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“I think the natural beauty in our area is distinctive to the college,” said Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design. For “at least 12 years,” Ask has taken his Penn College students (and some of their friends) on optional excursions to explore that beauty, namely at Rock Run. Located about 30 miles north of campus in the McIntyre Wild Area of Loyalsock State Forest near Ralston in Lycoming County, Rock Run offers an abundance of crystal clear streams, waterfalls, trails and cliffs to discover. “The students love our adventures,” Ask related. “I usually go once in the fall as a way for new students to get to know one another in the major. It’s a nice team-building exercise. Many students in our major are from the Philly and New Jersey area, so this is all new. I’ve been climbing since I was in college, so I love to share the fun.” The cliff they scaled on a recent expedition was a small one that Ask has used with newcomers for many years. Not from this area, the professor says he learned about Rock Run from a student years ago. The region’s scenic beauty continues to inspire him (and his young charges). “We are within an hour of downhill and cross-country skiing, rock climbing, caving, sailing, kayaking, powerboating, backpacking and hiking,” Ask added, expounding on the options. “Nature provides a refuge from the stress and dynamics of campus life.”

– Photos by Tim Wegman, student photographer

The group absorbs the astonishingly beautiful view from Band Rocks.
The group absorbs the astonishingly beautiful view from Band Rocks.

Harnessed up, Kyle P. Amon, an engineering design technology student from Lafayette Hill, prepares to climb the cliff.
Harnessed up, Kyle P. Amon, an engineering design technology student from Lafayette Hill, prepares to climb the cliff.

Industrial design student Charles “Chip" Starr ascends the natural wall. Starr hails from Jenkintown.
Industrial design student Charles “Chip” Starr ascends the natural wall. Starr hails from Jenkintown.

If we didn't have to fill this space, there would be no words!
If we didn’t have to fill this space, there would be no words!

The group (including Wegman, at right) obliges instructor Ask for a pictorial memento.
The group (including Wegman, at right) obliges instructor Ask for a pictorial memento.

A breathtaking palette of color and texture
A breathtaking palette of color and texture

Kelsey M. Streeter, from Knoxville, enrolled in electrical technology, heads for the top.
Kelsey M. Streeter, from Knoxville, enrolled in electrical technology, heads for the top.

Outdoor adventurers delight in the natural beauty within miles of Penn College.
Outdoor adventurers delight in the natural beauty within miles of Penn College.

Wind turbines punctuate the spectacular view of Laurel Hill Ridge.
Wind turbines punctuate the spectacular view of Laurel Hill Ridge.

Taking it all in, appreciative and unhurried
Taking it all in, appreciative and unhurried

Rappelling after a successful climb
Rappelling after a successful climb

 

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