Chelsea portrait
  • Expedition: Dec 2-8, 2001
  • Chelsea
  • Berkeley High School
  • Yosemite National Park

My name is Chelsea. I am currently enjoying the beauty of Yosemite National Park in awe. But before I talk about myself I would like to talk a little bit about me. I'm from Berkeley. I'm 15 years old and I'm bi-racial. But that you probably know about me already. What you don't know is that I love volleyball (I play on Varsity). You also don't know that though I love the chaos of the city, I have fallen in love with the wilderness. You

also don't know that I love to cook and want to be a chef. As I write this looking at these mountains, I am getting huge quantities of inspiration for new dishes I could invent that encompass aspects of these mountains. But anyway, I have thought a lot about what I want to get out of this trip and here's what I have come up with:

1 To appreciate nature more. To really understand why someone would want to spend their whole lives living here in seclusion. [To know] what things are beautiful, that others may not see. To learn about how the wildlife affects things and how they too make this place beautiful. 2 To become friends with my campmates. To learn about their lives while at the same time relating their experiences to my own. I think in doing this I could learn more about myself. I hope to make good connections with them. 3 To invent a new dish to cook (preferably dessert) that is inspired by my surroundings. I want to give my family and friends back home a "taste" of what I've experienced while on this trip.

Letter to Self:

Alright, listen you, I'm going to tell you a little something to remember. I want you to remember the beauty of this place. How every time the snow would fall cold, and harsh on your neck it would make you feel alive. I want you to remember the valleys and meadows of sugar sparkle ice. I want you to remember the red forest smell and how it felt when you inhaled in into your lungs so hard that it made your head swirl. Remember how you felt when you saw the stars. How they glowed and shimmered like crystals on a black carpet sky. Remember the intake of breath when you climbed steep hills of snow, and the sense of real accomplishment you got when you reached the top. Remember the laughs with friends around the fire that warmed your toes after long days and snow.

All these things remember, but never forget that what you experienced here is not explainable. You can not find the words you are looking for to describe how waking up in the morning filled your soul with joy. Yosemite's beauty cannot be put into books, or movies, or poetry. You have to be here, you have to let it seep into you, indulge yourself with nature. And when I think back, sure it was tough to walk so long, to keep warm, to sleep on hard floors at night, and sure we complained, but for the memories I keep in my head, it was all worth it.

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