- Expedition: Apr 16-21, 2001
- Sanger and Turlock High Schools
- Hetch Hetchy
A little about me...
My name is Rick, I go to Turlock High School in Turlock. I have lived here for 8 years. Turlock is great but I would rather live up here than any where else in the world. This morning I got to meet our new instructors, Kim and Barb. They are really nice, I think we will have a really good time together on this trip. The ice breaking activities we did were good to get to know each other. I'm glad that we did them.
My personal goal here is to get as much out of this a[s] possible and to have fun. I think all the other kids are really in the same boat, they just came up here to have a good time with every and have a unique experience. I only hope I won't be too cold when we go and camp out in the open away from the fire.
I see, I hear, I feel, I smell...
I see a giant grove of all these green trees, They are so massive in size and wonder, their just amazing. I hear the sound of the wind in the trees, it sounds just like the wind. I touch the tree bark on the giant sequoias, the bark is in a way, smooth, as far as tree bark goes. I smell the fresh pine scent that is only available in this back country. I know that I can only experience this feeling in a few secluded areas, such as this beautiful place. The giant trees are just so massive. The height of be red is the length of a football field! And it is so quiet here. We went through the heart of a dead sequoia named "dead fred" I had to crawl to get through the entire tree and get really muddy, but it was a very unique experience. The hike down to the trees was relatively easy but the hike down was pretty hard. We had a big snack when we got back. Both toilets plugged up. That's a bad thing. The hike and first few days...
Yesterday I didn't get to write because we got here just as it started to thunder and rain really hard. So here is what we did yesterday.... we started on the trail about 11. It was a really nice 7 mile hike....except for the heavy pack we had to carry along with us. We saw a lot of nice people on the way who were amazed that we were going to stay in the back country for so long. We got up a lot higher than Hetch Hetchy dam.
Towards the end we were ready to stop and camp anywhere that looked good, but we pressed on and made it to the campsite. We unpacked the group gear and got out our personal food gear. We had bean burritos with cheese and salsa.
Right after dinner the lightning started and then the rain came pouring down. We were not ready for all the rain so a lot of us had our gear soaked. My mat and some of my clothes were soaked during that time so I ran over to my bag and covered my bag with a 30 gallon trash bag. It worked. But during the night rain gathered on my bag and a part of the bag slipped down the side of my bag allowing most of my stuff to end up damped and/or/ soaked. I managed to save my sleeping bag my treeco pants, short sleeve shirt, and my fleece
jacket. I haven't had a chance to look at everything however. The tent that I slept in had leaks in it and my jeans were soaked. I have 2 other people in my tent, Andrew and Kelly, they're pretty good company, funny mostly, that's why I like them.
Rick, Javier, MaLee, and Jeff are led blindfolded to Big Red, the largest Giant Sequoia in the Mariposa Grove
Ok, and now for today's news:
we woke up to no rain so that was a treat. We had hot chocolate and oatmeal for breakfast. I was full and couldn't eat any more. Afterwards we got our duties, mine was to fill everyone's water bottles. It took me forever to fill 3 but Andrew helped me to fill the other 2.
Then I came back up to look for fire wood and it started to rain about an hour ago at 9:30. Wilderness is a place untouched by man as far as no permanent structures by man. I think the wilderness is the most beautiful places on earth. I would rather be in the wilderness that in any other place in the whole world, but I would definetly miss my Jack-in-the-box.
But I think it is just the pristine, cleanliness of the forest that just amazes me. A challenge to me is to do something I have never done and probably under normal circumstances never do. But out here in the wilderness I am having to do such as pump my own water. Usually I am used to just turning on a faucet and having the water there and ready. That to me is a challenge in itself.
We woke up to a blanket of snow outside our tent. It was really cold, so we huddled outside around the fire and had cream of wheat/w brown sugar and a nutra grain bar. To drink we had some hot chocolate. Here's the real deal though, Kim and Barb said we are going to hike down to Hetch Hetchy because we are not prepared for snowy weather. She said Y.I. had a bunk cabin there and we will be staying down there for the remainder of the stay.
To say the least some of us were bummed to be hiking down to the reservoir a day early. We got down there and I was literally freezing. The tunnel at Hetch Hetchy was like a wind tunnel and I was soaked from hiking the 7 miles. Barb says we hiked down approx. 700 feet.
When we got to the cabin we were amazed. Stoves, microwaves, SHOWERS!, flush toilets, and matted beds. We are in heaven. Dinner is going to be chili, cheese, and tortillias. I will be sleeping good tonight. Life is hard. It has started to snow down here at Hetch Hetchy. It might pile up and we might not be able to get home. I hope that is a possibility, it is so fun here. I don't want to leave all my new friends here. I have made new friends with all the people from Sanger High and after tomorrow I might not ever see them again. I might get to see them once again but other than that we will be far away from each other. We go well together for people from other schools, we don't argue, we'll we make fun of each other but in good humor, not to hurt each others feelings.
Kim wanted me to tell of a positive, a negative, and something that I have learned on this trip. My positive was I had a lot of fun up in the mountains despite all of the cold snow, we are all such good friends. The negative thing was that I could never get my feet wet [dry] no matter how close I put them to the fire. The thing that I realized was how long 7 miles is with all that weight on it, but there were people from the Conservation Corp. that just started to talk to me along the trail and helped me tighten my straps on my pack.