By JACOB BASKES Oct. 22, 2018
A group of students and their parents, visiting Bowdoin for Family Weekend, set off for Morse Mountain for a day-hike this past weekend. The group has not been seen since their departure.
Contact with the group stopped late Saturday morning. The last correspondence came at 11:51 am from Anna Hastings, the BOC trip leader guiding the families on their 3.6-mile hike, in the form of two text messages to a fellow Outing Club member. “We are @ the top! View is luxurious. Kind of like wiping my butt with maple bark,” the first text read. Authorities have thus been able to place the group at the summit of Morse Mountain just before noon on Saturday. After this point, their whereabouts are uncertain.
The second text has led some to believe that negligence may be at play in the families’ disappearance. “There are some real funky mushrooms up here lol!!! I just ate six of em and snuck massive chunks into the gorp so I think everyone’s gettin turnt today loooool,” wrote Hastings to Marissa Wong, her roommate. “She’s always saying stuff like that,” asserted Wong. “But that girl would never do shrooms. She’s afraid of regular mushrooms in the dining hall, so I can’t imagine her ever eating any she found in the woods.”
Mike Woodruff, Director of the Bowdoin Outing Club, expressed his worries about the group on Monday. “This is a very rare, scary occurrence for the BOC,” he wrote in a statement carved into a tree. “It has not happened since 2016, and we swore that time that it would never happen again. I believe we said the same thing after twelve people went missing on a rafting trip in 2014, but I might be mistaken.” Some members of the BOC made clear their fears as well. “I had pool sessions with Anna,” said Benjamin Trubble. “She couldn’t swim and always talked about her near misses with dangerous wildlife. She said she once tried feeding a large caiman to a black bear just to see what would happen. The caiman proceeded to ride on the bear’s back as the pair chased her for miles through the woods. I don’t know who let her lead this trip, but I sure hope everyone is okay.“
Remaining members of the six families have started a GoFundMe page to sponsor a search-and-rescue team to comb the area. The BOC has been unable to donate to the cause as they are still recuperating from spending overages from fancy new kayaks, dehydrated toothpaste, and van accident deductibles.