We went to Yosemite on Monday, May 13 thru Thursday, May 17. There were three fourth grade classes from Mission Avenue Open Elementary school and I believe around 74 students. Pedar and I were hiking parents and were thrilled to be on the trip.

We stayed in Housekeeping Camp. Pedar stayed with Erik and two other students and another Dad. I stayed in another tent with two Mom’s. The first day we arrived, we unpacked and headed out for our first hike with our Nature Bridge leaders.

I had twelve students in my group, Jacob, my fantastic hiking parent/partner, and Amanda, our incredible leader.

My favorite part of the trip was climbing the Mist Trail. We climbed it on a very cold and rainy day. Several of our kids didn’t think they were going to make it, but they did. I may have had to wrap my arm around the waist of a few students and push, but we made it to the top! When we hiked back down, and the kids realized they hiked close to ten miles in the freezing rain, they were so proud of themselves. They learned that believing that you can do it, can take you EVERYWHERE you want to go!

Wednesday night our camp was hit by an incredible storm. It took out our camp kitchen and several cabins were flooded. We woke up to chaos. A lot of parents left. Pedar and I were hiking parents so we were committed to our group. We went on one last hike, made lunch and then headed home. We were snowed on during the drive back. Although I was sad to lose a day of Yosemite, I was grateful to be dry and warm.

Pedar and I recently received thank you letters from all the kids in our hiking groups. It was such an honor to support and cheer them on. This trip forced a lot of kids out of their comfort zones. They had to eat strange foods, hike long distances and crawl through caves. They got wet and cold and didn’t have any screen time. It was so awesome!

Before this trip, I hadn’t been back to Yosemite in 17 years. I will not make that mistake again. I absolutely love it.


Erik loved Yosemite too. He received the Heart of Yosemite award. He cannot wait to go back.