An update from the U.S. Explorer
Our trip has just passed its halfway point, and as we venture to Las Vegas we have so much to reflect upon.
We arrived in Park City, Utah late afternoon and after we checked into our hotel, the trip members had the opportunity to both relax and unpack their things, or checkout the awesome indoor/outdoor pool. Later that evening we strolled into the ski village, and sat down for a luxurious meal at the Silverstar Café. The menu offered a wide array of organic meats, fresh fish, and much more. Sam ordered her first salmon dish ever! It was the perfect meal surrounded by a beautiful landscape. As dinner came to an end we headed into town to walk the main street with a deserving reward at the end being Java Cow ice cream! Roots was by far the favorite store, especially for the American trip members. They had all heard how comfortable the Roots clothing was since all the Canadian members wore the company’s sweatpants at every opportune moment. Megan, Shoshana, Carly, Rachel, Allison, Joey and Matan all indulged in the comfort of the clothing. After some time in town we returned to the hotel for a pool party! Alex, Justin and Max drew a crowd as they performed cool tricks while jumping into the pool.
We woke up the next morning prepared for a busy fun-filled day. The trip members headed to the base of the ski hill and were first in line to experience the thrill of the Alpine Coaster. This ride resembled a bobsled run without the snow, and those who rode it had control over the speed the entire way. Everyone either paired off or rode solo as the coaster took us through the runs and into the brush. Lindsay, Hannah and Matt J got over their slight fears with some encouragement and some fun sing-a-longs throughout the ride. Next on our busy schedule was heading to Lagoon-A-Beach Water Park and Lagoon Amusement Park. It was a gorgeous day outside and the trip members had the option of either playing in the water, or challenging themselves by flying to new heights. The park consisted of a wide variety of rides including thrill-seeking rides such as Wicked, and the Bat. Justin F conquered his fear of large roller coasters, and is now ready to face anything! The night ended with another pool party that had almost all the trip members sharing stories and laughing in the hot tub. It was quite special witnessing this sense of bonding.
The next morning we woke up bright and early to hike the Bryce Canyon and make our way to our next campsite in Kanab, Utah. The canyon illuminated a stunning red color throughout its inner gorge with large hoodoos everywhere, and every few minutes we hiked there was something new to marvel at. Before we departed, the entire group practiced the move at the top and through up their ‘W’s’ as they posed for a group photo! Sam, Kerri and Jonah helped lead the way through the hike, and on the way back Joey and Adam competed in a friendly race up the trail. Talk about some good cardio! We left Bryce and headed to our second to last campsite in Kanab, Utah. On the first night at this campsite Melanie’s Ice Cappe’s introduced our first of many work group organized evening programs by playing Capture the Flag! The teams were Adam/Patrick’s work group vs. Melanie/Hannah’s work group. The game was intense as each member gave it their all in hopes of their work group prevailing as the victors.
The trip members woke up filled with excitement not only because we were headed to the world famous Grand Canyon, but it was also Eric’s birthday! After a delicious picnic lunch on top of the side of the Canyon we made our way to the visitor center to take some scenic photos or this incredible geographical formation. Afterward, we drove to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes to look at mountains of pink sand. We then returned to the campsite where Hannah’s group prepared one of the most delicious stir-fry dinners anyone of us had eaten. The meat and vegetables were cooked to perfection. The second night of camping gave way for some free time around the campsite, followed by round two of workgroup planned evening programs! During the free time both Ray and Melissa released their monkey spirit and hung out in a tree. Patrick’s group ran the second evening program, as they set up a creative version of the dating game. The game was played with a blind folded bachelor/bachelorette, a host, and three lucky contestants who answered questions asked by the audience. After a series of questions the blindfolded member had to choose from their favorite responses and pick a contestant! We concluded the program with bringing out delicious birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday to Eric. Following the birthday celebration, the group split, and the girls did an incredible program where we shared our favorite things about each other. As the night came to an end we were all heartfelt to the realization that this was our second to last camping destination and the last night of this leg of our journey. Instead of sulking, we embraced each other and joined in singing songs and sharing stories around the campfire.
As we continue exploring the US, it is going to be our longest time spent away from a campsite. We have now passed through 12 states, 2 countries, and 9 national parks. We are now headed to Las Vegas and California for the last 15 days!
FEELIN’ FINE ON TRIP 9!
The Westcoast Blogger