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One frosty Friday evening, a group of students standing outside the Outdoor Resource Center prepared for their mountain biking excursion to Harriman State Park.

Spencer Swapp, a junior studying recreation management, explained to the 10 students who signed up for the excursion what bike they were going to use, how to use the breaks, and the dos and don’ts of mountain biking.

The drive to Harriman State Park from Rexburg is 45 minutes long. The original plan was to go on a different trail, but due to bike trail conditions, the venue changed.

Most students on the excursion had some experience mountain biking before, while for some students like Hailey Bone, a freshman studying biology, it was their first time.

“I expect to get out in nature and have fun, “Bone said. “Mountain biking looked like fun, and it fits with my schedule.”

McCall Nielsen, a freshman studying elementary education, went mountain biking for years with her father.

“I miss it so much,” Nielsen said. “I’m excited to see what the trails are like and to have fun.”

-One goal of excursions like these is to be accessible to all types of skill levels.

Harriman State Park is a nature reserve, which means wildlife abounds since it is off limits to hunters.

“My favorite part of the trail was the view when we passed over this bridge, there was a great view of the mountains and the lake,” Nielsen said. “The sunset was just beautiful.”

Students saw different species of birds and some elk as well. There were also several yurts along the trail.

No one got injured, and at the end of the trail, all were tired but happy.

“The most difficult thing for me was the physical aspect of it,” Bone said. “It was a workout and I was able to push myself and challenge myself. I would do it again.”

She advised that next time she would have dressed according to the weather a little more.

For Nielsen, she goes out into nature because it helps her testimony.

“A lot of the time I’m just going, going, going, and I don’t have time to sit, ponder and reflect,” she said. “So when I’m outside I take a second to listen and let the Spirit talk to me.”

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