Illustration by Joanne Sally Mero

College Outdoors offers trip to LC Estate Gardens

*The Backdoor is a “work” of “fiction” and “humor”

By Nick Sabatini

Last weekend, College Outdoors offered a journey through the rugged wilderness of the Estate Gardens behind the Frank Manor House for the first time. The vehicles left Sequoia on the graduate campus on Saturday for the three-hour car ride to the Frank Manor House. Upon arriving at the Frank Manor House, students backpacked down the rugged mountain to Miller, where they set up tents and barbequed inside the classrooms.

The next day, students backpacked through the gardens to see the area’s stunning natural beauty. On the trip, a presentation was given by Facilities about how they keep the area beautiful. They stated that no human, not even themselves, has ever stepped foot in the area for thousands of years. They discussed the ancient civilization that was thought to have inhabited the area several thousand years ago; all of that remains is the uneven cobblestone road and the swimming pool. Currently, not much is known about this ancient civilization.

Students then hiked several miles further to the reflecting pool, the world’s only naturally-occurring rectangular lake. According to Facilities, this lake was thought to have formed from a volcanic eruption several thousand years ago.

This was followed by a hike up to gorgeous Frank Manor Falls (also known as the water fountain), the largest waterfall on LC’s campus. Finally, students hiked back to vehicles and the trip concluded back at Sequoia.

“I thought the trip was wonderful,” Bob Taylor ’21 said. “The reflecting pool and Frank Manor Falls were breathtaking. It was truly remarkable seeing a rectangular lake. And I have never seen a waterfall like Frank Manor Falls. I mean, it looked so much like a water fountain and that was amazing! When I walked on the cobblestone road, it felt like I went back to the time of the ancient civilization.”

Mishel Meorge, Director of Facilities, enjoyed giving the presentation.

“I believe it is important for students to see all the beautiful scenery we have around us,” Meorge said. “We have not done any landscaping down at the Estate Gardens because we don’t want to disturb the area.”

Taylor also described the trip as a bonding experience.

“My favorite moment is when we lit the campfire at our campsite inside Miller,” Taylor said. “We turned off the lights, roasted marshmallows, and told ghosts stories. It was a great way to get to know each other. I have never been camping before, and it was a great way to meet people. I never thought camping was so comfortable. It was the perfect temperature inside Miller.”  

However, not all students enjoyed the trip.

“This trip was a total joke,” a student who wished to remain anonymous, said. “I paid $500 and thought I was going to some exotic destination, but nope! I already walk by the Estate Gardens everyday and I could have done this trip myself for free! I want my money back!”

Despite this, the trip got mostly positive feedback. College Outdoors plans to do more trips to the Estate Gardens in the future.

“I can’t wait to go again,” Taylor said. “It was the best College Outdoor trip I have been on.”

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