By Rachel Cohen
The courtyard outside of the second floor of the Miller Learning Center is oddly peaceful despite its chaotic surroundings. Crowds of students go in every direction pushing by to get to class and buses roar past the stadium. But in the courtyard, there are people who are not moving quite as fast. Well, they’re not moving at all.
Enos have been popping up all around the University of Georgia and the entire Athens area. Eno, short for Eagles Nest Outfitters, started out with two brothers selling hammocks out of their van at a music festival in 1999. Now, sixteen years later, the company has expanded from just hammocks to backpacks, rain tarps and other gear that is a perfect accompaniment for anyone who wants to sit back and appreciate the world around them.
What started out as a simple idea has become a lifestyle, and students and Athenians alike have immersed themselves in this stop, drop and hang way of life.
Students have found creative places to suspend these “nests.” From extremely public places like between two trees outside of the MLC to more secluded spots, such as around the turtle pond by the ecology building, Students have been making the conscious effort to hit the lock button on their phones and take advantage of the beauty that surrounds them.
“Athens is home to many great hammocking spots that are tucked away within a short driving distance of campus,” says Dylan Munn, a senior environmental engineering major from Savannah. “Whether you need a mental break from studying or a spot to have a casual first date, you will find plenty of areas along local rivers and lakes that can be enjoyed year-round.”
The hammocks stand out from the objects they hang because of their retro colors and lightweight nylon material. All hammocks fold into an attached softball-sized bag making it easy for UGA students to throw in their backpacks before heading to campus.
Some favorite spots around Athens have been between the trees on the Brumby Hill and North Campus. Popular off-campus spots are in Dudley Park behind Mama’s Boy and in the Botanical Gardens. Because Athens is a jewel nestled in the Northern mountains of Georgia, the spots for Enos to be hung are endless.
Katie Goldstein, a junior management information systems and international business major from Atlanta, has spent many afternoons and evenings suspended in Athens’ nature. “If you feel weird about setting you hammock up on campus, you should look into taking a trip out to some of Athens’ awesome parks like Watson Mill, Sandy Creek Park, the Greenway and the Botanical Gardens,” Goldstein says. “Usually the best spots are the ones you find hidden back on the trail near the water.”
In this fast-paced society, the Eno lifestyle encourages appreciation of the world around. Whether suspended in the middle of a forest overlooking the Himalayas or between two trees next to the Law Library on North Campus, those who choose to hang their Enos have made the decision to stop, think and appreciate the wonder and beauty of their surroundings.