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

what is wilderness? are you in wilderness now? i think the wilderness is yosemite and what i am sitting in right now. i think the wilderness is outside; the trees, the dirt, and animals. right now in curry village i think we are halfway in wilderness because there are a lot of trees and enormous rock features but there are also a lot of people, and a grocery store, and many places to eat. i think full wilderness is being surrounded completely by trees and no noises like cars or extremely large groups of people, but only noises like running stream water, birds, and falling leaves.

Goals and Expectations

I really want to get to know the people I'll be camping with a little bit more. When we get back I want to be really proud of myself for doing this and hopefully accomplishing [my goals]. At the end of my trip I want to say to myself, "whatever you want to do just do it because even if you think you can't, you probably can." I'm really excited. I never thought I would ever go backpacking, the thought never crossed my mind and now I'm sitting on this log or trunk of a tree shaped into the shape of a chair, getting ready to go backpacking.


Water is everywhere and everyone needs water. [It is] in the stream, in the ocean, in the sea, and [in] the cacti that stores its water inside itself for the hot desert days. Water can be flowing calmly at the beginning of a stream and then get violent as it progresses downstream. It can run to the edges of cliffs that have enormous drops and suddenly a beautiful waterfall emerges. The noises of the water flowing downstream can put you to sleep when you're laying in your tent on a cool night. Just like water can put you to sleep, it can also wake you up. Someone can dump a bucket of ice cold water on top of you to wake you up or [you] can be on a small boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and realize how small you really [are] compared to the natural things the Earth has to offer.

Raquel sorts and identifies stream macroinvertebrates for the Yosemite National Park Stream Biomonitoring Project.

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