Kyle portrait
  • Expedition: May 26-31, 2002
  • Kyle
  • Detroit Metropolitan Community Center, Atwater, and Owens Valley High School
  • Mono Meadow

what is wilderness? are you in wilderness now? to me wilderness is living out your day to day life simply surviving off nature. wilderness is the outdoors: trees, moisture, and fresh air. this being my first time in the outdoors, wilderness means a whole other thing. see, the outdoors has taken a whole new meaning. it means listening to my instinct and having an ear open for the wild.

as i think about wilderness and live in it more i realize it's no longer just wilderness but civilization relying on nature. i am excited and enthusiastic about the trip: the mountains, waterfalls, wildlife and nature has brought much needed serenity to my life. just being able to take in the sight of curry village makes me appreciate yosemite and all it's many beauties.

my first thoughts when reaching yosemite was, "what did i sign up for?" not understanding the true size and value of yosemite, i was in awe when i reached it. i gained a whole new outlook on the value of yosemite and respect for it's importance in preserving such mortifying beauty.

Kyle demonstrates climbing technique on the ground, with the help of horizontal 'cracks'.

Using an instrument called a densiometer, Kyle measures streambank vegetation cover (an indication of how much light and shade reaches the stream), collecting data for the Yosemite National Park Stream Biomonitoring Project.

Goals and Expectations

Well so far on or at Yosemite we have experienced the life and times of [Buffalo] soldiers in Yosemite in the 1900's. We also learned about stream testing, hiking trails and rock climbing. Over the last two days I have done things I never imagined [that I would do]. This hiking trip has made me lift my expectations and have higher goals for this expedition. Some of my many expectations on this learning experience is to see and meet new wildlife. Living in Detroit, there's a real lack of appreciation for things like that. Here, I learned different names and uses of plants and trees like black oak and spice bush.

My goals for this trip are completely different. They are more mental, like being able to stand the cold and handle the hike. Plus being able to be a part of a report, which means that our actions and capabilities affect the results. One goal for the stream macroinvertebrate testing is to be able to have good results and take away a sense of pride and knowledge for the stream testing. Just knowing that you can take away knowledge and skills that can't be taught but only experience is like a once in a lifetime deal.

I would have to say that my expectations are a little higher than my goals, just because this is my first time and I don't really have the skills to apply my goals. In all, this will be an experience unforgotten and unreal. To just think that we will be out in the wilderness on untamed soil is incredible.

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.