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Trailblazers Take On Yosemite (Part 1)

I didn’t know what to expect…

… hosting and going on an adventure trip to Yosemite with 12 internet strangers.

Sure, I “knew” some of them because they were past or current clients of mine, but the thought of “how is this going to go?” was running through my mind. Will they like me? Will they all get along? Will everyone be happy? Ya know, all those spiral of questions. Also, this was my first ever Trova Trip, so the unknown was pretty high.

And not only were those thoughts running through my mind, but they were also running through the minds of the 12 women on the trip. I heard from a few of them that they were anxious and excited, all in one mashed-up emotion leading up to the trip. And those feelings were very normal to feel. They all just signed up to fly to Fresno, sleep in tents, hike in Yosemite, and spend four days with women they had never met before.

Brave and badass, but also slightly nerve-wracking.

I am damn glad they did because what started as 12 strangers became 12 new family members. Well, 13, if you include me. 😉

—Okay, are you ready for some storytelling now about the trip?! Because I am ready to tell you!

Day 1:

All the women flew into Fresno Airport (FAT) on Sunday. Okay, I lied. Some of the women flew in the day before, and they coordinated all staying in a hotel room together to save some money! One way to get to know someone pretty quickly. 😉

Our itinerary had our first shuttle (massive Ford Transit van) scheduled to pick us up from the airport at 1:30 PM. Everyone started to trickle into the airport around 11:00 AM and onward from flights all across the US, and the ladies who stayed in the hotel the night before headed to the designated airport meet-up spot around 1:00 PM.

The Fresno airport is small, so we found some empty seats around the departures area Starbucks, slowly got to know one another, sipped on coffees, and munched on wraps and snacks.

The first few hours were a bit quieter since these were all new faces and everyone was getting to know everyone but little did we know, there wouldn’t be a single moment of silence in the days to come.

Once our shuttle arrived, we all piled into the van, and the driver strategically stacked our roller and duffle bags in the back. We were off!

We had about a 1.5-hour drive to our rendezvous point (YARTS Bus Stop in Mariposa), where we would meet up with our two trip guides for the first time and transfer to their vehicles to head to the campground. Aside from our driver being slightly erratic in his driving decisions, the ride was smooth sailing. Once we got to the YARTS Bus Stop, we were greeted by our guides (Michaela and Eric), where we unloaded and reloaded our bags.

Next stop, Indian Flat Campground! Our little home and base camp for the next few nights.

When we arrived at the campground, we did a little circle up and orientation in the provided camp chairs. We did a formal introduction to everyone in the group (name, pronouns, hometown, job, fun fact), went over safety protocol & food storage in the bear boxes, and talked about what our week would look like! Following that, Eric did a tent set-up demo to ensure everyone was comfortable setting up their tents and opened the floor for any questions.

It was super cool to see all the green Big Agnes tents across the campsites, our little base camp, and tent village. Proceeding the successful tent set-ups, we all grabbed sleeping bags and sleeping pads that were provided and nestled ourselves into our tents to get things set up inside. They were spacious tents for one person, giving everyone space to keep their bags, clothes, and gear inside!

YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT DAY 2, DAY 3, AND DAYS 4 AND 5 OF OUR YOSEMITE HIKING TRIP.

Meet the author

Bethany Taylor

I’m a PNW-based outdoor educator, adventure athlete, highly-caffeinated creative, all-women adventure trip host, safety advocate, and obsessed dog mom. I am here to help you chase more stoke-filled days outdoors with confidence through education and empowerment.

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