Last week Dragonfly students embarked on spring break trips to the Redwoods, Oregon Coast, and Yosemite National Park. During these trips, the students experienced new and exciting ways to safely engage in spring break, and they returned refreshed and ready to continue with their school year.
The Redwoods Trip
For spring break this past week, a group of Dragonfly students traveled to the Redwoods in northern California for a few days of sightseeing, exploring nature and even whitewater rafting. The trip began with a drive south to Crescent City, CA where we camped among the giant redwoods in Jedediah Smith State Park. The next day, despite the cold and rain, students enjoyed visiting the Northcoast Mammal Rescue Center where they got to see rescued and recovering sea lions and seals and learn about the different marine mammals that the center cares for. This was followed by a visit to a nearby Ocean World Aquarium where students learned more about local marine life, got to pet starfish, sea anemones, sharks and sting rays, and watched a seal and seal lion performance. After a quick stop at the local laundromat to dry out a few sleeping bags, it was back to camp for another night in the rain and even some hail! Despite the poor weather conditions, however, the students remained resilient and in good spirits.
Day three dawned with some nicer weather in which the group packed up camp and drove south towards Eureka, stopping along the way to explore more of the Redwoods with a Trees of Mystery gondola ride through the forest. The students were amazed at the size and age of the giant redwood trees. From Eureka, the group headed inland on a windy mountain road that followed the Trinity River through the Trinity Alps mountain range and set up camp in Big Bar, CA.
The last full day of the trip was spent with the organization Redwoods and Rivers who planned a fun-filled day for the group of team building activities and rafting. During the morning, the students were challenged to work together on various activities on their low ropes course, and then in the afternoon, those students who wanted to went white water rafting on the Trinity River. The water was cold but the wet suits and excitement kept everyone warm enough to enjoy riding the rapids. Some students even commented that they wished they could have rafted for longer! The last night was spent playing laser tag and enjoying the warmer weather and absence of rain before driving back to Klamath Falls the next day to begin getting ready for spring term.
Yosemite National Park Trip
On March 20th, 2016, we left Klamath Falls for Yosemite National Park. For most of us, this was our first time in Yosemite, which some of us had waited our entire lifetime to experience. We arrived late that night at our campsite in the Sierra National Forest. It was cloudy and we didn’t have much light, but managed to make dinner and set up our tents. Our trip leaders Joe and Elliott informed us that the weather would affect our plans for each day.
We had two days in the park. They told us that one of our days was going to be a more laid-back day, while the other would have more hiking. When we woke up the next morning, we decided to play it safe and make the first day the more relaxed day since it was very cloudy and wet. As we drove to the park, the rain started coming down. As planned, on our more relaxed day we went to Tunnel View first to see the entire valley.
During the drive up to Tunnel View, we couldn’t see out the window because of the heavy cloud cover. When we got to the actual viewpoint, the clouds parted just a little bit and we could see most of Yosemite Valley. In my opinion, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. There were a ton of people there despite the rain, so I suggested that we go up a nearby trail to enjoy the view in peace. We hiked up for about 1.3 miles. We then went to a few museums and finished the day by drying off at the lodge where we had dinner.
The next day was going to be our hike day no matter what. However, it turned into more of an adventure day, which meant if we saw something we got out of the car and climbed it. In my opinion it was awesome. We got to see half dome up close and went to tunnel view again. This time, the weather was clear and we took amazing pictures. We also got to check out the old town of Wawona. In order to shorten our drive back, we left Yosemite that next morning as planned. The drive was more scenic this time as it was a beautiful day. Before going back to Klamath, we spent the night at beautiful Lake Shasta. We had a closing ceremony and an American stir-fry. Yosemite is definitely the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to, and I can’t wait to go back.
Oregon Coast Trip
Last Sunday, nine intrepid students and two staff loaded up the trusty green van, “Greenie,” and headed west for the southern Oregon coast. After an afternoon hike through Stout Grove near Crescent City along the way, we set up camp at the aptly named Humbug Mountain State Park, where we experienced a lot of rain, strong winds, and even hail, which made our first two nights of the trip particularly challenging.
Despite the wet weather, students demonstrated resiliency and snagged every bit of sunshine possible to explore the beautiful and rocky coastline, with stops at Harris Beach State Park, Face Rock, Cape Blanco, the Coquille Lighthouse, and Devil’s Kitchen, among others. We also visited the dinosaurs at Prehistoric Gardens, explored some local shops in old town Bandon and ate fresh fish and chips at the Bandon Fish Market.
The trip ended on a high note, with better weather and a day-long fishing trip out of Charleston. Students kept an eye out for whales while catching rockfish and ling cod. In the evening, we made a campfire, and several students cooked their catch over the fire. While most of us were happy to return to our dry, warm beds, many students expressed enjoying themselves despite the weather, and several articulated surprising themselves with their own resiliency and increased gratitude for simple things–like shelter.
10/29 Family Workshop (virtual)
11/11 Parent Cohort Virtual