Lanikque Howard

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    The experience while on B.C.M. was unforgettable. When I first singed on to the trip I was already unsure of my ability to fulfill what the trip would ask of me. I wasn’t required me to not only leave my residence for a week, when thee only time I had ever spent a night away from home was only three weeks prior to my departing on the trip, but also B.C.M. world place me in an environment I had ever been in So I thought long and hard and decided that this I wasn’t ready for the Big City Mountaineers trip, but of course Ms. Regina had already decided that it would be a good experience for me so I said I was going the was closed.

    On Wednesday, August the fourth, everyone met up at E.O.Y.D.C. I knew everyone who was going on the, trip except the adult volunteers. I quickly met and eventually came to love Christina, one of Ms. Renata, one of Ms. Regina’s friend friends and also a teacher. Once everyone had met we began our long journey to Yosemite National Park. I was excited to go since I had never been to Yosemite before. Everyone talked on the vans as we drove and I got to know Breana and Taahira better.

    Before long Mark stopped in Tracy and brought us In and Out Burgers. I thought that was nice of him. After we left Tracy we drove straight to Yosemite National Park. When we got there we all expected to sleep in a lodge as the paper we had received from B.C.M. started, but to all our surprise we set up camp outside of the lodges and slept in the ground. At first I was scared, but Darneisha helped ameliorate the situation. So I finally went to only to learn in the morning that there had been two bears that can to campsite, but was scared off by Mark. After that I trusted Mark completely. That morning we had what Ms. Regina called a “King Feast” (it would be the last for many days) we had Krispy Crème Doughnuts, bagels, milk and cereal and muffins.

    After breakfast we drove some more in to the village where Mark took us for pizza and then go swimming.  When we got to the beach a lot of people left when we got there, but we didn’t let that get to us.  Ivie tried to get me to go in the water, but it was with Christina instigating that I got into the lake.  Once we left the beach we went to our next site.  By the end of the night everyone said “oh we can do this,” but quickly did we learn that it wasn’t that easy, not by a long shot.

    The next day was one of the toughest days in my life.  When I look back and think about all the things I’ve done in my life that I’ve thought were hard were nothing compared to what I went through on that day.  We hiked five and a half miles with our backpacks on.  I was doing well at the beginning.  I was leading the line, but soon it became almost unbearable.

    Ms. Regina helped me along by giving me short term goals.  My short term goals helped me to get to our campsite for the night.  As Dominique and Ivie led the way to our campground, I was relieved and overly ecstatic.  I kept repeating the words that Mark had told me earlier that morning, “Today would be the hardest day.”

    The next morning I learned Mark was a liar (just playing).  The second day was the hardest day of the trip for me.  It tested every strength I have.  My physical strength was tested, but somehow I managed to push through it, but my mental strength was broken.  The altitude mixed with my emotions and my new environment caused me to have a mental breakdown.  I stopped talking to everyone and refused to answer and eat.  Ms. Regina pushed me to eat and all the girls helped make me feel better and then we were on our way.

    Later that day I apologized to Ms. Regina for not answering her and I realized she was the closest thing to a mother I had.  The next day we climbed to 10,000 feet since no other women group had ever climbed that far.  We all complained about climbing, but once we were finished we were happy and I couldn’t believe that I had faced my fears and climbed 10,000 feet in the air.  Once the trip was over, I was happy that I went and glad that Ms. Regina pushed me to exceed my limits.

    Lanikque Howard
    August 18, 2004