It’s been a while…and a busy past few weeks! I’ve managed to squeeze in quite a few activities since I last posted (a multi-pitch rock climbing trip, Trek 2, a lot of homework/papers/projects, and a trip down to main campus for Thanksgiving).
I’m back now from Thanksgiving break and things are beginning to wind down up here at High Sierra. We only have nine days left in the mountains, and they’re going fast.
Allow me to update you on some recent occurrences.
Three weeks ago we loaded up our packs with sleeping bags, rain jackets, fleece layers, headlamps, and the rest of the gear, threw on our hiking boots, and loaded up the vans for a 4-day trip to Yosemite Valley for our second Trek.
Just like the first Trek, we split up into our teams of about 10-12 people and drove up in separate vans. Now, from here, I’m not allowed to give away a lot of secret details from the trip for those of you who might be considering High Sierra, but I can tell you that we hiked all over Yosemite Valley, saw three waterfalls, a couple of bears, and saw the valley floor from a number of different vantage points. The pictures I post should help explain a little more, but I can’t ruin the surprise for those who might be coming to High Sierra ;-)
It’s tough for me to decide which Trek I enjoyed more, since both were such remarkable experiences, but second Trek was definitely a time where we were able to grow and deepen our relationships with the people on our teams. After almost two weeks together in the wilderness, you get to know each other pretty well.
In other news, I recently finished my final project for my camping class, which was a blast to complete. The project entailed designing an all-encompassing plan for a 4+ day backpacking trip. I decided to plan my trip for Glacier National Park in Northern Montana. I’ve never been there before, but I’ve seen pictures and heard stories of the beautiful, glacier-carved mountains that fill the landscape of the “backbone of the continent”. My trip came out to be seven days and 55-miles – a slightly ambitious project. The project required us to plan every square inch of the trip and is now sitting in a folder completed waiting for me to go do it!
The last nine days here are going to be hectic, but the faculty, staff, and RA’s are working hard to make sure we have plenty of breaks and fun distractions to keep us motivated. Art journals, final papers, and tests are filling up our days, but it’s been so great to watch our collective attitude towards these assignments change from duty to privilege over the course of the semester. My final papers have now become a great learning experience where I get to sit down in a quiet room and actively reflect on what I’ve learned this semester. The fear of writing a fifteen-page philosophy paper has subsided to joy and I’m actually excited to write it! Now I just need to get started…
I’ll be checking back in later this week or early next week with some more final words on my High Sierra experience. But for now…it’s time to write those papers.
Good luck to all of you with your finals as you approach them and remember to think of them as another learning opportunity – they become much less daunting that way!