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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

The Journey Continues! – U.S. Explorer

An update from the U.S. Explorer

Howdy U.S. Explorer Parents!

Welcome back to our journey across North America.

After our day of travel from Rapid City, we arrived at Buffalo Bills Village in the quaint town of Cody, Wyoming. We made our way to Hong Kong restaurant and sat down to a delicious variety of classic Chinese dishes. After meeting our food needs, we returned to our cabins and initiated a group activity that involved the creation of flash mobs. Trip members split into groups and practiced different moves in hopes of their team’s dance getting picked for the final flash mob!

The next morning, we woke up and headed to the river for some white water rafting. We all gazed at the fascinating scenery around us and throughout the approximately 12 mile journey, Kerri and Matan showed their awesome paddling skills, and at the end of it got more of a workout than they bargained for! Alex, Justin, and Shoshana were right in the action as they sat front row of their rafts. They knew being in the front meant getting the most wet. On another raft, Sydnee and Lindsay marveled at a beautiful Monarch butterfly that spent the majority of the trip sitting on their raft. After the surprisingly tough workout from the rafting, we headed back to the village for a quick lunch to refuel for horseback riding! Riding was a great experience because of our surroundings, and for the friendly nature of the horses. Jon was somewhat hesitant at first, but after receiving support and encouragement from the other trip members he mustered up the courage to ride. Our man Perry formed a close relationship with his horse named Trojan, and talked to him the entire time. Later that evening, the trip members explored the town of Cody and had the opportunity to taste local cuisine such as Buffalo burgers! It was only fitting that we attended the Cody Rodeo, where we witnessed a fun display of horsemanship and impressive cattle herding. Brandon was on the edge of his seat hollering the entire time!

After a refreshing breakfast it was time to make our way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming via Yellowstone National Park. We stopped at Yellowstone Lake, the Fountain Paint Pots, and the famous “Old Faithful” geyser. To our luck, we arrived at the perfect moment as the geyser started erupting and spewing water into the air within minutes after stepping off the bus. We eventually arrived at our campsite in Grand Teton, and yet again we set up the tents in record speed. This left plenty of time for make your own tie-dye t-shirts before sitting down to a scrumptious taco dinner courtesy of Hannah’s awesome work group. We followed dinner with separate male and female programs that brought the group members closer together. The girls bonded over music and stories about home, while the boys began a brotherhood uniting them for the remainder of the summer. We finished off the night sitting around the campfire enjoying an array of goodies including s’mores.

On day 2 in Jackson, we enjoyed the luxury of a sleep in, and slowly headed into the town of Jackson to explore and attempt our creative ‘trade up’ game. This game involves starting with a small object, like a pen, and attempting to bargain with locals on the street to trade for bigger and better prizes. Brendan’s group came back with a funny western photo, Jack’s group returned with a stuffed animal named appropriately after the town we were staying in. Ray’s was the last group to arrive, and they brought back a toque (ski hat) worth 25 dollars. After some fun in the town, we headed to the Teton Recreation Center where the members had the chance to swim and play basketball. For the boys this meant continuing the WBL! Jon, Perry and Max were competitive in all the games of their creative version of water basketball called Knockout. Reuben showed his amazing swimming skills, speeding back and forth in the lap pool. Josh, Matt J, and Andrew joined Lauren in a session of Aquafit. Later that evening we returned to the campsite for some much deserved rest and relaxation.

After two stunning days at our campsite in Jackson and 4 days in Wyoming, we continue our voyage Southwest to Park City, Utah where we mark our 12th state conquered on the U.S Explorer.

FEELIN’ FINE ON TRIP 9!

The Westcoast Blogger