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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Breathtaking & Beyond! – Northwestern Odyssey

Here’s the latest installment of our adventures on the Northwestern Odyssey.

In groups of four piloted by an Olympic bobsled driver and professional bobsled coach, trip members went down the bobsled run at Canada Olympic Park with speeds up to 90 km/h. Through the twist and turns of the track, the bobsled picked up speed and g-forces. Ali said, “Riding with real Olympians on the bobsled was unreal!” Afterwards, we took the elevator up to the top of the ski jump tower for views from the highest point of western Calgary. Elie described the view from the top of the ski mountain as pretty! From Yael’s perspective, “The view was breathtaking.” In the evening, we stopped at a Calgary leisure center to cool off. Trip members enjoyed the wave pool, water slides, and the Tarzan rope. Kyle, Jason, and Jake enjoyed riding down the waterslide together. Jon, Zach H., Evan, Josh F., and Zach B. enjoyed the Tarzan ropes the most, swinging until last call.

After a good night’s sleep and departing from the University of Calgary, we returned back into the USA. In St. Mary, Montana we stopped at our final campsite while Brian, the camp site manager, greeted us. After setting up tents for the last time, the staff surprised the trip with the breakout of a surprise competition the “Westcoast Games”. Trip Members were split into two teams that included the blue team called, Team Go Go and the red team called, Team Ogga-Chaka, inspired by the two favorite morning songs from our trip. Captains for each team were elected and were responsible for organizing their team’s strategy and spirit. Ali and Andrew represented the Red Team while Lily and Jason led the Blue Team. The competition kicked off with a friendly game of Nuke ‘Em followed by Gaga, which the trip members created themselves using picnic tables and coats. Very resourceful! The evening continued with an Italian dinner cooked by the trip members and a final relay of Under/Over between the teams. The night ended with a campfire and homemade banana boats, which was for many of us was a first experience of these tasty treats.
Northwestern Odyssey
The following morning, we headed over to Glacier National Park. We eagerly boarded the Tour Boat with our very own guide, Ryan. Sailing around St. Mary’s Lake, we learned various facts regarding Montana, geology, and park history. After forty minutes of breathtaking views from the boat, we docked at a hiking trail and prepared for a 3-mile hike to the waterfall for lunch. Once we reached the falls, the group relaxed and enjoyed a scenic picnic lunch of the beautiful park. When all pictures and exploring were done, the group headed back to the boat. It was quite a hike! Back at the campsite, our games were back in session. Jason, the blue team co-captain said, “We were split into two colors, but we became one trip.” The competitions for day two included relay races, soccer, trivia, Apache Relays, and concluded with a final song made up by the trip members. Needless to say, the energy in the campsite was high! After the scores were tallied, the winning team was announced and Team Go-Go took the victory. Go Blue! Both teams were rewarded with ice-cream sundaes and the night finished up with a relaxing campfire.

Waking up for the final time at a campsite for the summer, we decamped and made our way to Bozeman, Montana. We stopped at the state capital, Helena, to grab a bite to eat! Arriving at Montana State University, we headed out for dinner and a movie. With a toss up between The Planet of the Apes and Transformers, the group decided to go see The Planet of the Apes together. Andrew felt the movie was ‘intense.’ Popcorn, drinks, and candy made for a sweet way to finish off our stay in Montana.

After departing from Montana State University, the group headed out for our road trip to the world’s oldest national Park; Yellowstone! Once we entered the park, we drove through scenic roads and forest landscapes before stopping at Old Faithful. We arrived at Old Faithful just in time to grab a front row seat for the natural phenomenon. Like clockwork the Geyser sent hot steaming water towering into the sky for about five minutes of entertainment. After we finished our drive through Yellowstone, we entered Grand Teton where we saw herds of bison and jagged mountain ranges surrounding us. The scenic part of this trip just gets better and better!

The Westcoast Blogger