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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Yosemite excursion engenders environmental appreciation

Adventure P.E. patrons fastened helmets and mounted bikes to prepare for the 8-mile pathway encircling the Yosemite Valley, Oct. 17. As the students meandered around the path, they peered through the dense forests, hoping to glimpse deer-or as it turned out, forest fires and a wild buck-during the excursion.

After the success of the last year’s jaunt, Scott Callisch organized a return trip as the second adventure of the 2008-09 year. He led a group of students to experience Yosemite National Park from a two-wheel perspective.

“Adventure P.E. exposes students to activities they wouldn’t get to do normally and they get a challenge,” Callisch said. “They’re like mini vacations in the middle of the boring week.”

Participants arrived around 10 a.m. after the two-hour drive from school and rented bikes for the track. The trail offered a tour of the wildlife and environment of Yosemite, complete with deer and multicolored trees as autumn suffuses the national park.

“I really liked the bike ride because I got to see Yosemite,” senior Mary Sargent said. “It’s a beautiful place at all times of the year and it was even more spectacular now. It makes you realize how much you love the world.”

The bike path maintained a steady elevation for most of its span, with few hills to sap the adventurers’ energy. Despite the lack of uphill intensity, the excursion satisfied Adventure P.E.’s objective to provide a unique physical challenge.

“The path was mostly smooth or downhill, but there were some hills that were really hard to pedal up,” sophomore Alex Barisic said. “I got tired really fast on the steep inclines, but it wasn’t as physically challenging as I thought it would be.”

Although the anticipated deer sightings met with disappointment, an unexpected creature elicited panic from junior Ellie Park, whose reaction prompted a collision along the path.

“A little squirrel came up and ran in front of Ellie, who was a few feet in front of me,” Barisic said. “She saw it and freaked out, which freaked me out, so I tried to avoid it and crashed into her. I think if we would have kept our cool and been more careful we wouldn’t have crashed into each other.”

Another obstacle took the form of a collapsed tree resting on a rock. When senior Andrew Bos suspended himself from the tip of the tree protruding from the rock, the tree shifted and Bos plunged to the forest bed.

“It just snapped,” Bos said. “The tree tipped and touched the ground, but it didn’t hit me; I just got a few scratches. So I got up, dusted myself off and said to myself, ‘I’ve been through worse.'”

The excursion also included a firsthand experience with a forest fire along the drive to Yosemite. Although the park rangers and firefighters controlled and monitored the blaze, the close-up spectacle awed the group.

“I’ve never seen a forest fire that close before,” Bos said. “There were a lot of trees in flames. The flames weren’t huge but it was expansive.”

Following the bike path, the group stopped for lunch at a shopping center before beginning the return trip.

Because they enjoyed the Yosemite adventure, Bos, Sargent, Trevor Bodi and Ani Paparigian, all seniors, formed a “pact” to attend every Adventure P.E. excursion together.

“We all enjoyed going on Adventure P.E. this time so we decided to try to go to every adventure,” Bos said. “We formed a pact to help each other out if money or something else is a problem.”

For more information on Adventure P.E., visit the Sept. 24 article, Surf trip launches Adventure P.E., the Sept. 30 column, Surfing: A worthwhile school substitute or e-mail Scott Callisch.

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