- Expedition: May 24-28, 2007
- Harbor City Boys and Girls Club
- Sequoia National Park
On May 24 Stephanie Strickland of Creative Outdoor Recreational EDventures and Lizzy Bauer of the Sequoia Natural History Association were joined by students and chaperones from the Boys and Girls Club of Harbor City, Los Angeles. We met at the Beetle Rock Education Center in Sequoia National Park, where we learned to set up tents, pack our backpacks and Leave No Trace. It was a beautiful afternoon, and the wildlife was out in abundance. We were lucky enough to see blue belly lizards, numerous birds, and a mother black bear and her two cubs.
We spent our first night in the Lodgepole campground (6,700 feet above sea level) and woke early to hit the trail to Twin Lakes. It was a warm, sunny day. We worked hard to make it up the first half mile of trail, but knew this was going to be that hardest up hill of the day. After that initial ascent, be wound our way through forests, across streams (where we gladly cooled ourselves and filled our water bottles), and along meadows for 4.2 miles, gradually climbing to 8,645 feet above sea level at Cahoon Gap. From there it was an easy .6 mile down hill to Clover Creek and our camp for the night.
Many of us were challenged by the hike and the 1,945 feet of elevation gain over Cahoon gap. A combination of asthma and altitude illness made it important the we return to Lodgepole campground, where we spent the remainder of our trip. From there we were able to enjoy all the wonders of the front country of Sequoia National park. Lizzy led us up the trail toward Tokopah Falls, and we had the opportunity to sit, listen, and “become” and element of the forest.
The new shuttle bus system was running, so on the 27th we left the vans at the camp ground. We visited the Giant Forest museum and Circle Meadow, where we talked about fire ecology, the history of park management, and Giant Sequoias. We climbed the approximately 400 steps to the top of Moro Rock, where we discussed geology and air quality. We also enjoyed the view of the Great Western Divide and took lots of pictures. The heat of the day wore us out, so returned to camp for an early dinner and fun around the campfire.
Because of the long drive back to Los Angeles, we woke early on the last day, packed up our bags, and headed back to the Beetle Rock Education Center. We de-issued gear, shared our thoughts about the journey, and headed home.
Sequoia-Kings Canyon WildLink, Creative Outdoor Recreational EDventures, the Sequoia Natural History Association and all of the students involved in the Sequoia WildLink program this spring would like to thank the following companies:
- Leki, USA for their generous donation of trekking poles that helped make the hiking easier.
- Gregory Pack for their donation of backpacks. Everyone had a pack that fit properly!
- Kiva Designs for the ponchos and the convertible day pack. We were able to carry lunches, journals, and water filters with out our big packs, and had the peace of mind of knowing we had rain protection if we needed it.
- Light My Fire for the sporks. They made cooking easy and eating fun.