Over three months last fall Kevin Cadogan got a chance to hike 38 miles in the Wind River Range in Wyoming, rock climb in southern Idaho, and take part in an 84-mile canoe expedition on Utah’s Green River and San Juan River.
The expedition was the dream of a lifetime for the 20-year-old Sudbury native, who as a child summited several of New England's highest peaks with his stepdad, including Mt. Washington, Mt. Kathadin, and Mt. Mansfield.
“Backpacking was incredible. The terrain really blew my mind. The scenery never failed to amaze me,” said Cadogan about the fall Semester in the Rockies with the National Outdoor Leadership School. “Personally when I am out in the wilderness I feel much more composed and at peace with myself,” he added.
In the NOLS course, students complete backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, and canyon sections. Among others, the students learned how to use topographic maps, how to find and prepare food in the backcountry, the basics of climbing, whitewater paddling skills, and environmental studies.
Highlights included traveling past the steep walls of Ross Lakes and resting on the beach at Bomber Lake, spending time at City of Rocks and Castle Rocks, and descending into Grand Gulch and Slickhorn canyons.
As graduates, course officials say, the students are now equipped with technical outdoor skills, wilderness ethic, and leadership skills they can use in the future.
Cadogan, a 2014 graduate of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High and a current student at UMass-Lowell, answered questions for the Town Crier about himself, what he learned in the NOLS course, and future plans.
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