Vail Valley students write about the wilderness |

Vail Valley students write about the wilderness

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley students played in Grouse Lake during a recent SOS Outreach wilderness trip.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –Since it teamed with Meet the Wilderness, SOS Outreach has been taking Vail Valley kids into the backcountry on summer wilderness trips. Two of the student explorers wrote about their experiences for the Vail Daily:

Meet the Wilderness Trip

July 8-14, 2009

SOS has recently teamed up with Meet the Wilderness and together they have put together many fun summer outdoor activities. I have been very fortunate to be a part of this group.

This past week I went on a week-long backpacking, hiking, camping trip with Meet the Wilderness and the adventure will probably be one of the most memorable outings I will ever have in my life.

Ten kids, all of us about the same age, got to hike up Mt. of the Holy Cross. The journey uphill into the wilderness was very long and difficult (some of us were beginning to wonder if our camping spot near Grouse Lake even existed!), but in the end, it was all worth the effort.

Once we finally hit our camp, there was nothing like relaxing around the campfire, playing in Grouse Lake, taking beautiful nature hikes, learning how to cook in the wilderness, talking to trees, thinking it was hysterical when one morning we woke up and one of us woke up outside the tarp! There were so many daily adventures. We didn’t even complain when we were trying to keep warm when it was pouring rain!

This trip wasn’t just for any kid. This trip was for kids who could survive and endure an experience like this. All of us had a great time and we enjoyed getting to know each other. The 10 of us lucky kids that got to go on this trip were Hannah, Taylor, Laura, Heidi, Caleb, Erik, Corey, Patrick, Matt and me, Adrianna.

I’m sure none of us will forget this wonderful experience.

Meet the Wilderness Trip

The first day we did team-building exercises at the Minturn Middle School, so we could all get to know each other. We had a campfire and talked over how the day went and camped overnight at the school.

Next morning, we got driven to the trailhead after we had equally distributed the food and group gear for the trip. Then we hiked up to camp 1, which was a really steep climb – we really needed an elevator to get up the hill and had to take a load of breaks. We camped for 2 nights at Grouse Lake, with a day to enjoy that area, and campfire games at night. We swam in Grouse Lake and had contests to see who was brave enough to go the furthest in. We also messed around in the boulder field.

Day 4 we hiked to the base of Grouse Peak and left our packs there to climb to the top. We ate lunch on the summit and then had to climb down in haste as we saw a lightning storm heading our way. We hiked past camp 2 by mistake, and then spent time looking for it in a lost kind of way. It started to rain, so we put up the tarps while we figured what to do, and made out way back to camp 2 and set up our gear.

Next day we built teepees and hung out together. We all exchanged a lot of jokes and riddles.

The last day we hiked down back to Minturn Middle School and sorted out the gear while we waited for our parents to pick us up.

The other kids were great – some of the others knew each other and I was the only kid from Summit, but everyone got on well together and we had a blast.

The part I liked best was the day we spent at Grouse Lake – I wish that day had lasted forever. The least favorite part was the hard hike up to the lake on the second day – it was so long we began to doubt that the lake really existed!

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