For the past six years, alumni in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley have greeted Dartmouth students at the midpoint of their “Trip to the Sea”—a 210-mile canoe journey on the Connecticut River from Hanover to the Atlantic Ocean.
This year, despite the threat of thunderstorms, 37 alumni and guests associated with the Dartmouth Club of the Pioneer Valley arrived at a marina in South Hadley to offer the 16 students assistance and sustenance, including pulled pork (courtesy of volunteer chef Diana Spurgin ’82). Michael Hoag ’90, the organizer of the May 22 gathering, says the idea to greet students started when Ellen Brout Lindsey ’81, president of the club, and Henry Eberhardt ’61 brought the weary paddlers cider and donuts in 2007. “The event has quickly become a club favorite, and the crowd keeps growing,” says Hoag.
Hoag notes that some alumni attending the event participated in the Trip to the Sea when they were students. “I think they were excited to relive the camaraderie without the blisters and heatstroke,” he said.
The Trip to the Sea began in the 1920s and was inspired by the adventurous John Ledyard, Class of 1777, who made the trip from Hanover to Connecticut in a dugout canoe. Ledyard is considered by many to be Dartmouth’s first outdoorsman.