Here is our final update.
Day 16 and the drive out of Las Vegas’s desert was simply gorgeous as we saw the immense mountains of rock descending into the deep canyons below. The camp site at Ruby’s Inn was a welcomed sight as it is a great spot to camp.
After a superbly prepared BBQ dinner was ready, the group sat down and enjoyed camp cooking , courtesy of Jacob, Vedant, Sam R, Jen and Becky. As the sun set behind the spectacular rocks of the west coast, we finished up, got ready for the stars to come out and for the remainder of the trip to unfold. Little did the trip members know, we were about to have a competition. The trip was split into 2 teams with their captains, Jason, Joelle (red), Andrew and Brennan (blue) leading the way- what an honor!
Day 17 was an easy one to wake up to because of the excitement from last night. Also, we were also going to hike Bryce Canyons! Starting the day with a cheer off, the teams were full of energy. They got set for the hike but teams were also given time to prepare their flags, songs and skits after breakfast.
Everyone got their feet moving and trekked through Bryce Canyon, looking in wonder at the rolling stone mountains and at the Hoodoos- rock formations that look like real life objects and characters! Lauren, Giorgia, Danielle and Kerry snapped plenty of pictures because those types of views are rare and hard to put into words.
Arriving back at the camp site, after a quick lunch, the 2 teams got to work competing and everyone had a blast.
That evening, we went to the Chuckwagon Cookout in Kanab- also known as Utah’s Little Hollywood. Famous actors had, once upon a time, played their parts in numerous Westerns in that town, and now it was our turn! David played the villain, Justin the store owner, Annie his wife, Jillian the Indian chief and Joey and Gillian were pioneers. And so we acted out our own little Western. After the show, the resident cowboy rang his triangle and yelled “come and get it!” So we complied and ‘it’ was a truly original cowboy dinner- meat and potatoes (with some salad for good measure).
Back at the camp site, we finished our competition and it all came down to the songs; while the red team’s song was spirited, the blue team combined its hip hop creativity with satire as well. By a hair, blue team claimed victory and danced off into the night.
Day 18 was another opportunity to admire the scenic beauty of Utah for the last time and to discover the canyons of Arizona. We arrived at the Grand Canyon for another hike but this one couldn’t compare to Bryce Canyons. From beneath our feet to the edge of the horizon was a breathtaking assembly of earth and rock, forming a view that even its pictures couldn’t hold a light to. Kaylie, Sam, Becky, Jayden and Jenna traveled down the switchbacks, descending beneath the massive walls as the sun did the same.
Tired out from the Grand Canyon, we headed to our hotel and dinner at Coco’s.
We hit the road on day 19 setting out for the famous Pink Jeep Tours in Sedona, Arizona. With intuitive explanation from our tour guides, every trip member learned something either about the rich history of Sedona or the secrets of the picturesque landscape around us. Ben, Matt, Payton and Jameson took their steep ventures into the gulch before stepping out of the pink 4x4s and into some beautiful photographs.
At night, we checked into our final hotel and headed off for fun and games at Dave and Buster’s! It all started with a delicious dinner, featuring some table games. Big winners were Zack, Reid, Molly and Jourdan, who got their souvenirs and a good share of candy.
Day 20 was our last day before the flights home! It began with a delicious visit to the Cheesecake Factory, where everyone got to taste every kind of cheesecake- that’s right, EVERY type. It was heavenly. When we arrived back at the hotel, we enjoyed the sunny Arizona weather and took a dip in the hotel swimming pool.
Night time was time for our banquet dinner; a time to break bread, reminisce about the trip and party! We celebrated a memorable 20 days together and got to boogying as the DJ churned out the tunes. Eli, Jon, Emma and Sam P in particular had no reservations showing off their dance moves.
It seems so surreal that 21 days have passed already. So much was gained from everyone on this trip- new friendships, new experiences, new knowledge and new memories. We’ll miss everyone we’ve met and now we can take home the memories of the summer to keep for the rest of our lives!
See you soon everyone!
The California and the Canyons Staff Team
The Westcoast Blogger