4n4 Trip 2 Update 2

Written by Zoe B. (Trip 2)

Hey Echo Lake!  4n4 trip 2 here!  This past week has been very exciting out west.  We have done some amazing activities, bought cool souvenirs, ate delicious food and bonded as a group.  Here are the highlights from each day this past week:

After we spent time in Aspen shopping, we drove to Moab, Utah.  One of our stops along the way was at Maroon Bells, a scenic area with a reflecting lake where we took group photos.  A few hours later, we arrived at the hotel where we got settled and ready for dinner at the Moab Brewery, which is famous for its root beer so most of us got a glass or a pitcher for our table.  We then headed back to the hotel and went to sleep early to prepare for the next day’s hikes.

Our alarms went off at 6:15 am, giving us enough time to pack our backpacks and eat a good breakfast.  After loading up the vans, we drove to Arches National Park. We hiked through the very hot conditions to Double O Arch, and when we arrived, we climbed onto the lower Arch for a very cool group picture.  We then hiked back and stopped at the gift shop before driving back to the hotel.  We hung out there for awhile and then headed back to the park where we did another hike, this time to Delicate Arch. It was beautiful and of course we took more pictures.  When we were heading back, 4n4 Tribal broke!  The team names are Josh Feldman, Posh Peddleman, and The Captain (we miss you Josh!!!!). Back at the hotel we ordered in pizza for dinner and had some time to socialize before bedtime.

The next day, we had another long drive to Lake Powell. When we arrived, we had a few hours until dinner, so many of us caught up on our journals and also had some quality bonding time.  Slackers was the name of the restaurant where we ate, and while the food was good, it took a while for us to be served.  The wait was okay because our waiter was very entertaining with his constant skipping and funny comments.  After a short circle-up we went to sleep.

Almost everyone agreed that the day on Lake Powell was one of the best days on the trip so far.  We drove around in the boats all day and took frequent stops to jump into the bright blue water.  We stopped at 2 different beaches where we swam, played with beach balls and made sand castles along with “sand balls” / “symballs,” which we all threw into the water to represent our unity.  The whole day was surreal and made me (and I’m sure everyone else) realize how lucky we are to have this experience, and to spend these 28 days with some of our best friends.

The next day was another day of driving, this time to the Grand Canyon.  On the way, we stopped at Horseshoe Bend (which was incredible).  Afterwards, we went to Walmart to shop for our first tribal event (Iron Chef).  We all got the necessary ingredients for our meals, as well as crazy outfits such as kids nightgowns, Captain America shirts and pink pajamas.  When we arrived at the campsite, we immediately started to cook, and after around an hour and a half, we each presented our meals.  Coincidently, we all cooked Asian-themed food.  Each of the meals were delicious, despite some broken pans, spilled food and wrong ingredients.  The winning team was Josh Feldman with Ramen Lo Mein, Vietnamese fried rice, candy sushi, and great service from its members which included massages.  When we finished cleaning, we had a short campfire and circle-up to end an amazing day.

Yesterday, we woke up at 3:50 am to go on a sunrise hike (although it was essentially just a walk).  We all sat on a giant rock overlooking the Grand Canyon and watched the sunrise.  We then had a buffet breakfast at the lodge (which was absolutely amazing) and headed back to the tents to go back to sleep for a few hours.  We went on a second hike in the afternoon down to an overlook of the Canyon, but it didn’t smell so nice due to the excessive amounts of mule poop.  Half of the group continued to a lower overlook, and when everyone returned, we all went to the gift shop.  We had a bit of a guacamole tasting / “guac-off” along with our fajita dinner.  The night ended with a long campfire with s’mores and a heartfelt circle-up.

The trip has gone by so quickly, but I am happy to say that we have all made the most of every moment and have already created some amazing memories.  Although we have already hit the halfway point, there are so many more opportunities that will come our way, and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my time with such awesome people.  Make sure to be on the lookout for the next update!

xoxo Zoe B.