Salt Lake City, UT Trip

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Day 1

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

The travelers of Camp Courageous are on the move once again. This time we have made our way west to Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a new trip destination that Camp has never been to. The group is hopping and ready to have a blast in Utah. We have 15 people traveling. 11 travelers and 4 staff.

We started our drive from camp at 8am, where we met volunteers Kim Minerd and Kody Gafkjen, and traveler Matthew Deutmeyer from Dyserville. We made our way to Marion where we met up with traveler Ken Zeien, who was ready to go! In Coralville we picked up travelers John Hesser, Charles Lee, Brent Rosenberger, and Sara Burton. In Davenport we picked up Maggie Oberhaus, Don Conant, and Cathy Jensen. We even have two travelers from out of state. Traveler Rebecca Gerhardstein is from Phoenix, AZ she flew in on Sunday night and traveler Tina Seyller from Rockford, IL, we met her at Chicago Midway Airport. This is a great group of travelers!

We arrived at the airport round 3pm. Checked in and made our way through security and found our gate. The airport wasn’t too packed, so it was easy to get around. Before we knew it, it was dinner time, we made our way to the food court where we had tons of options. A new food service company moved into the airport, so all the restaurants were different.

Before we knew it, our flight was ready to board us, so the group boarded the Southwest Airline flight and our travelers took their seats. It was a pretty smooth flight. Travelers Ken Zeien and Matthew Deutmeyer were all about the mountains they could see from the plane. It was great to see all there excitement. They definitely made a big impression on the Southwest crew.

We have now made it to the hotel, checked in and the travelers are resting! Tomorrow we have a big day! Stay tuned to all the fun we are going to have in Salt Lake City!


Travel Team

Day 2

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

It has been such an amazing first day in Salt Lake City!

When we got in last night, we didn’t noticed the mountains right outside our hotel. But when we awoke we were blown away by the beauty of the mountains when we walked outside.

We made our way to downtown Salt Lake City around 9am. We are using the city’s metro system and it is very accessible. One of the stops is only 5 minute walk from our hotel.

We hopped onto the train and made our way to our first activity. We arrived promptly at 10am when they opened. It was such an amazing museum. With tons of hands on activities.



Every traveler found something that they were into. The Leonardo is named after Leonardo Da Vinci. It had some history about Leonardo in one of the exhibits.

There were two floors of exhibits and we had fun on each floor. The different activities included art, legos, learning on to fly a plane, creating movies, and lots of fun quizzes and facts.


 Have you ever seen the movie Chicken Run? Well they have the original two chickens from that movie! They used dolls to make the movie.




After our fun adventure, we made our way to the metro so we could go your Utahs State Capitol! But before we went, we took a detour through a park so we could enjoy this beautiful weather.



Before we arrived at the State Capitol we shopped at a Salt Lake City gift shop and then arrived at the Capitol.

When we arrived we did a self guided tour and learned so much about the history of Utah. Did you know Utah is known as the Beehive State?


Or that the Sandlot was filmed here? Or even Indiana Jones? There were many more movies filmed here!

There is also a very cool paleontology place in Utah, where you can spend some time digging up dinosaur bone!! Next trip anyone?

It was so much fun touring the Capitol. Once we took a ton of pictures, we made our way to the Smith Ball park, to watch the SL Bees versus the El Paso Chihuahuas!

The stadium has a great view of the mountains and we had some great seats! Right in the shade watching the game and gazing at the mountains! By the way it was 80 degrees today and there is snow on the mountains! Crazy to witness this!

It was an excellent game! It was very close game, at the bottom of the 5th the Chihuahuas were winning 6-5.

During the game, Bumble the mascot came by to say hi to our group during the game! The travelers really enjoyed hanging out with Bumble!

Unfortunately the Bees lost 14-5! But even though they lost, the travelers cheered every step of the way and they sounded like the bees all time favorite fans!

We are now back at the hotel getting some rest. It was such a fun day, we have another full day ahead tomorrow! Stay tuned tomorrow night to see all the fun we will have!


Travel Team

Day 3

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

It is another beautiful day in Salt Lake and what better way to see the beauty of Utah by taking a drive! Some of he travelers asked if we could take these mountains home with us! It’s so amazing!

We took a drive to Pleasant Grove, Utah where we had a free tour of a factory called DoTERRA. DoTERRA is an essential oil company that serves people all over the world.

When we arrived we were greeted by some very friendly hostess and greeted by some lovely smells of Wild Orange defusing. That was just one of many oils we smelled. After we used the restrooms we were greeted by two awesome tour guides. They showed us all around the facility, from the customer services office, to A SPA facility, and the factory.

DoTERRA headquarters has 2000 employees in Utah. There are many more facilities across the world with more and more being built. As we toured the guides took us outside so we could see the beautiful scenery, which had a small pod stocked with fish, some ducks, and a beaver. We even took a picture in front of the tallest mountain in Utah, Mount Timpanogos. Yes, there is snow in the mountains!

We then made our way through the cafeteria(which we eventually had lunch and a smoothly for dessert)! They serve there food with all natural ingredients and the cooks grow there own vegetables! Before we knew it, we made our way to the factory, where part of the magic happens.

The real magic happens all over the world. You see, essential oils are oils that are extracted from plants or trees which are grown all over the world, the distillers test the oils before sending them to Utah, to make sure they are pure. DoTERRA scientists then bring the oils into their labs to test them 9 more times to make sure they are the purest form of oil.

The scientists also test these oils on bacteria, to see how oils help fight off unwanted bacteria. DoTERRA Essential oils are used for a ton of things, from washing clothes, brushing teeth, cleaning counters and dirty sinks. The main use of DoTERRA essential oils is for medical ailments. Like colds, headaches, soar muscles, and many more other things. It was pretty cool stuff!

When we toured the factory we even saw the warehouse where they distribute over 6 million bottles of oil! That’s a lot of oil! In the same location we saw the employees filling the jars. The smell of essential oils was in the air! They were awesome smells too!

After we toured the factory, our tour guides gave our travelers some free lanyards and we all had a chance to smell some oils. Wild Orange, peppermint, breathe, lemon grass, and cinnamon. Traveler Charles Lee loved the Wild Orange! Afterwords we all received DoTERRA pins and then made our way to lunch.

Before we knew it we were on the bus heading to downtown Salt Lake to get ready for our next tour.

Our next tour began at the Plaza Hotel next to Temple Square. The bus dropped us off close to the hotel. We got off, went over to the hotel and did a little souvenir shopping. The Great Salt Lake tour started at 2:30pm, so we were ready to go when the new bus came up.

The bus drivers’ name was Mike. He actually dropped us off a couple of nights ago at the hotel, so he remembered this rowdy group :)! Mike greeted us and we made our way to The Great Salt Lake. We weren’t alone on the bus trip, there were two other ladies and a couple. They gotten to know our group pretty well. Mike drove and spoke to us, he told us a little about the history of the city, but mostly he was getting us ready to see the Lake.












Mike took a detour, to show us one of the train station in the area, there are multiple train stations. This particular train station was an all time favorite for Walt Disney. When Disneyland was built, Walt used the design of this building to create the one in Disneyland. That is pretty cool, especially to those travelers who love Disney!

Before we go on and talk about our experience at The Great Salt Lake, let me tell you some information. The Great Salt Lake is the 6th largest lake in the country. Do you know the other top five largest great lakes? This lake is 6 times saltier than the ocean.











At one time the world salt came from this lake, now it comes from Michigan (Morton). It’s considered America’s dead sea, meaning only Algae and Sea Monkeys live in this lake. And there are 10 desert islands, on this lake, with one island just inhabited by Antelope and buffalo.











Crazy thing, about this lake. Since there is so much salt (that’s why only two things live in it) you can easily float on the lake, it’s very difficult to swim. Sorry I didn’t try it, even though I secretly wanted to.

Here are also some things related to the state. The state bird is the sea gull. It’s a hefty fine if you decide to kill one of these birds, but we didn’t see any! So I don’t know where you find them! The same with the bees! I have hardly seen any bees! There are not many trees either.

It’s because trees don’t grow out here. The only reason you may see trees if someone is watering them, or they are getting water from somewhere else. The different bushes that are out here are edible. The pickle weed and Sage are the top plants to eat. They can actually use Sage for tea, but I hear its pretty nasty!

It was some very interesting facts about Utah and about the Great Salt Lake. Before we got to the lake, Mike pulled the bus over to spot some animals. We saw many birds, but there is one animal that stuck out. Traveler Rebecca Gerhardstein pointed it out.












It was an Antelope! You know how I mentioned that Antelope lived on one of the islands. Well, somehow, they found their way off the island. So the locals are able to see many Antelope. They are usually scared of people, so they are further away, but not this one. The bus got so close to the Antelope and the animal didn’t even run away. It was awesome!!

After that fun experience, we made our way to The Great Salt Lake Park and saw the beautiful waves and green sand! That’s right, green sand! It’s a mix of sand and sea weed. We walked over it, the travelers drew their names in the sand, and we marveled at how beautiful this lake was. We took our group and individual pictures, shopped at the gift shop, and had fun heading back to downtown Salt Lake City.

When we got back to Plaza hotel, we said bye to our fun bus driver Mike and made our way back to our hotel. We got back to the hotel early, because the travelers wanted to swim and have pizza at the hotel!

So we had a pool party at the Holiday Inn Express! They were so happy, that they had a chance to have a little down time at the hotel, since we had two late nights.

It’s hard to beat this day, but tomorrow should be another fun day! It is our last one, so stay tuned to all the fun we have in store for our travelers.


Travel Team

Day 4

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

It was such an amazing last day in Salt Lake City!

The travelers were ready to tackle their last day in this beautiful city. We hopped on the tram and rode it to Temple Square. Our first tour was a Trolley sighting tour.

The trolley was waiting for us to take us on a tour throughout the city. Mike our driver from last night was all dressed up for this historic trolley tour.

When we got on, he welcomed us, and he had music playing and had each one of us grab a cracker jack box and a bottle of Coke. The travelers really enjoyed eating their crackerjack and drinking their coke, as we traveled along the city and singing and dancing to some good music.

The first place we visited was that train station I told you about yesterday that Walt Disney really liked. So Mike got us out to take some pictures with some Mickey Mouse ears and we had a chance to take a picture with Mike in front of the station.

We were back on the trolley pretty quickly and listened to Mike tell us some history about the city.

The next place we stopped was just outside the state capitol. Mike really knows the great places to take some pictures because we got a good shot of the group in front of the state capitol.
















We even had a chance to meet some buffalo along the way. The Next building on a tour was actually the city building, that we took pictures in front of on our first day in Salt Lake.

Mike told us a story about this building and a man who got into the building telling the security guard that he was there to take pictures of the city. When in fact he had some climbing equipment in his bag. He climbed up the building all the way to the top of a statue that is the very tip of the building and took the statues arm and put a big pumpkin on the top of the tower.

This was during Halloween. Since there are no other people brave enough to go and climb the tower and take down the pumpkin; the pumpkin just stayed up on the tower until the pumpkin fell apart. Which took a long time. So we got out and took a picture with Mike and a pumpkin that one of the travelers is holding. It was a pretty funny and crazy story.

The last stop we made was at the Cathedral in the city.

























The cathedral was called Madeline. Out of 1 million people in Salt Lake City one of every five people are Catholics and one out of three are Mormon.













So we first stopped at this Catholic Church, went in and took some pictures of the awesome stain glass windows and the organ.

We then made our way to Temple Square. After we said our goodbyes to Mike we went into the Jefferson Memorial building where we decided to use restrooms, but we also had some fun taking some funny pictures.

In one of the pictures is a guy named Brandon who loved hanging out with our group and helped us take a bunch of pictures.

Before we knew it was lunchtime, so we made our way to city Creek mall where we dined at the food court.

We ate a delicious lunch and walked around the outdoor mall and did a little shopping.

While we were shopping one of our travelers Dan Conant was surprised by his sister who lives in Utah and her three children. They came an hour away to see her brother.

They decide to spend the rest of the afternoon with us and going on some free tours of Temple Square.

One of the first tours that we did was a walk about tour of the Temple Square, where two missionaries one from Brazil and one from Nigeria gave us some great information about the Mormon religion and some fun facts about the temple.

It was a great tour and they answered a lot of our questions about their faith and the different things the travelers and staff wanted to know.

They even gave the travelers some cards and if they really want them they could take the Book of Mormon. They were very nice people we really enjoyed the tour.

After the fun tour we made it to the next part of our visit which was the discovery Center.

This place is a free interactive exhibit to learn about family history. We all didn’t have accounts to find our family history but we still had the pleasure of learning about our last name, took funny pictures, what was going on the year we were born, and many other fun things about our family names. It was a really cool exhibit.
When we were done we made our way to the garden restaurant where we had a delicious meal while we enjoyed a spectacular view of the city.

After that we made our way to take pictures in front of the temple and then walked over to the N. Temple Visitor Center where we explored the history of Jesus Christ and the well-known Jesus figure made out of marble, with the universe behind the statue.





















It was awesome to see and awesome to visit this center. Our final viewing of the square was the practice of the Temple Choir. They practice every Thursday at 7:30pm and it is open to the public. They did an awesome job singing and playing, but what was awesome, was the acoustics in that building! It was amazing to here this choir!

Well, it’s that time, that we needed to head back to the hotel. So we hopped back on the metro one last time and said bye to downtown Salt Lake. We had an incredible stay in Salt Lake City. So many nice people, so accessible, and the weather is amazing. Tomorrow we head back to Iowa bright and early. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we travel.

I highly recommend traveling to Salt Lake City and experiencing a wonderful culture that is very vibrant in the city. We will be back again visiting Utah in the near future.


The Travel Team


Day 5

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

The travel group has made it back to Iowa!! We had such an amazing time in Utah! We will definitely be back. We woke up pretty early, to head to the airport to take a 8:30am MST flight. Everything went pretty smooth and the flight was quick! We arrived 20 minutes early into Midway! Which was excellent and which meant we could leave earlier and get back to Camp earlier then expected. Travel Tina was picked up at the airport along with volunteer counselor Kim Minerd.

We then dropped off in Davenport, Coralville, Marion and at Pizza Ranch (where we had our final dinner). Traveler Rebecca, is staying downstairs at the Morales house. She leaves tomorrow night for Arizona.

The travelers had such a great time in Salt Lake City! It is always great to be back in you home state!


The Travel Team

4 Responses

  1. Frances says:

    Happy you all had a wonderful trip , safe travels !! ❤

  2. Shelley says:

    My brother Charles went on this trip and it looks like he and the rest of the group had a great time.:-)

  3. Rolando Morales says:

    It was great having Charles on this trip! He sure had a great time!

  4. Rolando Morales says:

    It was a wonderful trip! Thank you Mrs. Mata ;)!