Our 2017 trip maintained the hype and excitement of the previous year. With some awesome improvements to our travels. The adventures, and memories were truly remarkable and certainly unforgettable. We like to keep a journal so the people back home are aware of our travels. Read what our campers had to say:
JULY 4, 2017
Hi it's Julia! With a bright and early start to the day we began our trip. After saying goodbye to our parents we breezed through security excited to land in Denver. We got into our van and drove off to Brooklyn Pizza, it was very delicious. After filling our water bottles for the 7th time, we got back into the van and drove to Boulder. We then arrived at Chabad of Boulder and were greeted by Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm (who we then later found out was the reason behind Jewish culture on campus) We went to Chautauqua on a hike with spectacular views which made us hungry for dinner at The university of Boulder. we filled up our water bottles for the 100th time and headed to Pearl street. We saw a magician, interesting stores but our favourite was the Candy store. I am happy to say that I started the day with 1 friend and ended it with 15 others.
- Julia Brenner
JULY 5, 2017
Gabby Cohen here, today we woke up super early and we got ready to go on the biggest hike of our lives! Rocky Mountain Provincial Park was absolutely stunning the views were unreal and it was truly surreal to be there. We were more than 10,000 feet above sea level and the experience was amazing. Halfway up, we saw snow and it was the CRAZIEST thing ever. We went absolutely wild. We were so surprised, playing in the snow singing "oh Canada."! The weather was perfect but at the peak of the mountain we had some rain and some of us took cover under our Canadian Flag! At the start of the hike we took a photo of the peak from the base of the mountain and when we finished, we were looking down on where we had started. Realizing how much climbing we accomplished was extremely satisfying! Being face to face with the beautiful glaciers of the Rocky Mountains was breathtaking but what we really enjoyed was the 5 minutes we took to ourselves to reflect on the beauty of Mother Nature around us. Rabbi Shmuli introduced the term Bal Shem Tov moment, we plan on taking many more of these moments throughout the trip. After the mountain we stopped at a gift shop down the road and it was so funny, oh my goodness! Rabbi Shmuli took photos of us wearing raccoon hats and we were absolutely cracking up in tears. We played with everything in the store, from dream catchers to the scary taxidermy of literally every animal possible. We ended off the day by setting up our camp site, barbecued dinner and laughed around the campfire. We can't wait for tomorrow!
And I'm out,
JULY 6, 2017
Hey it's Zev. Waking up today in the Rocky Mountains was beautiful. We headed toward Denver where we would be white water rafting for the day. We spent 2 hours on the Colorado River with tour guides and our friends! Most importantly, our meals have been amazing with the help of the dank "sauce." Everyone's lives have changed and gotten a little saucier. We are currently setting up camp for the night at KOA in Idaho Springs which believe it or not has a hot tub! #shocker We look forward to a saucey dinner and more adventures to come.
Peace out, Zev
JULY 7 & 8, 2017
We woke up on Friday in Idaho Springs which in my opinion was the best nights sleep so far! I thought the campsite was a warm environment to be in. We all shared our usual breakfast of cereal and bagels and headed off to Denver. Being that it was erev Shabbos we needed to buy groceries which led us to a grocery store with one of the only two kosher restaurants in Denver. The food was good but I spent most of my lunch wondering where Joey was. #whereisjoey To summarize our beautiful Shabbos dinner at Rabbi Yisroels house, all I can say is Rivkah was pretty inspiring. Rabbi Yisroel came back for round two today. We spent our morning praying which was satisfying because most of our group doesn't always have the opportunity to be able to thank HaShem. Later on we went on a tour of the university which sparked everyone's minds a little bit and inspired the group to talk about their future goals in life. Because of all the sports facilities in the gym, Moussie has an opportunity to show us how talented she is at boxing. Which begs the question, can you be camper of the day twice? Nothing left to say, just a bunch of kids waiting for their mac&cheese.
Keep it kosher,
JULY 9, 2017
Today we started the day at the Chabad house in Boulder, Colorado. We woke up early, around six, and went on a road trip for a bunch of hours to Utah. When we got there we took photos near the state sign. This was our first state crossing. We went to a lookout on top of a mountain a few minutes into Utah and prayed there. We continued our drive to Arches National Park. When we got there we hiked for four hours to see the red stone arches. Throughout this trip we've seen sights that we would never see in Toronto. The arches were incredible and while we were very, very hot, we had a lot of fun hiking through the park and climbing arches. The Arches National Park is mostly desert however there are large stone valleys and they are all very different and very special in their shape and size. It's is amazing. The arches are massive red stone natural land forms rising from the barren desert land. They are all ridged and have differing statures. The sheer size and uniqueness of each arch was indescribably beautiful and a gift from G-d and were thus far one of the most incredible parts of our trip. Tonight we have finally mastered the art of camping and now work as a team to set up our temporary homes around the west coast. We are currently setting camp in Moab, Utah, surrounded by red sand dunes and magnificent mountains. We are watching the sunset.
Until tomorrow, Sharon K
P.s. Were still trying to find #weresjoey
JULY 10, 2017
Hey guys Zach here, today we woke up early and headed to Raven's Rim Zip lining in Moab, Utah. We split into two groups each with two guides, the first group was better mostly because I don't know what happened in the second group. We took ATVs up an extremely rocky trail and it was a bumpy ride but we sure enjoyed it! There were 6 zip lines each with a short hike in between where the view was spectacular, you could even see the Arches National Park that we went to yesterday. We went on the longest canyon zip line trail in the world but it didn't feel long because time flies when you're having fun! We drove to Bryce Canyon to a huge campsite with a big pool and hot tub! We are now sitting around a fire excited to start a brand new adventure tomorrow!
JULY 11, 2017
Hey mom and dad! It's Gabrielle K. Today was a really fun day. We woke up pretty early and packed up the van to start a great day in Bryce Canyon National Park. The views were exceptional and I couldn't believe something like this existed. We went to three different lookouts and they were breathtaking. The pictures we took looked like paintings. After lunch we went on a two hour horse back tour at the bottom of the canyon. The horses were so sweet. Being so close to the views we had just seen from afar was completely surreal and exhilarating. After that, we took a well needed shower and headed to Walmart to get some "vegetables." And that was the day! love you lots, see you soon
JULY 12, 2017
Hi it's Sydney. Today was a really fun day! It started off with a morning water fight which cooled us off in the Uter heat. Then we drove to Zion Canyon National Park. In order to get to the trail we had to take a half hour bus ride to the top of the canyon. Once we got to the top we ate a big lunch right by the river. We started our hike through the narrows by jumping off a huge rock! Then we walked through clear blue water for the next couple of hours. The views were amazing and we took some great pictures. We all had so much fun as a group together and we're getting along "swimmingly" - that pun is just one of many. Let's just say we're a very "punny" group.
Goodnight Tray and Dan Dan. Miss you!
JULY 13, 2017
Hi its Jordi. Yesterday we weren't able to write the journal entry because we stayed on Lone Rock beach (my favourite camp site.) The beach is surrounded by mountains, there is no reception, no lights which made it a true camping experience. We left Zion Canyon and headed toward Arizona. We stopped at Horseshoe Bend which is a massive canyon with turquoise water in the shape of a Horseshoe. It really gets your heart going watching foreigners stare death in the face while hanging off a cliff. We headed toward Lake Powell. To get to our site we drove down a sand road which probably wasn't the best idea considering we both vans got stuck. (Multiple times.) After a nice man named Jeff towed us out, we swam, relaxed and prepared for the best bbq yet. Thanks Gabby Cohen! After our swim we had a small encounter with Snooters, everyones safe but I dont want to talk about it! Fun fact; we now know that Üter Snooters are different than Colorado Snooters. We cant wait to find out about the Arizona Snooters. The stars at the camp site were so beautiful I didnt go to sleep until sunrise.
JULY 14 & 15, 2017
Hi friends! Moussie Stebben here, back with another journal entry. Camping under the beautiful stars of Utah was a surreal experience that most of us don't get to experience often. We woke up on Friday morning to the blazing hot sun on Lone Rock Beach. We packed up and drove through Arizona to the calm suburbs of Flagstaff. After checking in to the motel, enjoying hot, clean showers, and enjoying some downtime on comfortable beds (and fluffy pillows!) we made our way to the Shapiro's beautiful home for Shabbat services and a delicious, classic Chabad Shabbat dinner. It included hot chicken soup and some fantastic salads. On Shabbat morning we all slept in a few minutes late but still made it for davening at the welcoming Chabad of Flagstaff space. The davening was unlike your regular synagogue services in the way that they included the whole congregation in discussion. We also got to witness an adorable baby naming of 3 children. Shabbat lunch took place at the Chabad house after the services were over. This time we enjoyed our second cholent experience on this trip. No two cholents are the same, as we all know. The rest of the afternoon was spent playing ping pong and pool at the Chabad house before crashing at the motel for a well deserved Shabbat rest hour. On Saturday night, after Shabbat ended, we took part in a surreal havdala service that included live music and the largest havdala candle I've seen in my whole life. After the very spiritual ordeal, we all piled into the van and headed to the most fascinating and probably the most fun laundromat any of us will ever get to see and experience. Staying entertained for the hour was not a chore in such a unique, retro space. The walls were lined with antique artifacts of native life in Arizona. We took lots of pictures and had loads of fun (pun intended😂) Back at the hotel we made some classic DIY nachos in our microwaves before heading to bed for Sunday's early wake up. Now we are on rout 66, headed to Vegas
Until next time,
It's ye girl Moussie signing out ✌️
JULY 16 & 17, 2017
Hiya y'all, Tis Ben all the way from the Mormon holy land. This morning we embarcked on the ardause journey to Las Vegas Nevada, stopping temporarily at the aw inspiring Hoover damn. Fun fact about the Hoover damn: It was first built in 1971 in an effort to stem the exploding population of üter snooters from crossing state boundaries. Also, to make sure that the water doesn't drown the inhabitants of the vally below. #H2Ono. After resuming on our quest, we encountered our first taste of Vegas in the form of the world renound Flamingo Hotel. Might I note, there was a dissapointing lack of flamingï in the hotel. Later into the evening we strolled the strip...oh also Las Vegas. We were greeted by a variety of sights and scents and the most unadultered display of capitalism imaginable. Later we devoured sustenance at a very unique kosher restaurant who specialized in Shwarma and falafel. Now that's an idea I should take home! Shortly after, we continued walking around Las vegas and had an experience that could fill an entry of its own. We then went back to the hotel for a well deserved rest. This morning we slept in and continued our journey from Las Vegas to the aptly named Death Valley, California. Roll call now ends at 11. We left with memories in our hearts and sand in our shoes. Recently we arrived at our campsite where those around me are discussing the weeks events over a hearty meal. Heres to a night we hope to remember with friends we will never forget.
Sieze the means of production,
JULY 18 & 19, 2017
Hi it's Elina. All of the kids miss their parents but realizing that this trip is coming to an end is sad. Everyone thought that today was the best day! Starting off in L.A we walked around The Grove. It is a beautiful outdoor mall with some really cool stores. We had the chance to shop and get ice cream. However surfing in Malibu was the highlight of the trip. We all got up on our boards with the help of some really cool surfing instructors. Most of us got up on the first try but by the end the entire group surfed like pros! We all had Fish Tacos at the infamous Fish Grill on the Pacific Coast Highway. What a view! This kosher restaurant was right beside the Chabad of Malibu and the head Rabbi gave us all quarters to donate to tzedakah. It's been really interesting witnessing Jewish life in other cities. As the day came to an end we drove to San Diego where we set up camp and had a late dinner. I will miss going to sleep every night with the group but I'm excited to come home with 12 new friends. Can't wait to see all the parents and share our amazing experiences that we had on this trip. See you Thursday! I love you Mama.
JULY 20, 2017
What's Gucci homes it's Natan aka the snitch. This morning we woke up in our campsite located in beautiful San(dy) Diego. We started our day hitting up a drive through Starbucks. Our order consisted of 15 venti waters, 3 cold brews, and a whole latta lattes. The next stop of our day took place at Walmart where we situated ourselves in the midtst of a Walmart parking lot where we had a dance off and filmed a coca coal commercial. Next we found ourselves getting on our human powered motorcycles (rented bicycles). We had an awesome time riding down the bordwalk of the San Diego missions beach as well as enjoying the local area. One of my favorite highlights of the day was bumping into some wild seals. (*Seal noises* Eeeooohh eeeooohh) I am jealous of their fabulous whiskers. We stopped in middle of our long bike ride for some refreshing fruit popsicles. The day was so hot, we finished our tour of the neighborhood with some cold slurpies from 7/11. Gabby K and I found ourselves in the drinks freezer trying to cool off along with some other campers. Now its BBQ leftovers and final chills around the campfire.