In the summer of 2006, the troop decided to take on a huge challenge… to go to Yosemite! The mechanics behind the trip and all the various side adventures are worth a post in themselves (and you can look over hundreds of photos we took by visiting this page), but I’m going to limit this “yarn” to just be a reprint of what my son, Matt, wrote about the trip.
As webmaster, I asked everyone that went on the trip to provide me with a couple paragraphs about their experience. I was overjoyed when Matt went above and beyond. He commented later that once he started writing about it, he couldn’t stop. His original post, and the posts from the other people, can be found with this link, but I’ve brought in the full text of his note below. Matt was 17 when he went on this trip.
OK here we go… the Yosemite trip was just pure bliss!! Every part of the Yosemite Trip was filled with adventure, fun, and many memories that I hope will last with me for a very long time. However when I talk about my trip to Yosemite, I tend to bounce around from one cool topic to another, which makes my story very incoherent! So, instead of me trying to restrain myself from blabbering about one thing and then another, and in the process leaving the reader very confused, I have decided to list the top 3 things that I want to talk about the most! By doing this, I am hoping that you will not be as lost about what I am saying. So here we go, we will start where most list do, at #1!
1. The Beauty of it all
I am sure that you are already aware that Yosemite is very big, awesome, spectacular, colorful, and many other adjectives. But no matter how many photos you see or how many stories you hear, you will never fully understand how awe-inspiring Yosemite truly is.
A few years prior to this trip, I went up to Niagara Falls. I remember having expectations about just how cool the Niagara Falls was going to be, based on the photos and stories I heard about it… However, when I saw Niagara Falls I was surprisingly disappointed to see that it did not live up to my expectations. But this did not happen with Yosemite… Even after reading many pamphlets and seeing many photos of Yosemite, I was in a continuous state of appreciation and wonder throughout my whole stay in Yosemite. I loved every thing in Yosemite and I was never let down…
2. Everything was bigger
It is very true! Big trees. Big waterfall. Big valley. Big rocks. Big pine cones. Everything was just bigger! Whenever I try to explain this to people, they think I am making up how big these things truly are. I don’t blame them considering how I must sound… But the pine cones were the most unbelievable! First off, they were cartoon-ishly big… It took me awhile to get used to how silly their size was… However, what I couldn’t get used to was when I would be hiking along for a couple hours straight with a 30 pounds on my back and then I would suddenly encounter a grassy knoll covered with hundreds of these mutant pine cones!! It was unbelievable! I had to actually step over these things like I would with wet stones in a river. I knew that if I stepped on one of these monsters it would slip from underneath my feet and I would fall to the ground (which happens to be covered with these things)! Oh and to top it all off, these things had thorns on them! I kid you not! They had these little gnarly spikes on the edges of them… So of course being bored and being guys, we decided that throwing these things at each other would be fun… We soon found out that it was not fun at all, but we still continued to throw them at each other… *sigh* … Ah yes, then of course these things were actually illegal to smuggle out of the Yosemite National Park!!! … Like I said, those little pine cone-things kept on amazing me.
As with most Boy Scout trips, food was extremely important. I noticed that food was a main theme throughout the trip. I will show you what I mean…
The night prior to our flight to Yosemite, we decided to hike down to Walgreens at midnight and buy some healthy snacks (ice cream and energy drinks). Then in the morning at the airport we all decided split and quickly hunt down some food. Brian and I decided we wanted some healthy food… so we chose Burger King as our food supplier. I do not remember what Brian got, but I remember ordering 5 double cheeseburgers. Sadly they only had 4 left, but the lady gave me some complimentary free fries, so yay for me…
Now, I was actually pleasantly surprised at the base camp to see that they gave us moderate sized portions of tasty food. Although this was the case, we still ate semi-quickly in order to get seconds, but overall food shortage was not a problem… Up to this point in the trip we were actually in paradise with food when compared with other camp outs we normally have, but this paradise did not last forever.
The status of our food changed dramatically when we went on our 30-mile hike. It was like going from a buffet to war rations. All of the food that we could eat on our trek was put into this dinky black plastic container. Now, I think I would have been fine with the amount of food there was in this container if I was some sort of lethargic sloth… But I was a 17 year old with a 30-pound backpack hiking all day! The food portions were simply not large enough!
Oh, now don’t get me wrong, as far as freeze dried food goes, it was actually very delicious. But you know that there is not enough food when you start licking out the package that it came in after eating your dinner!!
Now along with the freeze-dried food packages we had for our meals, we also had some nutritious snack bars, candy, flavor packets for the water, and cheese and crackers (which turned out to be sooo delicious *yum*). Now, since the actual meals were not big enough portions, I couldn’t help myself from practically eating all my food in the first two days… This was a major problem for me… However my daddy was nice enough to spare me some of his food. (Oh on the a side note for those who did not know, there were these energy bars that were called Tiger’s Milk that were very delicious on the trek. Anyways, my father got me two cartons (60) of these things for Christmas! I have had many flash backs of Yosemite while eating these things… I love them… Anyways, back to Yosemite)… OK, so after my crisis with food and two more days hiking, we drove back to “civilization”. I put the word civilization in quotation marks because the town that we went back to had a population …
And then it abruptly ends, but you get the idea. 🙂