Students tame the Wild Wild West

April 23, 2010 — by Lillian Chen and Jenny Zhang

This year 22 lucky students got to spend the last six days of their spring break with history teachers Matt Torrens and Kim Anzalone on a Wild Wild West trip to Utah where they jeeped, rappelled, hiked, biked, and did various fun outdoor activities.

Open to all juniors and seniors, this history trip was organized by Torrens for the fourth time, allowing students to visit a Japanese Relocation Camp, touch a piece of B-52 that carried a nuclear bomb and crashed, look at 500-year-old Native American petroglyphs, see dinosaur footprints and participate in fun outdoor activities.

“My goal for the trip is to get students to just get out and touch history,” said Torrens.

The group, which also included parent chaperones and a few siblings of SHS students, visited Moab, Monticello and Salt Lake City and stayed at local inns with three to four people per room. They spent a lot of time on the road and traveled in three vans. Generally, they had to be ready to leave by 8 a.m. and back at 10:30 p.m., when they would fight over who got to shower first.

“It was exhausting, but fun. I didn’t want to come home,” said junior Ellen Scott.

Each day was about 70 degrees, so students wore shorts and carried backpacks with three bottles of water, suncreen, chapstick and snacks. Many enjoyed the jeeping in Monticello the most.

“My favorite part was jeeping; it’s something not usually done in California,” said senior Tristan Littlehale.

With nine jeeps to fit everyone, the group went over steep hills for three hours. Each jeep had a driver, but many students were able to drive the jeeps themselves.

Along the way, the group also encountered animals such as snakes, antelope and cows. Torrens had fun with the animals as he decided to pick up a snake and told juniors Jay Lee and Jordan Waite to try to touch one of the cows at a pasture on the side of the road. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have fun with the bunny that he accidentally ran over on the road.

In the end, the group had a great time and all of students got pretty close.

“I did not expect to have this much fun,” said senior Erin McCroskey. “It was amazing and went beyond my [high] expectations. I had one of the best times ever on a school trip, and it’s an experience I won’t forget. I definitely recommend it.”

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