Torero Tidbits: Join OA's Virtual John Muir Trail Challenge; Indigenous Peoples' Day; TPB Homecoming Activities

Join OA for the Virtual John Muir Trail Hike

Has the COVID-19 pandemic got you down? Still going through your many shows and movies — or viewing them for a second time around by now? How about some exercise? In between remote classes and Zoom chats with friends, family or faculty, the University of San Diego’s Outdoor Adventures is interested in motivating you to get off Zoom, get off the couch and get you moving. And it is all in the name of fun and with some education mixed in, quite nicely.


How about walking/hiking 211 miles over two weeks? That’s the length of the John Muir Trail that goes through the Sierra Nevada Mountains between Yosemite National Park and Mount Whitney, near Lone Pine, Calif. It is also the land where the Ahwahnechee, Miwok, Mono, Newe, Paiute and other Native people have inhabited this part of the Sierra for thousands of years before John Muir first visited Yosemite Valley in 1868. Nüümü Poyo, the people's trail, is the original name for a network of routes in the Sierra that have been used by Native people for centuries.

Outdoor Adventures is looking for people who are up for a virtual challenge. For two weeks, Oct. 12-28, Toreros of all ages can contribute their hikes/walks, have their progress detailed on a virtual map and do so as a team. All the while, participants will learn about the history, geology and ecology of this famed area and explore how climate change is impacting the area.

The John Muir Trail (JMT) is an extremely popular destination for hikers. Within the past 5 years, demand to hike the trail has greatly exceeded its capacity and permits to hike the trail are allocated via lottery. Considered "America's most beautiful trail," this virtual thru hike will showcase the beauty and complexity of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It will inspire you to experience the outdoors and motivate you to get up and move (your virtual adventure buddies are counting on you to make your miles).

The logistics of a long-distance hike can become overwhelming. Let us take care of the planning while you do the walking. Inside or outside, preferable outside, we want you to step away from Zoom, get off the couch and move your body. If you desire, you can do actual local San Diego hikes and if you do ones requiring a backpack, there will be helpful tips from OA guides and staff to assist you.

While hiking 211 miles will be a major accomplishment, in order to add to the motivation of this challenge, OA has created some cool perks for both you and the environment.

There will be weekly raffle prizes for everyone participating. If you complete 25% of the trail, we will plant a tree. Complete 50% of the trail and you’ll receive a special message from avid hiker/outdoor enthusiast, USD President James T. Harris, who a few years ago impressively hiked to the top of Mount Whitney.

And, for everyone who finishes the hike, they will receive a custom finisher sticker and provide a free gelato from OA's favorite shop in San Diego, Gelato Paradiso.

But the first step to take before starting the Virtual JMT hike is to register. OA will create small groups led by one of our guides or you can invite your friends to join a team and hike together. Visit the OA website to sign up. The cost for this is $5 for undergraduate students and $10 for graduate students/faculty/staff/alumni.

To check out the full presentation by Outdoor Adventures for the Virtual John Muir Trail hike, view it here.

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Oct. 12, with Virtual Discussion

Recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day will happen virtually on Zoom on Monday, Oct. 12, 5:30-7 p.m. (Pacific time). There will be a discussion featuring Virginia Tech University Assistant Professor of Sociology, Theresa Rocha Beardall, PhD (Oneida/Sault St. Marie/Mexican) and University of California at San Diego Assistant Professor of Education Studies Theresa Stewart-Ambo, PhD (Luiseño/Gabrieliño/Tohono O’odham).

The topic for the program is titled, “Performance or Progress? Evaluating Settler Land Acknowledgements at Public Land-Grant Universities.”

For more information, please contact Kassie Tong at

Torero Program Board Hosts Game Shows, Open Mic and More During Homecoming Week

Are you ready for USD’s virtual Homecoming Week and better yet, to play (Torero) Family Feud? How about The Price is Right or Jeopardy?

Well, now is your chance, USD and Torero Program Board style. Oct. 12-14, TPB will host Zoom versions of Family Feud (Monday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.), The Price is Right (Tuesday, Find it on the TPB Instagram stories throughout the day), and Jeopardy! (Wednesday, via Google link, available all day). Gather your Family Feud team, know the prices of USD items for TPIR and test your knowledge on Jeopardy!

On Oct. 15, TPB will host a night of live, virtual performances during an Open Mic Night event from 5:30-7 p.m. Pacific time. The show will be streamed live on YouTube.

Two more Homecoming events to check out are the Fabulous Torero Casino Night on Friday, Oct. 16 from 6-7 p.m. and the Big Blue Bash on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 4-5 p.m. Pacific.

Register by checking out the Torero Program Board Linktree for Homecoming and more to participate in these fun, cool events!

For additional information on USD’s 2020 virtual Homecoming and Family Week events for current Torero students, check out the Google Doc registration page for Homecoming.

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone


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