- Expedition: Sep 24-29, 2006
- Turlock and Pitman High Schools - Richard Iglehart Memorial Expedition
- Yosemite National Park: Sunrise to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
WildLink would like to thank the Richard Iglehart Wilderness Foundation for their generous support for making this expedition possible. It is the first of four memorial expeditions they have sponsored this year.
Thirteen students from Turlock and Pittman High Schools joined WildLink this September for our first expedition of the 2006/2007 season. They arrived in Yosemite with big smiles and contagious enthusiasm, and maintained those qualities throughout the week. Before leaving for our expedition, we were honored to attend a special panel discussion with some very special people in the park. Ranger Shelton Johnson, Ranger Sam Vasquez, Ranger Tori Seher, and Jose Lopez each told us their stories of what they do for Yosemite and how their path in life led them to this place. It was an inspiring talk, and we are incredibly thankful to them for taking the time to share their stories with us and support our expedition!
Our trip began at the Sunrise trailhead in Yosemite's high country. This first day we faced some challenging elevation gain but were rewarded with spectacular views of Mt. Hoffman and Tenaya Peak along the way. That night we found a spacious campsite on a knoll where we watched a magenta sunset and slept under the stars. On our second day we started out with just daypacks and a mission: Cloud's Rest. At 9,926 feet, this high summit called to us on this blue sky day. Despite scary exposure along the summit block, the entire group was successful in reaching the top! Hand in hand, we arrived to views of Half Dome, the meadows and rock walls of Yosemite Valley, and even past the Sierra foothills to the central valley. We sung our way back to camp, and that night enjoyed delicious burritos and a fun (and funny) game of "Animal Signs". Roar!
The third morning we packed up camp and started the seven mile hike down to Little Yosemite Valley campground. Along the way, we spent some relaxing time soaking our tired feet in an ice cold creek. Bryce even had the courage to get completely soaked! That night we participated in the Yosemite Facelift, a park-wide effort to clean up the trash left behind from the busy summer season. We collected seven and a half pounds of trash for the Facelift, and hiked it all out of the backcountry with us the next morning. The last morning we finished our expedition hiking down into Yosemite Valley via Nevada Falls and the John Muir trail. We were surprised and delighted to run into Ms. Bloom and Mr. Boggeri at the Vernal Falls bridge!
We did have one unfortunate thing happen on our expedition: the WildLink digital camera that records all the images of our expedition was accidentally lost on Thursday night at the Little Yosemite Valley campground. Although we did a thorough search and spoke with everyone staying at the campground, we were unable to find it. Therefore, many of the memories of our expedition remain only in the minds and hearts of the expedition members. The images from that camera are usually displayed on these expedition web pages. A huge thank you to Mr. Hollister for taking pictures of the group in Yosemite Valley prior to our expedition; our web pages would be noticeably bare without them! Also, I would like to thank all the students from this expedition for running a fundraiser back at their school in an effort to replace the WildLink camera.