By McKenna Moore and Hayley Mitchell
Special to The SUN
Have you ever had an experience that changes your whole perspective of history?
About one month ago, 14 Pagosa students went on an amazing adventure to the east: to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., to be exact.
Every single one of us wanting to go on this trip had to be very innovative to finding ways to raise funds. We all worked very hard to raise enough money to go on this extraordinary trip with our teacher, Scott White, along with his wife, Jaye White. The trip did not have us on one of the helicopter sightseeing tours which one enjoys at Maui, but the trip was quite fun in it’s own way.
And, in the end? All the stress of bake sales, babysitting, pet sitting and yard sales suddenly became very much worth it, as we saw history come to life.
Our first destination was Boston. The minute we stepped into humid, historic Boston two things happened. First, our hair suddenly became a giant frizzy mass. And second, our jaws dropped with the beauty of all the buildings.
“It’s quite an amazing experience being in Boston seeing all those old, rustic-looking structures and it just gives me a clear image of what the past would be like” (Hayley). “We also got to see all the sights; all kinds of different and historic cemeteries, many famous houses, and even old harbors and ships such as the S.S. Constitution.
“There is so much history in the city, you can’t look around and not see a piece of history” (McKenna). “Overall, we were all blown away by the beautiful and unique history that Boston brought into our perspective.”
“New York was probably my favorite of all the places we visited. The minute our big tour bus arrived in the busy NYC, my heart started pumping faster. Everything in New York was just so fast and high speed, with all the people crowding up the long sidewalks. We started off going to the 9/11 Memorial, which was beautiful. Now, after exploring the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and a museum, it was finally time for my overall most exciting event: Times Square along with the Broadway show, ‘Matilda.’ Being involved in drama productions in Pagosa, I’ve dreamt of seeing Broadway ever since I was little. The minute I stepped out of the tour bus, my mind was blown. Screens were displayed everywhere, lighting up the starry, cloudless sky. As we continued to explore Times Square, my anticipation grew. Watching Broadway really does change your perspective on the dramatic arts. I have never really been into musicals, but I have to say that this show took my breath away. Seeing a little, 6-year-old girl singing her heart out, already using vibrato and perfect tone shows you the true art and beauty of live performance and opened my eyes to a whole new world. I was literally blown away that night. And I think that’s what this trip was all about. Seeing history come to life, yes, but also seeing a whole other perspective, a different world from little ole’ Pagosa Springs. Truthfully, I think everyone’s favorite part of the trip was definitely the amazing show ‘Matilda.’
“Our last stop was Washington D.C., and it was amazing. We went to lots of different places. My personal favorite was Arlington National Cemetery. We got to see the changing of the guard, which was so amazing I was speechless, I couldn’t believe how strict and specific it was. Then, to see all the monuments! Wow!
“All the memorials we visited opened my eyes to how great of a sacrifice the men and women of America have made for our freedom. We went on a tour of all the monuments at night, so that definitely added to the effect. My favorite of all the monuments was the Lincoln Monument. We were there right at sunset, which made it even greater. And it’s so big, a lot bigger than I was expecting. We also got to see George Washington’s house at Mount Vernon. It was fun seeing all of the beautiful rooms in his house and the magnificent lush forest where he took walks. And, finally, to finish off the trip, we went to the Smithsonian. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go to all of the buildings, but we did get to go to three museums: Air and Space, National History and American History. It was great being able to see things like the first monkey to go into space (stuffed), all kinds of prehistoric animals, and all the First Ladies’ dresses. Washington D.C. was definitely historical, but more modern than Boston. I think that Washington was very rich in history and a beautiful and rare place. All the same, there was definitely history to be found everywhere throughout the whole trip”(Hayley).
The trip to the East Coast was unlike anything we ever expected. And, believe us, we expected a lot.
It led us to a much broader and deeper knowledge of history but also gave us life-long memories of a trip we’ll never forget. We strongly encourage the eighth-graders of next year to seriously consider this trip, for if you do, you’ll be able to see the past become present.
This trip was awesome.