Spring Break – West Virginia

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As winter winds down here in the hinterlands of Syracuse, the thoughts of many a SUOC lad and lass drift ever-longingly over yonder hills to the south, to the land of West-by-gawd Virginia! And so begins our annual pilgrimage to play in the hills and vales of Appalachia…

Join us for up to 10 days of trips in the vicinity of Franklin, WV, including hiking, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, and mountain biking among others. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed, there’s scenic hikes a-plenty to choose from and local events like Maple-fest to check out. And after a day of adventures, what better way to spend an evening than with bonfires, music, a MacGuyver’d sauna, and all manner of spontaneous festivity!

As with all SUOC trips, no experience or equipment of your own is necessary; if you’ve been meaning to get involved, this is your chance!

The Skinny…

We will be staying in cabins in Thorn Spring Park near Franklin, WV. Each cabin has a kitchen with a range, refrigerator, and a sink; a wood-stove for heat; and access to a shower house/bathroom next door.

For the duration of spring break, this serves as our staging point for all of our trips. Trips are most often planned a night or two in advance, depending on the weather and where people would like to go. If there’s a particular activity you’d like to do, or place you’d like to check out, be sure make your intentions known to leaders and companions alike so that you may find others who might like to join you!

If you’ve been considering pursuit of a leadership in an activity, Spring Break is an excellent time to get your ghost-leads. Be sure to talk and work with leaders in that activity as soon as possible so that you can start making any necessary arrangements. For more info on leaderships, go here.

Attendance and Cost

Who can come? Attendance is open to any and all SUOC members (see here for more info regarding memberships), so you’ll need to buy a membership if you haven’t yet.

The trip only costs up to $200 per person for those staying up to the full 10 days. This covers all of your lodging expenses as well as transportation costs to and from Franklin, WV, and for trips during our stay. Other than that, bring some money for food and drink and you’ll be set.

A few notable exceptions:

• If you are a driver carrying a FULL VEHICLE of people, equipment, or some combination of both, the cost is only $150, and you’ll be reimbursed for your gas expenses from the drive there and back and for club trips by our Treasurer. Be sure to hang on to ALL of your gas receipts!

• For those only able to stay for a limited time, there is a nightly rate of $20 for up to a maximum of 3 nights. This ONLY covers your cost of lodging so you’ll also have to pay for your gas to and from WV out of your own pocket. If you decide to stay any longer, you’ll have to pay full cost.

• If there’s anything you aren’t sure of talk to our Treasurer.

How do I get to and from there? As with all SUOC trips, we depend upon willing and able drivers amongst us to help take us to the places we want to go. In the weeks leading up to spring break, we will unveil a ride-share board for everyone to coordinate rides and transportation of equipment. The ride board will be made available on the West Virginia Facebook Event. Because people commit to attend at different times or change their plans, be sure to check the ride board regularly for any changes. So if you have some constraint on when you can attend and can’t yet find a ride, keep an eye out for a driver to pop up, or send a message to the event page on facebook for others in the same situation.

Things ‘Ye Be Needin

Pack light, and bring only what you NEED! Space in cars will be scarce for much else…

Sleeping Bag or blankets: If you plan on staying at the cabins every night, you won’t need anything special here. The cabins are warm and the mattresses soft. If you need a sleeping bag, you can rent a 3-season one from the club (no winter bags); just be sure to wash it before you return it ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS so that others can continue to use them when you’re done. This generally means a side-loading washer, gentle detergent and low/no heat drying. Talk to the E-Room Chair or our Backpacking leaders for questions regarding this stuff.

Clothes: Again, the name of the game is to pack light, and pack for a range of conditions. It’ll often be 75 degrees and sunny one day and 30 degrees and snowing the next, so be prepared. And don’t forget your swimsuit.

Wanna go CAVING? What gets muddy is going to stay muddy, so bringing a set of warm clothes (NO COTTON!) just for caving is a good idea.

Gear: If you have your own equipment, you should definitely bring it! This includes any flashlights or headlamps you might have.

Food & Dishes: pack a snack or two for the travel down, but avoid bringing much else in the way of edibles. You can get groceries in town, and everything is mad cheap too! We’ll supply a bunch of cookware, though a few extra pots and pans might go a long way. And be sure to bring dishes and silverware! We’ve got a bunch for people to use, but they have a way of making themselves scarce.

Toiletries: You know, the basic stuff… nothing fancy. Towel, toothbrush, paste, and suds.

Music! Do you play an instrument, or like to sing? Polish your pipes and put a new set of strings on yer guitar! There’s hardly a better way to wind down a day than around a bonfire with live music.

Trinkets of Tomfoolery: Be sure to tote along various fixings of fun to compliment Tom’s potato gun. A deck of cards, a game, or a greased hog… liberal instigation of general good cheer shall be widely encouraged, with hardly a pursuit too ridiculous to dabble in.

Camera: Don’t go anywhere without it. Nuff said.

Folding Chairs: …or something of the sort to park yourself on when by the fire.


For issues regarding cost and payment, talk to our Treasurer.

For issues regarding logistics, talk to our Vice-President, who is the chief architect of this extravaganza.

For all other questions, feel free to contact any of the officers, or post something to the Facebook event page; If you’re unclear about something, chances are there are others who are wondering the same thing.