Upon talking to some really crunchy Dartmouth ‘11’s back for Homecoming Weekend, I realized with incredulity that I had not yet hiked any stretch of the Appalachian Trail. I was really into that kind of thing at home, where I didn’t even have access to pristine, untouched nature. So I made a spontaneous decision. Instead of going out that night, I grabbed a friend, and we went on an evening hike to Velvet Rocks, an area landmark, and allegedly only a few minutes from campus. We took a left from a sketchy looking gas station, and turned onto one of the most beautiful trails I’ve hiked on. Every few minutes, we’d come upon a series of natural stone steps that connected us with another portion of the trail. Nonetheless, within ten minutes, we managed to lose our path, and we had to hike straight through the underbrush for a half an hour before we could find the trail again. If you know anything about group dynamics, you’ll realize the position we were in was dangerous, because each of us alone in that situation would have been terrified, but we both assumed the other knew what was going on.