By Gelmy Ruiz
After a windy night, the fellows led by Karlson went on a hike up John Muir Trail to Nevada and Vernal falls. As the fellows hiked the trail, Karlson provided background and history about the work the crew performed to maintain trails. Coming down the Misty Trail the fellows were soaked as the waterfalls were at their most spectacular thanks to the rapidly melting snow. Karlson kept up a fast pace, foreshadowing the hard work to come on Monday when the fellows went out with the crew. Returning from the hike the fellows took advantage of the quiet down time to go treat their tired muscles and bathe in the cold water of the creek.
Monday morning started early at 5 a.m. The entire camp was abuzz as corpsmembers prepared themselves for a day of work. The fellows joined corpsmembers and prepared sandwiches for themselves for lunch. After a hearty breakfast the crew, including the fellows, gathered for PT (Physical Training). The fellows tried to keep pace with the crew doing crunches and stretches. Muscles stretched and ready for the day ahead, the crew and fellows loaded into cars headed for Glacier Point. A hike down the trail led to the first order of the day, clearing the snow off the trail. Using shovels and rakes, the crew and fellows worked to clear the path. Although the site offered a spectacular view there was little time to enjoy the view as the hard work absorbed the crew. After a couple of hours of hard, intense work the trail was cleared of snow. As the corpsmembers continued down the trail doing trail maintenance the fellows were excused for the day and were able to enjoy the afternoon at Glacier Point.
After dinner, the fellows spoke to the corpsmember about the Executive Fellowship program and the type of work each fellow was involved in. A lively discussion ensued where the corpsmembers asked insightful questions about the State of California’s budget.
The fellows expected to come camping and join the CCC for a day of work; in the end they came camping and learned the true meaning of the motto, “Hard work, low pay, miserable conditions and more.” The fellows’ hard hats come off, in respect to the great work that the Yosemite I Backcountry crew does on a daily basis.