Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lifetime Memories of Yosemite National Park

As I anticipate what National Park I get sent to this summer, I continue to reminisce the time I spent last summer in Yosemite National Park (especially the time I spent with the wilderness restoration crew in the backcountry).
ProRanger with Wilderness Restoration crew
ProRanger being taught how to use a compass and map by crew member.
The first time I worked with the wilderness restoration crew, we camped for two nights at Illilouette Creek. It is 4 miles (6.5 km) round trip with an elevation of 7,220 feet at the trailhead. I learnt a whole lot with them: the laws, the etiquettes (LNT: Leave No Trace), the cultural history of Yosemite’s backcountry and how to navigate in the wilderness.
ProRanger and crew cleaning up illegal fire pit (less than 100 ft away from water) 
I learnt how to travel light and how to repackage food to minimize waste. I had to carry my food in a bear canister and did not have to carry so much food because we were a slightly large camping group and therefore we had joint dinners. The first night, we had burritos and the second night we had pizza rolls. That was really cool because first of all, that was my first time trying both meals and secondly, I was making lifetime memories in the wilderness.

I learnt how to preserve history by only examining and not removing cultural or historic structures and artifacts like rocks, obsidians, plants, and other natural objects that were found.
ProRanger and crew scouting for cultural artifacts
Archeologist observing bedrock
ProRanger observing grinding stone
Finally I learnt how to dispose waste properly. I had to pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter; both those I brought in and those I did not. I learnt how to dispose my solid waste by digging six inches deep catholes at least 100 feet away from water, campsite, and trails and then covering and disguising those catholes when finished with pine needles and native materials.

Campsite at Illilouette creek
ProRanger and crew members connecting with the wilderness
Yosemite was very warm and welcoming to me and I wish whoever is going to spend their summer at Yosemite this year the best of times; it is a magnificent place to be.

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