- Expedition: May 20-25, 2007
- Venture Academy - Richard Iglehart Memorial Expedition
- Yosemite National Park: Snow Creek to North Dome to Yosemite Falls
Nine students and two adults from Delta VISTA Academy joined us for the second Richard Iglehart Memorial Expedition in the beautiful high country of Yosemite. With gloriously comfortable weather (not too cold, not too hot), we traversed forests, meadows, creeks, and two mountain tops!
WildLink would like to thank the Richard Iglehart Wilderness Foundation for their generous support for making this expedition possible. It is the third of four Richard Iglehart memorial expeditions slated for this year.
The first day our hike began after a snack, a lesson on how to be comfortable with a backpack, and a Route and Description (RAD) plan. Leaders Ariel and Patrick determined the hiking versus break time, and the group chose to hike the first 1.5 miles with only one rest break. Patrick kept asking if anyone was tired, but no, we kept walking. The number of creek crossings was not equal to the ones on the map, so we "found" ourselves on the map after 1.5 miles and then continued to be "found" for the rest of the day. The dumping lesson was a hit, based on the amount of giggles it received and the tent construction lesson also went well. Camp looked GREAT! Shelby and Anthony cooked a mean batch of macaroni and cheese and we played a fun game before having smores for dessert. Goodnight!
Day two, Anthony and Shelby started the day with the RAD plan, which included a hike up to North Dome before breaking camp and moving on. The peak ascent included awesome views to sketch during a solo sit with writing about the meaning of wilderness. We also had a dance party on top and boogied to the beat of the mountains. Breaking down camp took a little longer than expected, but it was our first time. The hike to Yosemite Creek also felt longer than expected. The view overlooking Yosemite Falls seemed to perk everyone up, though. Burrito dinner was a hit and we all went to bed after clean-up.
On the third day, the bear scat was the talk of the morning. Our overnight bear visitor had knocked over our bear cans in the early morning and left us a great big "present" in our dining room. We climbed Eagle Peak with Jessica and Demetric as our leaders. Shelby said it was the best view she had ever seen. We sang songs on the mountain top and scurried back to camp for solo time, dinner, and a closing ceremony. During solo time, students reflected on what they had learned, what they liked, what they were challenged by and what they appreciated as a result of the expedition experience. These were written in the format of a thank you letter to the Richard Iglehart and Lisa Patton scholarships. In the sharing circle, grateful tears where shed and the evening's tone was set with an openness of heart. After dinner we sang songs and more songs and then sang them over again. The group loved to sing together! We had an appreciation circle and the appreciations flew across the circle for two hours. It was a beautiful closing to an impactful experience.
On our final morning, we booked it down the Yosemite Falls trail on a hot, hot day, dreaming of food and showers. Everyone was grateful for the experience and eager to get home too.