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MIT student blogger Rachel D. '16

Tetazoo Goes Camping by Rachel D. '16

An adventure to the top of a mountain and a little cabin in the woods

Last weekend was the Tetazoo fall camping trip, and my first time ever joining the group on an adventure through the woods of New Hampshire during the fall semester.

What is Tetazoo? Tetazoo is the name of the third floor of the East Parallel of East Campus, which is currently (and always has been) where I reside at MIT and where I spend most of my time of the year moseying about.

This was not my first camping adventure with Tetazoo. Last spring, I joined Tetazoo on an adventure to Rumney, New Hampshire to camp outside the MIT Outdoors Club’s (MITOC) Camelot cabin and go on a rather painful hike in the snow. This camping trip was a little better because we rented out an entire MITOC cabin (this time the Intervale cabin) and there was no snow. Hiking without snow is so much better than hiking in the snow.

My car on the way to the cabin consisted of Duncan T. ’13 and two pretty 2017s – Barbie D. ’17 and NiBr ’17. And me. We left around 4:30pm on the Friday and stopped at Subway and Market Basket on the way to the cabin to grab some food. There was a beautiful view on the way there.

It was dark when we finally got to the campsite. We were all super excited because there was supposed to be an aurora that night after the sun completely set and before the moon came up, but we never saw anything other than the beautiful sunset, a ton of stars and the Milky Way galaxy.

When we got to the GPS coordinates, we were all a bit confused and lost. Duncan was the only one who had ever been there before, but we had a tough time finding the place where we were supposed to park, mostly because there were no other cars. It turned out that we were the first ones there, and we didn’t have the keys. Jes P. ’15 has the keys, and her car supposedly left before ours. So after walking in the woods looking for the campsite for a half hour, we finally settled at the fire pit by the cabin and waited.

A little while later (after a few unsuccessful attempts by Barbie and I to start an extremely tiny fire), two more car groups arrived. Still no Jes. There were fifteen of us. One of the later-leaving cars got there – still no Jes!

Finally, over an hour after we got there, Jes arrived with her car full of people. She brought us up to the tiny cabin in the woods, and she opened it up. Everyone rushed up the tall ladder in the back of the cabin to claim their spot on the giant 12-person loft in the cabin. There were at least twenty of us up there, putting our sleeping bags down and getting ready to go back outside and start a campfire.

After many struggles, we started the fire in a creative way, and sat around the fire to take in the heat on the really cold night. We all cuddled and huddled together for warmth, and then Will L. ’16 took out his guitar.

And then Will played some songs, and then Jake I. ’16 played some songs, and we all sang together rather loudly (or as loud as is allowed by MITOC rules and regulations for renting out the campsite, of course). Our Graduate Resident Tutors (GRTs) Chris and Finn arrived at one point with their two year-old daughter, Marie F. ’30, to camp out on an observation deck far away from the loud tetazoa. The late car, led by Kayla E. ’15, arrived after we lit the fire, and they joined us in our chants.

We sang typical Tetazoo songs while we roasted our marshmellows and ate some s’mores. Finally, the “hardcore” hike people headed to bed so that they could be up at 5am to be super hardcore, and the rest of us hung around the fire for a couple more hours and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was so much fun, and really made me love being a part of such a cool group of people.

Finally, we all headed back to the cabin to go to sleep on the loft. A few people stayed downstairs on the pull-out couch, but the rest squeezed together upstairs, and we all got yelled at by the hardcore group for waking them all up. Eventually, we fell asleep.

Three hours after the hardcore group left, my “moderate” hiking group of 17 people got up and got ready to go hike 10 miles in the white mountains of New Hampshire.

We were all very excited, especially our new frosh!!

And look, Kate R. ’14 came back to go camping and hiking with us!

The name of the trail we hiked was the Carter Moriah Trail in the White Mountain National Forest. It was a beautiful day!

And there was SO MUCH NATURE!!!

Tetazoo really enjoyed our breaks with the beautiful views.

And here is me on a mountain!

The crazy person leading this moderate hike was Jes P. ’15. She kept running back and forth from the back of the group to the front of the group. She’s super hardcore.

And, after four hours, we finally made it to the summit!!! It was so beautiful.

One of the really cool things about this hike and the reason why there were a lot of other people hiking that Saturday was because it was the weekend after September 11th. In honor of the people who lost their lives on that tragic day thirteen years ago, there was an American flag on many of the mountain peaks across America. I’m so happy that we had the opportunity to observe one of those flags up close.

It felt so good to make it up there!

But it was SO COLD.

So although it took a while and it was super cold at the top, the hike was really amazing. We were all exhausted for the ride home, but we all made it, and we had a fantastic time together on top of a mountain and on the journey we took to get there.