EPIC puts on new Memorial Day weekend trip


Photo by Melanie Flint

EPIC gear on the lawn for inventory and cleaning

By Montse Franco, contributing writer

EPIC trips will offer students time to explore, relax and soak in the beauty of nature this Memorial Day weekend.

EPIC Adventures will be giving students the opportunity to experience nature through three different trips. They include rafting the Deschutes River, mountaineering Silver Star Peak and backpacking through the Wallowa Mountains, according to an email from EPIC Adventures staff.

The trips will be led by three leaders. Bernt Goodson, EWU senior, will be leading the Wallowas backpacking trip. Goodson has been on various trips since he joined EPIC three years ago. Some of them include backpacking, rock climbing, ice climbing, white-water rafting, canoeing, dog sledding, river surfing and skiing and snowboarding trips.

The trip will begin May 27 and end May 30. Friday night will consist of car camping at the trailhead, followed by several miles of backpacking to a campsite on Saturday morning and afternoon, according to Goodson. The following days will include more hiking. “We may hike to another campsite, or do some day-hike then Monday we will hike out and drive back to Cheney,” he said.

Goodson said he believes this trip will be different compared to previous ones. “This trip will differ from a lot of our other trips because it is more physically strenuous than a lot of our other trips. Also, it offers a lot more time to just sit back and soak everything in,” he said.

EPIC offers annual Memorial Day weekend trips, according to Goodson but the trips are not always the same. “My bosses have the final say on which trips are chosen, but input for new trips are always welcome and trips are subject to change every year,” he said.

EPIC offers outdoor and adventure trips, events, classes, equipment rentals and an indoor climbing facility, according to EWU’s EPIC webpage.

Goodson said he enjoys being a trip leader and has gained more than just trip experiences. “I came to Eastern with a passion for the outdoors, so EPIC was a great outlet for getting outside, but since getting involved with EPIC I have also made a lot of lasting friendships, learned a lot of technical and leadership skills, and have been able to share my passion for the outdoors with others,” he said.

Annabel Valdovinos, EWU freshman, was not aware of all the activities EPIC offered. “I am not that familiar with EPIC but I do know they go on what looks like fun trips,” she said. She has not participated in any of the classes or trips offered but she said she plans to. “I love being outdoors and exploring new places; I definitely want to go on at least one trip before I graduate,” she said.

Goodson recommended EWU students to participate in at least one EPIC trip. “I know I am biased being a trip leader and all, but these trips really offer a lot of unique experiences and the prices are so much cheaper than anywhere else,” he said.

EPIC has a trip for everyone, no matter their athletic ability. “EPIC trips are open to all skill sets, even the complete beginner, so if there has ever been an outdoor activity you have been itching to try, EPIC is a great place to start,” Goodson said.