• Expedition: May 16-21, 2010
  • Venture Academy
  • Yosemite National Park

Day One: After what seemed like a never-ending night, it was finally the day to leave for our journey up to Little Yosemite Valley. You could feel the anxiousness building up in our group as we all put the final touches into packing our backpacks. One last breakfast in Curry Village filled our bellies with sausage, pancakes, and some delicious bacon. The we headed back to camp, threw on our backpacks and proceeded to meet our leaders who showed us the route we would be taking in order to get to our final destination. After orienting ourselves and selecting the best way to go, we were off. With packs on our backs we traveled into the wilderness. What started off as a gentle incline soon turned into a steep calf-burning, leg busting climb up and around Half Dome. The waterfalls were amazing and the sights seemed unreal. It felt good to be back in such a primitive and simple place, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We hiked about five miles until we reached camp. Over and through waterfalls we went. Tackling mountains and whatever was in our way. It was amazing to realize the capabilities of the human species and the desire of the whole group to press on was inspiring. ~Skylar Morelos

Day Two: Woke up in the morning, listening to all the sounds of nature, the rain hitting your tent, waterfalls; what an amazing wake up call. We all woke up ready to explore this land, this land that holds many secrets, and this scenery makes it unique. It is a call that you have to follow and explore because only the people who are out there can see all Earth’s wonders. After we work up and got ready, we got to eat breakfast. Today we ate apple cider and oatmeal; it was warm and it made us feel as if we were in heaven, warm and filled with happiness. After yesterday’s big hike we needed to stretch and help our muscles to loosen up. But we didn’t just stretch, we also had to face another challenge; a challenge that made us closer as a group. Just like a student in the quote book I got today said, “Capability becomes a state of mind, depending on how focused and committed one is. These are not challenges of me conquering the cliff, it’s trust conquering fear.” That is what we faced today. We had to trust not just our group, but also ourselves. That is hard, because we don’t know or don’t want to see what us humans can do. Our bodies and our mental strength is stronger than we can imagine. Our challenge was to cross the “river” (a line marked in the sand) without touching it and we had to grab our water bottle, with our teammates’ help. It was difficult; we needed to trust everyone to make it possible; but with hard work and trust we made it possible. We accomplished our goal and faced our fears. After we went to walk up the Merced River to the cascades; we went through snow and the guys started a battle. When we got to the top of the cascade we had a contest. We dipped our feet in the cold water. Some people were really good, others got cold really quickly. When we were out there we saw how great the cascade looked, felt, and it made us reflect. When were were going back, one of our members left the camera, but Cynthia went to get it. Then we got to eat some lentils; not everyone liked it, but we had to eat it all! Not the best, but I liked the lentils. Afterwards we went to the communal campfire to eat some s’mores. We met new people from all around the world. This place brings so many people in; the call of nature. ~Alejandra Cervantes

Day Three: Today we went on a hike to sub dome [below Half Dome]. I really talked to new people on the trail. We told each other things about ourselves and our families. As we were walking up there was more and more snow so the boys of course started playing. When we got to subdome we had a nice lunch and after there was a lot of snow so we had snow wars and tried to build a snow slide. ~Heather Herrera.

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