June 14, 2010
Elizabeth Klipp, 404-413-1356
Last month, Carson Tortorige led a group on a 13-day expedition through 13 states, covering 4,950 miles, 11 National Parks and seven National Forests.
This summer, the Touch the Earth director has something even bigger planned • a 12-day adventure in the The Last Frontier.
Running Aug. 5-17, Touch the Earth's Alaska Adventure will start with a flight into Anchorage to check out the state's largest city. The group will then go by van to visit to Kenai Fjords for sea kayaking, Wrangell-St. Elias to see the Root Glacier and Denali to hike in the Alaskan backcountry. The trip is open to GSU students, faculty, staff and their guests. A deposit of $400 is due Friday (June 18) to reserve a spot.
This once-in-lifetime trip is just one of the many outdoor opportunities GSU's Touch the Earth program is offering this summer. Close to 40 different trips are available through August, designed for individuals of all skill levels, from beginner to expert.
"It's incredible what these trips do for people," Tortorige said. "People make new friends, gain new views on things and come out a little more enlightened. It's fun and highly educational."
For most trips, the Touch the Earth program provides equipment, transportation and a guide who handles logistics and leads the group.
The trips are reasonably price at about 10 percent of their market value, Tortorige said. That was a selling point to recent GSU graduate Heather Hagstrom, who went on three expedition trips and countless smaller trips while a student.
"I was able to go to places I've never been before and to do it for a good price; it was amazing," she said. Day and weekend hikes are available to natural retreats in Georgia and across the Southeast, such as Tallulah Gorge; Little River Falls, Ala., and the Great Smoky Mountains. The program also boasts trips for the adventurous like outdoor rock climbing, wakeboarding, hang gliding and even sky diving.
For fans of water sports, Touch the Earth has plenty of options, too. Georgia State students and employees and their friends can enjoy sailing, fly fishing, canoe school, rafting trips, kayaking and other float trips.
Equipment, such as tents, sleeping backs and backpacks, is also available to rent to plan a do-it-yourself adventure. Even those who don't have time to leave campus can test their strength and agility on the Touch the Earth's Climbing Wall located in the GSU Recreation Center.
With so many choices, it may be difficult to make a decision on what trip to choose, but Tortorige advises students and faculty not to wait too long. Registration for trips is technically the Wednesday before the trip date, but slots fill up quickly during the first week of classes, he said.
"We have something to do for someone every weekend," Tortorige said. "You don't have to stay in Atlanta."
Individuals can register at the Touch the Earth Outdoor Equipment Rental Center, on the lower-level outside entrance behind the Student Recreation Center. Payments are accepted in cash, check or PantherCash. GSU students, faculty and staff do not need to be members of the Student Recreation Center to register.
For more information, visit http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwrec/touch.