Traditionally, ninth and tenth graders look forward to a trip to Canyonlands National Park where they would bike the 100-mile loop on the White Rim Trail, but this year we mixed it up!
The Fall OE trip to The White Rim consisted of a smaller than usual group, ages ranging between 14 – 17 years. Most of the students had not biked before, but by the end of the trip one would have thought they had been biking for years and everyone experienced a new love of the sport.
The scenery and terrain kept the students motivated each day starting with the immense drop of switchbacks down Shafer Road. The dual track road continued along the rim flanked with red rock spires and glimpses of the Colorado River below then culminated with a ascent back up Shafer Road to the Rim’s surface.
The impending weather pounded on the students during the nights, which they dubbed a “mini hurricane” of rain and wind.
Despite the rainy nights, and learning that our route ahead had been washed out by a flash flood, the group continued to keep their spirit high and embraced every moment the wondrous canyon offered.
The students journaled, sketched, practiced leadership, team work, bike maintenance, formed cooking groups, and captured all the splendor via their cameras and iphones. Each day we reflected on Edward Abbyy’s Desert Solitaire, and having been provided with a very special copy of Desert Cabal, we compared and contrasted the writing of Abbey invoking Irvine’s discernment for a women’s place in the desert.
The White Rim trip concluded with students acting out scenes from the trip, photography and a video compilation showcasing their experiences and adventures!