Juniors, seniors head to Wild, Wild West in Spring

October 20, 2009 — by Jordan Waite

Sand goes flying as the students roll and stumble down the 500-foot-tall sand dune until they reach the bottom, left with a layer of sand that stays in their shoes and clothes for the rest of the week-long trip to the rugged landscapes of Utah.

History teacher Matt Torrens leads a group of about 20 juniors and seniors on the Wild Wild West Trip every other year during spring break. Students leave with unforgettable memories and a greater knowledge of the country’s history. Every trip so far has had roughly the same route, but each trip also encounters unexpected detours and adventures.

“Every year its different because this trip is based on spontaneous viewing,” said Torrens. “It depends on what the country provides for us.”

This year, the group has planned to fly out to Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 13 and return April 18. The journey mostly takes place in and around Moab, a small town known for its mountain biking and other outdoor offerings.

The group plans to visit a Japanese relocation camp, visit the site of a crashed B52 bomber that once carried nuclear weapons, analyze 1,500-year-old pictographs and petroglyphs, mountain bike 20 miles through the canyons, run down a 500-foot sand hill, hike to unmarked dinosaur tracks, ride in a boat up the Colorado river and visit two beautiful national parks. One thing that is new on the itinerary this year is a visit to a working “dude ranch.”

“Students will learn about cattle, horses and livestock,” said Torrens, “and how a farmer today manages these things while maintaining the beauty of the land.”

Students who have gone in the past say the trip is a spontaneous adventure that juniors and seniors won’t want to miss. More information can be found at Torrens’s home page on the Saratoga High website. http://www.saratogahigh.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=120173&type=u&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=123841&rn=8888685

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