by Anissa Shull
Moab Spring Break Alumni ’16
It all started with packing my luggage into the Youth Education Program van and relaxing until we reached our beautiful campsite in Moab, Utah. It was placed next to the Colorado River, surrounded by the towering canyons that we were soon going to climb. That first night, we cooked tacos and ate around the small camp table sharing experiences and laughter.
The family for this entire week had Chris and Molly as our responsible yet crazy “parents” accompanied by Toby, Brendan, Jonathan, Dorothy, Noelle and me, Anissa. Our first adventure was to travel over to the Wall Street rock climbing area, where we learned how to put on harnesses and started setting up climbs. It was the second big bonding moment for everyone, following the hours crammed in a small van listening to Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift.
We spent the entire day climbing. Once the air got a little frosty, we gathered the gear and returned to camp. The plan for the next day was to go hiking, but we had to change them due to weather. We instead climbed the more difficult routes in Ice Cream Parlor.
That day was super fun, except a little painful due to the millions of grains of sand hitting our faces and legs. The wind was pretty extraordinary and cold. Despite the conditions, we persisted and had an amazing experience. The group then traveled back into town and took a small hike to a lake that was sheltered from the rain. We enjoyed the scenery by skipping rocks, climbing boulders and gazing onto the water.
The funniest part of that day was when we got back to camp in the pouring rain and realized that some of the guys on the trip hadn’t set up their tent correctly. When we got back, it was upside down. Everything was drenched.
We spent the third day hiking the most difficult trail in Arches National Park. We passed Double Arch and took a turn on a more “exciting” trail to Double-O-Arch. It took most of the day, but the trip was well worth the effort. Finally, before the sun went down, we hiked the rigorous trail up to Delicate Arch and had it all to ourselves.
The last full day was dedicated to whitewater river rafting. It was my first time rafting, and it was a very cool experience. We ate a filling lunch before pushing the raft into the Colorado River. That day was really calm as we navigated three minor rapids. Some of us even slept looking up into the sky or floated in an inflatable duckie behind the main raft. The tour guide showed us some tables and towers of rocks that looked like Scooby Doo or a teacher instructing students. We concluded by taking an awesome picture featuring the only place on Earth where you can see mountains, mesas, grasslands and a river in one scene.
As the day ended, so did the trip. We packed up camp, shoved everything in the van, turned up the T-Swizzle and drove away. Although the group left to go home, the friendship between us persists. Spring Break 2016 will never be forgotten.