are some rather cool landscapes around the Athens area and I’m sure every student’s experience is different. Having the wind hit my face with my buddies riding next to me cruising by the colorful trees is the best stress reliever that I have found yet.

Starting Fall Semester

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 September 2016

Fall is a complex time. As time passes and it comes closer to October, I yearn for cool weather and colorful trees. I daydream of long runs on the Athens bike path where I can breathe in fall-scented fresh air and reminisce on my high school cross country days. At the same time, however, I am aware that as time progresses, the many commitments I have will pick up to the point that my “long runs” might only be speed walks to class in the morning.

An exciting part of senior year that just came together is our senior design project assignments. Our class of around 70 students has been split into about 14 teams, each of which have a design project to work on for the next two semesters. I have been really pumped for this, and even more now that I know what my team’s project is.

The projects that always excite me most are those from local project partners, so I was very excited to hear that our team would be working with the Athens Cycle Path Bike Shop to design a human powered bike path cleaner. I’m sure I’ll post more about this design in the future as it comes together.

I’m only beginning to see what this semester will look like. So far, something I see that will separate this semester from the rest is the amount of purpose there is in what I’m doing. Although each of my previous semesters has also had purpose, they were more focused on preparing me and turning me into a competent engineer. Finally, now that I’m on the last level of my undergraduate career, I can feel the training wheels being lifted and I’m ready to roll.