After three-day hike, alumni reunite atop Machu Picchu in Peru

By University Communications
November 7, 2014
UW-Stout alumni gather above the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu/Peru.

Photo: UW-Stout alumni gather above the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu/Peru.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout Alumni Association picked a special place for an alumni reunion recently: the mountains of Peru.

To get there, alumni had to hike for three days.

According to alumna Linda Bradshaw, the reward was worth the effort when they reached their destination: Machu Picchu, the famous 15th century Inca ruins.

“It was awesome. It was amazing,” said Bradshaw, who earned a master’s in counseling from UW-Stout in 1983 and took the trip with her husband, Mike.

In early October, 15 alumni ranging in age from 34 to 74, along with their spouses and others made the trek, one of the Alumni Association’s guided trips. Participants could choose from two routes to Machu Picchu, one involving less climbing than the other.

The group spent several days in Lima, split up when the hike began and met again atop a mountain at Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu, where they posed for a group photo in UW-Stout T-shirts.

They camped on their way through the jungle and enjoyed chef-prepared meals each night. Porters carried their belongings and set up camp. They saw other ancient ruins each day of the trip.

“It was pretty fancy for camping,” Linda Bradshaw said.

The Bradshaws live in Hickory, N.C., where they hike trails in the Appalachian Mountains, but they said they weren’t quite prepared for the high altitude climbing, especially when they went above 10,000 feet. They took the harder of the two routes.

Still, they said that hiking to Machu Picchu was more rewarding and memorable as opposed to taking a train, another option for tourists. “It made the whole experience more spectacular,” Linda Bradshaw said.

“Machu Picchu is one of those places we’ve always dreamt about but in a million years thought we’d never do. It was a great trip and definitely worthwhile,” she added.

The Alumni Association is offering seven more trips in 2015 and 2016. Proceeds from the trips raise money for scholarships at UW-Stout.

“Not only did our alumni have a trip of a lifetime to one of the new wonders of the world in Machu Picchu, they also are giving back by creating scholarships for current students to have opportunities to study abroad and thrive in an increasingly global society,” said Juliet Fox, Alumni Association director, who also made the trek.

Upcoming trips include:

  • June 19-25, 2015, Italy: Tuscany and Umbria Hike, Bike, Food and Wine
  • July 26-30, 2015, Yellowstone: Family Adventure
  • Sept. 13-18, 2015, Northern Spain: Food and Wine
  • April 9-17, 2016, Peru: Trekking Adventure
  • July 13-22, 2016, Tanzania: Kilimanjaro Trek
  • Aug. 7-13, 2016, Belgium: Discovering Beer
  • Oct. 23-30, 2016, South Africa: Hiking, Safari and Wine

For details about the trips and information on registering, go to Alumni Events or contact the Alumni Association, 715-232-1151.