Tag Archives: outings

My First Ski Trip

Logan Veley

Logan Veley,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 January 2020

Winter break always allows for the opportunity to spend time with friends and try new activities. Heading into the break, I was excited to spend time outdoors and looked forward to some snow. Typically, my brother and I have fun in the snow by riding four-wheelers or sledding behind the four-wheelers.

Before break however, I was invited by my friend to go skiing. I had never been skiing or snowboarding before, but I approached the day with an open mind. With the weather just cold enough for the resort to produce snow, we headed to Mad River Mountain for the day.

First, we started snowboarding. Snowboarding proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. I crashed many times going down the hills, but eventually I traversed the hill without falling.

Around noon, we headed into lunch, and we chose to switch to skis. Strapping the awkward ski boots on, we headed back to the slopes. Initially, I was worse at skiing than snowboarding, but then everything clicked. Within a few minutes, I was shredding down all of the hills including the black diamond.

We skied the rest of the day and into the night. Even though I was sore from the wipeouts, I had a ton of fun laughing with friends and look forward to skiing again.

Mad River Mountain

Seeing the Blue Jackets in Columbus

Logan Veley

Logan Veley,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 November 2019

Outside of classes it is always nice to relax and step away from school. One way that I enjoy spending my time away from school is by attending sporting events. Every fall, I look forward to all of the football games scheduled, and I often attend as many high school, Ohio State, and Ohio University football games as I can. I love being in the atmosphere and watching the athletes make electric plays on the field.

With fall rolling on into winter, I decided to take the opportunity to try watching a new sport. This past weekend, I was lucky to be able to attend my first Columbus Blue Jackets game. It was a beautiful day outside, and I had a great time exploring downtown Columbus and the arena district before the game.

Bluejackets Game

After dinner, I headed into Nationwide Arena for the start of the game. With nearly all of the seats full, the puck dropped to start the game. The game was full of hard hits on the glass in front of me, and there were even a couple of fights between the players. The Blue Jackets played hard, but ended up falling short at the end of the game. While the Jackets may not have won the game, I can’t wait to go back to my next CBJ game.

A Weekend Back in Cleveland

Melissa Kuchta

Melissa Kuchta,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 21 October 2019

Being from an extremely small town outside of Cleveland where nature is abundant, fall is one of my favorite times of year. There are so many fall traditions that my family and I partake in throughout the season and for this blog post, I thought I would share some of them with you.

For starters, one of Cleveland’s most famous fruit farms, Patterson’s Fruit Farm, is right in my hometown of Chesterland, Ohio! The farm offers almost every fall activity you can think of. There’s apple picking, pumpkins, apple cider, hayrides, a nature trail for hiking, and even fresh homemade donuts in a variety of fall flavors such as “apple cider”, “pumpkin roll”, and “maple”.

Every October, the farm attracts millions of people from all over northeast Ohio. Whenever I visit home during fall semester, I make it a point to stop at Patterson’s. It is so much fun to experience the activity and see all the people enjoying the perfect fall weather.

Another tradition we enjoy is hiking one of the several nature trails that the Cleveland Metroparks has to offer. My golden retriever, Rosco, loves to tag along as well. If you ever find yourself in the Cleveland area, be sure to check out the north Chagrin Reservation. It has a gorgeous waterfall as well as several different hiking trails that range in distance. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with your family and friends.

Enjoy the season before winter makes its debut in December!

Activities I Found This Fall

Jason Wherry

Jason Wherry,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 7 October 2019

I am blown away by how quickly my Senior year has progressed so far. Ohio University’s annual Reading Day has come and gone (one of my favorite holidays to spend on campus) reminding me that the semester is almost halfway over, a catalyst to get my body moving outside before the weather gets too chilly.

The Fall is arguably the best season to spend time outdoors and recently I have been trying some new activities like Climbing and Slacklining. Bouldering at Witches Hill in Athens has been immeasurably fun and I highly recommend taking a hike there to get some fresh air.

Slacklining at various spots on campus has kept me close to the Bobcat family this semester as I have met a bunch of people and introduced some of them to this quirky hobby of mine.


For those of you that do not know what a slackline is, imagine a long and narrow trampoline made out of nylon/polyester that is suspended in the air by two anchors at each end. Traversing the slackline requires a combination of balance, core strength, and focus. Pictured above, I am taking some of my first confident steps on a 2-inch (width) slackline in the middle of College Green.

I took a camping trip down to New River Gorge in WV with some friends who convinced me (a novice climber at the time) to join them and experience a culture that is new to me.

Throughout the long-weekend that we stayed there I tried to climb many routes, but only climbed one of them successfully. The climb that I did is categorized as a ‘Deep-Water Solo’, meaning that you are not harnessed into a rope system and rely on the water below you as the only protection against injury from falling.

The next two images show myself climbing a route to a ledge where my friend patiently waits. What was my favorite part of this route you ask? Jumping off the 35 ft cliff into the refreshing water and realizing that the simplest things, like climbing natural structures, can make me the happiest.

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

Taking a leap into different activities so far this semester has diversified my physical activity and expanded my social circle in ways I did not imagine. After living in Athens for three school years I had subconsciously stopped reaching out to try new things and looked at life through the same lenses. As a Senior majoring in Computer Science, I believe in challenging yourself both in academics and personal growth to experience the most in your college years and prepare yourself for whatever opportunities life presents you with.

The Pawpaw Festival

Lydia Ramlo

Lydia Ramlo,
Senior, Civil Engineering (Russ College) and Environmental Studies (Honors Tutorial College)

Athens, OH 16 September 2019

One of my favorite weekends of the entire year is Pawpaw Festival weekend! I have been going every year since my sophomore year. Many people may not know what exactly a paw paw is, so if you want to learn a fun fact keep on reading.

A pawpaw is the largest edible fruit that is native to North America, particularly in Appalachia. It is a cousin to a mango but tastes and has texture more similar to a banana. I’ve found pawpaws on hikes through my years in Athens. Dr. Riefler (one of my professors) has a pawpaw tree in his yard and brought samples into class one day!


The Pawpaw Festival has local vendors ranging from arts and crafts to food to music! And yes, there are free paw paw samples as well. My personal favorite is the Snowville’s paw paw ice cream.

This festival is a great way to bond with friends and connect with the Athens community. While I was a Voinovich Research Scholar, I was able to volunteer at the Raccoon Creek’s tent to explain about acid mine drainage and the importance of sustainability in the southeast Ohio area. Sustainability, friends, and some weird fruit—what’s not to love!

Spring Semester Wrapping Up

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 22 April 2019

As the semester winds down and graduation approaches, I am trying to make the most of my weekends left as a college student. In a month’s time I will be moving into my apartment in Ontario, Ohio to start my first full-time engineering position. I am very excited about this, but I will miss all the friends I made in Athens as well as back home in Pennsylvania. So, the last few weekends, I balanced my engineering projects with enjoying time with friends and family.

My mom came up to visit me a couple weekends ago, all the way from Texas where she and my dad have recently moved. On her last day in Athens, we strolled along the bike path on the Hocking River. The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom and lined the river as far as the eye could see. The pretty pink blossoms were perfect for a mother daughter selfie.

Athens Cherry Blossoms

Last weekend, I went home to Pittsburgh and stayed with my close friend from high school. We attended Tekko, put on by the Pittsburgh Japanese Cultural Society. The event featured a ramen bar, panels with topics like origami and voice acting, art by local artists, and arcade games such as Street Fighter and Dance Dance Revolution (DDR).


This was a moment of self-discovery for me as I realized that I have no rhythm and consistently made a fool of myself playing DDR. Regardless, I had an awesome time and the convention was definitely worth the three hour drive.

Donkey Coffee

This weekend, I am at Donkey Coffee, a favorite Athens haunt, with my roommate. She’s just a junior so it is only the end of a semester for her. I’m trying to take in every detail, so I will have these fond memories to look back on. I photograph the milk heart in my latte while I research metallic corrosion. I am still a student, after all, at least for right now.


Tanner Wick

Tanner Wick,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 April 2019

To get my mind off of my senior design this spring, I enrolled in kayaking! Though I have canoed and kayaked a few times in the past, I never formally learned any techniques. I thought this course would be a perfect way to learn the fundamentals and have a chance to spend some time outdoors.

The first couple of classes were taught in the aquatics center to practice basic paddling strokes and maneuverability. The best exercise was the wet exits where students had to exit the kayak after flipping over.

During the weekend skills portion of the class, the class went to Dow Lake, Burr Oak Lake, and the Hocking River. Some light rain and high winds on Burr Oak made for excitingly rough conditions to tackle.


At the end of the second day, the students played a game similar to ultimate Frisbee but in kayaks. Unfortunately, I flipped over during the game. But I performed a wet exit and drained my kayak of water, then jumped right back into the game.

The weekend ended with a trip down the Hocking River and into the Ohio River. This was much less energy intensive than open water kayaking, as the river current helped push the kayaks downstream.

I am very glad with my decision to enroll in the course this semester. I made new friends, learned new skills, and had an awesome trip.