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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Westward Bound

Just a few days ago I was in what seemed like another world, when in reality, it was just a little over a thousand miles from Purdue. For 18 days I traveled around the southwest with my family in a small RV, hiking, camping, white-water rafting and taking many pictures. We started out in Indiana and took the 22 hour drive to Arizona where we started our trip in the

Painted Desert in Petrified Forest National Park. We traveled to Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, hiked down the Grand Canyon and back up, boated in the stunning Lake Powell, white-water rafted in the Colorado River, hiked underneath the world’s largest natural arch, rode a cog train up 7,000 feet to Pike’s Peak, stood in 4 different states at one time, and ate cowboy beans

while listening to cowboy music at a ranch in Colorado. Not only were the views from the mountain and canyon-tops beautiful, it was a nice break from my internship at Roche Diagnostics. It was a chance to get away from everything, sometimes even my cell phone since the service was not always reliable, and recharge for the upcoming semester. It was also nice to spend so much quality time with my family as this could be the last vacation we go on together for awhile. We traveled through 12 states and logged over 4200 miles in the RV. It was an adventure to say the least. But I think my favorite aspect about the trip was being able to get in the middle of nature, with absolutely nothing around except raw wilderness and take time to appreciate the beauty of our country. Too many times when I am at Purdue I forget to slow down and take a moment to appreciate all that I have been blessed with in my life. Not only will I always remember the sights I saw on the trip, it was a perfect ending to my summer.

--- Kaylie Waltz

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