Sleep under the stars with OPR

Hanson Lee, Staff Reporter

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With the fall season in full swing, Ellensburg’s Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals (OPR) is making it their goal to provide members of the community with an opportunity to get out and explore the outdoors.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, OPR will be doing an overnight backpacking trip where they will be venturing out to Manastash Lake, located just outside of Ellensburg. With student ID, the trip costs $56. The price is $75 for non-students.

With the trip being open to anyone who wants to join, trip leader Walter Lackey and the rest of the team at OPR have their sights set on Manastash Lake for a variety of reasons.

“It’s a really local lake and it’s the closest mountain lake, I would say, to Ellensburg. It’s also pretty high in elevation, so it’s a cool lake up there at the top,” Lackey said. “It’s also a short hike so it’s not too strenuous for beginners.”

To some people, especially those who may not be outdoor enthusiasts at heart, backpacking may just seem like a lot of hiking and sightseeing, but OPR always plans on making these types of trips much more interesting.

“Usually we will get to camp early and so we’ll have a lot of time to chat and get to know each other,” Lackey said. “We also usually do pretty extravagant meal plans because that can be fun for us to plan out exactly what we’re going to cook.”

With all of the planning put into the trip to Manastash Lake, Lackey hopes that people going on the trip are able to have a meaningful experience.   

“Hopefully people take away that backpacking, hiking and the outdoors doesn’t have to be scary,” Lackey said. “If you come prepared with the right gear, it can be really fun and not as intimidating as people make it out to be.”

In addition, it’s also just as important that everyone comes back to Ellensburg having had a great time on the trip.

“Hopefully the weather is good and we all come back with smiling faces,” Lackey said.

Manastash Lake is one of many backpacking trips that OPR is going to be putting on for the Ellensburg community moving forward.

“The primary goal is to get people more active, and teach people how to backpack and how to camp,” Lackey said. “A lot of people have never done these activities before and it could be intimidating to get into these things by yourself. And so we kind of provide that opportunity to those who want to get into these activities.”

Looking ahead, Lackey believes that this trip, along with the other upcoming trips put on by OPR, presents a great opportunity for CWU students and the Ellensburg community.

“These trips are a great opportunity to meet other people,” Lackey said. “As a university with this type of student opportunity, you can have the opportunity to meet new people who do the same stuff as you.”