Thursday, June 10, 2010


by AH

In 7th grade, 30 students went to Yosemite to crawl through pitch black caves, hike up huge mountains, sleep in the wilderness, and endure freezing cold rivers. We went on March 30th and arrived back April 3rd. We went with Ms. Martin, Mr. Finch, and Mr. W. Luckily, I was in Ms. Martin's group, because we had the best experience out of any of the groups.

We left at the crack of dawn on March 30th. To get to Yosemite, first there was a six-hour train ride, then a two-hour bus ride. I like trains because you can move around and they're not quite as restricted as buses. That train ride was, as I expected, a whole lot better than the bus ride. We played cards, had snacks, messed around, and were carefree. Once on the bus, we had to stay in our seats, we couldn't have food or drink, and it was hard to play games. It's quite obvious why someone would like a train more than a bus.

Once we got to Yosemite, we had our first taste of snow! We had a snowball fight in a secluded patch of fluffy, white snow that was perfect! After we all got soaking wet from the snow melting, we headed out to find our cabins. It took us a little while to do that because our leader, Ms. Martin, hadn't stayed in those cabins before, so we didn't know which way they were. I liked all the people in my cabin, and we didn't have any problems figuring out our sleeping arrangements.

The next few days were all a blur. I'm not sure if it was the first or second day that we made a bridge, but that was definitely memorable. Our National Parks leader thought it would be a good idea for our group to take a different route from the other groups on our hike, which would lead us across a river! The water was freezing cold, easily below 30 degrees, but because it was moving fast and it was shallow, it wouldn't freeze. We found a huge log and tried to use it to construct a bridge across the river. It took us all morning, and we finally decided that it would be easiest if a few of us just carried everyone else across. I was one of the three people who were big enough to do it. By the time I retreated to the banks of the river, my feet were blood red.

The next memorable thing was the Spider Caves. This was a pitch black cavern that isn't on any maps, and you'll only learn about it through this program. This was fun for me because I was at the front, right behind the “expert,” so I got to guide everyone behind me. The whole thing took our group of about 15 more than 40 minutes. This astonished me because the cave was only about 30 feet long. We made it through the caves and played games for the rest of the day, which was our last day.

The way home was almost as fun as the ride there except for one major difference. On the train, about an hour out of our stop, we hit someone! This stalled us for nearly three hours, and could have delayed the train all night. That day was my birthday, but it was turning out to be a good one, since, as I mentioned before, train rides can be pretty fun. We finally got back at around 12:40 A.M on April 4th. When my dad said happy birthday, I told him that my birthday was yesterday.

All in all, the trip was great. My friendships grew and I even made a few new ones. It was worth all the fundraisers we had to do and the extra work we got over spring break. The only part I regret is not being able to go to the rifle range the next day with the Sea Cadets, but that's a whole other story. Yosemite will always stay in my mind as a great experience from middle school.

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