- Expedition: Apr 6-11, 2008
- Generation Green, Central CA Consortium
- Yosemite Merced Grove to Foresta
Spring has arrived in Yosemite and to celebrate, five students from Orange Cove High School joined WildLink for our fifth expedition of the year.
Our group was also joined by Juana Rosas, Rural Coordinator for the Central California Consortium, and WildLink's very own Community Coordinator, David Kuhn. Along with Instructors Cynthia and Ned, our small, "sensitive" expedition group had a great time together connecting to Yosemite's wilderness and the wilderness within.
Our adventure began along the historic Old Coulterville Road. Led by Angel and Diego, we descended into the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias, where we played in the snow and felt the majesty of these spectacular trees. We got pretty wet from all the snow fun, but luckily had a warm woodstove to dry us as we enjoyed a spirited game of cards. That night we slept under the giants in the old Merced Grove ranger cabin, a rare and special place that few have experienced!
We started the next morning with an in-depth topographical map lesson and after figuring out that we had six miles to go that day, we quickly headed out to find our trail through the snow. David and Francisco did a fantastic job of leading us as we completed two creek crossings, some challenging route finding, and continued along the Old Coulterville Road into the Stanislaus National Forest. As we traversed along the ridges we got spectacular views of the mountains surrounding the Merced River Canyon. A maze of old roads finally got us to Buena Vista ridge, a breathtaking view of Yosemite Valley from a distance. That night, tired from the day's accomplishment, we set up our first backcountry camp at Little Nellie Falls. We enjoyed the evening in the wilderness, taking time for some solo reflection and finding out that Ned was "made of dirt". After a yummy burrito dinner and some conversation and "life questions" by the campfire, we all fell asleep to the sound of the water falling over the granite slabs.
Our last full day of hiking started with a sunny, uphill spirit walk with inspiring quotes and more canyon views. Reaching the old pioneer outpost of Foresta, we spent a relaxing afternoon eating lunch at Big Meadow and trying our best to beat Victor and Dave at Cube-but the reigning champs never failed! We made our way from the historic Meyers Ranch to some impressive Ahwaneechee pounding holes and then to the site of the old Foresta campground. That afternoon we had a great discussion about Wilderness protection and how to take those ideals back to our home communities. That night we laughed and laughed as we tried our hand (well, our faces) at the hilarious rubber band game. Juana was the master, despite some serious determination from others! We ended the evening around the campfire, eating smores and sharing from our journals. That last night in the wilderness we all slept out under the stars.