• Expedition: Oct 14-19, 2012
  • Boys and Girls Club of Merced County
  • Stanislaus National Forest: Emigrant Wilderness: Leopold Lake and Granite Lake

Six students from Golden Valley High School in Merced and LeGrand High School in LeGrand came together for a six-day exploration of the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest. They showed great curiosity and passion for the outdoors, and flourished with outdoor skills, including fire-building, off-trail navigation, and "Leave No Trace" stewardship.

Group with Evan and Sign

Entering the Emigrant Wilderness for the first time with U.S. Forest Service Ranger Evan

Fire Pits with Evan

Learning about "Leave No Trace" ethics by dismantling illegal campfire rings with Ranger Evan

Date: 10/16/12
Weather: Sunny warm day with some cool breeze
Mileage: 6.2 miles

Quote of the day:

"To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out to another is to risk involvement. To express feelings is to risk exposing your true self. To place ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss. To love is to risk being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave. They have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is free."

Activity of the Day

Today we woke up and had breakfast. We left Crabtree Campgrounds to start our four day backpacking expedition. The hike was pretty smooth, nothing too dramatic or intense. We stoipped to have lunch and for lunch we had salami with cheese and tortilla. It was good, haha. Well, anyways, today wasn't such a long day to talk about. We finished the hike and found a campsite. Everything is set up already and dinner is being prepared. We are having some type of pasta and that is all for today. I still don't know what we are doing after dinner, so yeah.

Group Hiking On Trail

Hiking with packs on for the first time

Major Discovery of the Day

We are all fast workers as a team.

Animals Seen or Heard


Short Poem of the Day

Mother nature, Father earth both making our lives worth living. Sometimes we don't understand them. Sometimes we don't appreciate them but they are always there...
Supportive and compassionate.
Mother gifted us with a beautiful forest to explore and take care of it.
Father gives us life and air to breate. Without them who knows where we'll be. It be good to see a change for each and every day, but its up to us, if we want to go...
or stay.

Group Nap Time

Resting after hiking with packs for the first time

Question of the Day

If you were a type of food, what would you be and why?

  • Alexis: apple because they're juicy and shiny
  • Elias: pomegranate because of everything inside it
  • Andrew: (Indian peas) spinach with peas because it's so strong and healthy
  • Nolberto: chicken because it's so tender and soft. LOL
  • Lou: lasagna because it makes people happy inside and has many cool features when you take a bite
  • Laura: quinoa because it's healthy and plain
  • John: alphabet soup because you're going to be close enough to see what I'm saying
  • Lam: pho because it's warming and always eaten together with friends and family
  • Joanna: Chinese food because it's delicious

Date: October 17, 2012
Weather: Warm, slight breeze, clear skies
Mileage: 5.2 miles
Activities: Hike to Toejam Lake, hike off-trail to Leopold Lake


Today we hiked to Toejam Lake and ate lunch. The view was gorgeous and so peaceful. After lunch we had an hour of free time and journaling about what wilderness means. To me, wilderness means calm, untamed, natural beauty. When we got to Leopold Lake everybody went down to the lake and just enjoyed the view. Some went in to the lake while other sat on the side and talked about their lives. When it was time for dinner everybody gathered. After dinner we had a GRANITE meeting that everybody was involved in. We all look at constellations and just enjoyed each others' company. At the end of the night everyone had become a family.

Group Yoga

A little morning yoga

Quote of the day

"We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."

Meaning to me: We need to have belief that we can accomplish things and trust ourselves to trust others. We need to have faith in ourself and others to overcome difficult obstacles.

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.