Trek West #1: Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon

This is the first update from your friendly, neighborhood staffers, Hayley, Lisa, Or and James! So far, it has been an amazing trip, and we can’t wait to share it all with you!

As you know, our trip began on Tuesday, when we arrived in Phoenix from cities all over the country and beyond. After some serious bonding time in the airport while waiting for the entire group to arrive, we travelled to our first overnight stay. After settling in, the Trek West group, now officially dubbed as the Trekkies, got to know one another with a couple of icebreakers games.


We then enjoyed a pizza dinner party in the hotel. After going over a few rules and regulations to ensure a safe and fun three weeks, the Trekkies went off for free time, either to crash after a long flight or to relax by the pool, which served as a refreshing escape from the 110 degree weather.

Wednesday was an early start with breakfast in the hotel and then off to the bus, our new home away from home. We arrived at Salt River, where we were fortunate enough to spend a two hour tube ride down the river. The cold, refreshing waters of Salt River served as another escape from the heat. The scenery of the mountains, desert, and wild horses around us made it a truly unforgettable experience.

From there, we were off to Sedona to explore the shops and galleries, as well as to get a taste of the local foods. From the bus, we were able to view the beauty of red rock mountains transform into the lush, greenery of Flagstaff. The group was also able to witness the fast-changing weather of the Southwest when a quick-passing thunderstorm surprised us. We ate dinner at the local Sizzler, and then got to know each other a little better over more ice breakers and name games.

Day three was the epic hike at the Grand Canyon. As it was most of the group’s first trip to the Canyon, everyone marveled at the enormity and beauty of the national park. Experienced guides took us down into the Canyon itself, where the views and steep cliffs were literally breathtaking. After walking back up to the top, we snapped some great pictures. The Trekkies enjoyed lunch at the lodge overlooking one of America’s greatest natural wonders. From the Canyon rim, we proceeded to the National Geographic Visitor Center for an IMAX movie detailing the amazing history contained within the layers of canyon bedrock.

We enjoyed dinner in downtown Flagstaff before heading to the nearby observatory. Unfortunately, the clouds that had helped to make the Canyon hike a little bit cooler, made it difficult to see from the observatory. Instead, we learned about the huge scale of the universe and how the planets, stars, and galaxies fit together. With that, it was back to the hotel and a quick stop at the local Walmart.

Today, we will began our journey towards Utah and Zion National Park for Shabbat! Looking forward to what is next for Trek West 1!

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