• Expedition: Jun 23-28, 2013
  • The kNOw Youth Media
  • Sequoia National Park: Emerald Lake

Students from The kNOw Youth Media Project in Fresno came to Sequoia National Park for a six-day adventure. After two days of "car camping" and getting to know the park with the help of NatureBridge educators and the Education Director for the Sequoia Natural History Association, Savannah, they then braved the wicked mosquitoes and difficult climb to arrive at Emerald Lake, where they base camped for three nights. Though there were only four students due to some last-minute drop-outs, the group showed its maturity by being able to eloquently discuss a range of subjects, both serious and hilarious.

Probably below 40 degrees

Today marked the second day of The kNOw’s awesome WildLink trip. Due to some people not being able to attend it, we were left with only four members of the kNOw: Pheng, Ashley, Antonio, and me, Jewel, along with our leader Marci. Our group was small, but don’t underestimate the amount of fun we have; laughter was a huge part of our newbish adventure. On the first day, our group was introduced to our wilderness tour guides: Katie, Laura (or Lornor) and Andy. Over these two days I found them to be super awesome. They were not only fun and helping, but relating. Our guides also are doing considerably well with the cooking, and I’m sure the whole crew enjoyed every moment of it. The first night of camping was a big uncomfortable, but I was able to get enough sleep somehow. One of my tent members, Ashley, could not get much sleep and she told me the next day that I snored “lightly.” I was a tiny bit embarrassed, but I was able to accept and laugh it off. The other kNOw members, Pheng and Antonio, shared a tent. It was interesting to see that the two became pretty good friends from just acquaintances. On the second day, we were super busy with learning how to pack and what to bring. The process wasn’t as tedious as described, but I felt that I needed many things and adjustments. We also went to visit General Sherman, the oldest Sequoia tree to have lived. Savannah was our guide, and I find her to be a moral and observant person. She connected nature to our lives, which motivated me a lot. Going back to camp made me feel very tired; two of the other members also felt a desperate need to lie down and nap, but that didn’t even fit into our schedules! Our group had to pack, deciding on who would take what for the “big hike.” We finally ended the day with a campfire, GRANITE, and some heated bananas drizzled with melted chocolate. I feel that the “big hike” will be pushing my limit, but I’m still curious to see what will be at the end of all this crazy adventure.

Group General Sherman

Hanging out with the world's biggest single organism: the General Sherman tree!

Sunny, breezy, perfect
5.1 + 1.1 = 6.2 miles
Yoga, geo. talk
Purple Passion story
Hike is horrible, destination BEAUTIFUL!!!

Was it the sun that lit upon us like eternal flames,
Or was it the mountains that sheltered us as if we were their own,
That made me feel so…
Was it those silent moments that one voice turned into many; the birds singing their lively melodies. Or was it sitting on that rock, listening to the world, mosquitoes buzzing, birds chirping, and rivers and streams, as they flow, crashing from one rock to another.
Was it the view, a view of no other that led me to feeling this way?
Enough about the wilderness itself, what other components make me feel the way they do?
Could it have been my group of this expedition?
Was it the laughter, smiles, and pain that we all shared?
That just may be it.
Yoga sessions with Marci,
Remarks from Ashley that made me crack up,
Arguing with Antonio to get him to talk,
or always being reminded by Jewel that she’s there when you need her.

These peers of mine made my experience what it is. And of course without the leading, friendliness, and knowledge of Lornor and Andy (Michael) – we wouldn’t be where we are now; Pear Lake. Today is our fourth day together, Katie, love her, left yesterday morning. Katie, we miss you out here and wish that you could’ve suffered that 5.1 mile hike out here to Emerald Lake with us. I am now sitting on the opposite side of Pear Lake by a big single White Bark Pine; from the others. I am sitting on a flat rock looking at the ripples of the water that is brushing against my foot. I’m so blessed, so calm. This experience, for sure, is one I’m not going to forget. The breeze feels perfect, but the mosquitos are annoying. I am currently wearing a green mosquito net on, just relaxing. Today is a good day. WildLink Love. – Pheng

Group Campsite

Home, sweet home for three nights.

Date: 6/27/13
Mileage: 3.2 miles
Weather: Windy, about 70 degrees

Well, it seems as though it is the last day of our adventure and we begin our journey home tomorrow early morning. This week went by a little easier and funner than I expected. The trip here was exhausting due to the uphill terrain and what felt like two tons of weight on our backs but other than that, it was amazing and educational. Our daily routines were well put together and not very time consuming because it was only seven of us. I think the mosquitos could all go to hell but…that’s a conversation for another day. I don’t even know where to begin on how much knowledge I gained on this trip. There was so much to see here and so much to experience that I feel and know for a fact that this wasn’t all I could’ve learned. I think out of it all thought I learned that, the Wilderness is a precious treasure of this planet and it is very independent yet we people sometimes steal from it or neglect it. I have learned the golden rule of nature and wildlife, “Treat nature how YOU would want to be treated.” The wilderness we have here in America is scarce and we must do all in our power to preserve it. Sometimes during our hikes I’d often question if I were dreaming or living in reality because the sights were so beautiful. I remember getting to the peak of “The Watchtower” and seeing the highest peaks of the granite molded mountains. The things I have witnessed and seen here in the Sierra Nevada are too amazing to explain, and for that I have to thank my instructors: Katie, Andy, and Laura. They have taught me the true values of the outdoors and what it means to conserve, preserve, and reserve. Thank you, NatureBridge, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in this lesson-full and remarkable trip! – Antonio

Group Circle Sequoia

People: Sequoias as Ants: People.

Group Lunch

Lunch on the trail.

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