- Expedition: May 4-7, 2007
- Generation Green of Reedley and Orange Cove HS
- Kings Canyon National Park
From May 4 through May 7, students from the Generation Green program joined Stephanie Strickland of Creative Outdoor Recreational EDventures and Savannah Boiano of the Sequoia Natural History Association in Kings Canyon National Park. The students were from Reedly and Orange Cove High Schools, and Huan and Tou of the National Forest Service joined us as chaperones.
May 4 was overcast and stormy. As we completed the logistics in the warmth of the Beetle Rock Education Center, rain and hail pounded the roof. We began to wonder what Mother Nature had in store for us. On May 5 we woke to dense fog and chilled air, but by the time we reached the trail head in Redwood Canyon, the fog had lifted and the sun began to peek through. We began our trek through the forest of rain-soaked giants and dogwoods on the cusp of blooming. It had turned into a beautiful day. We learned about the giant trees and the role of fire in the forest. We filtered our water from the swollen creeks and made our way toward camp.
The following day we hit the trail toward Big Springs. On the way we explored the sights and sounds of the forest. We spent time listening, and creating sound maps. We found a beautiful cascade and talked about water: the sources and destinations of the streams and creeks and how the forest use it. We also learned about the formation of the Sierra Nevada and the underground world of the parks. Knowing that it's the journey, not the destination, that makes a trip fulfilling, we were not disappointed to return to camp before reaching Big Springs.
We had a beautiful, sunny day for our hike back to the trailhead. We took this opportunity to walk alone in the forest. Again, this was one of the highlights of the trip, allowing each participant the chance to become a part of the nature that surrounds them. Many noted that, without the distractions of other people, they saw things they had not noticed before.
Thank you to Juana and Denny from Generation Green and the National Forest Service who helped organize this trip. A big thanks to Stephanie Strickland, Petit Pinson and Chris Piche of Creative Outdoor Recreational EDventures for their generous donation that enabled SNHA to open the Beetle Rock Education Center, without which we would have been learning to set up tents and pack our backpacks in the rain.