25 members of CAI-Pisa and CAI-PNW went on a three-week hiking odyssey in some of America’s most fascinating landscapes and national parks in Utah and Arizona, May 3-23, 2015.

Fifteen Italians led by Alessando Subissi were treated to an American adventure. They were joined by 9 Americans from the Seattle area. The journey began and ended in Las Vegas where the group enjoyed immersing themselves in the lavish city. Parks visited included the Grand Canyon where hikes went into the canyon on the South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails. Others followed the south rim and explored the view points out to Desert View. At Monument Valley the group had a tour on the back of pickup trucks through blowing sand. Hovenweep and Mesa Verde were all about cliff dwellings. At Natural Bridges, most of the group climbed down into the canyon on ladders to walk the river trail. In Arches and Canyonlands near Moab it was spectacular rock formations and vistas. An afternoon stop in Capitol Reef allowed the group to explore more canyons and dry washes. In Escalante we explored a hill full of petrified trees, a hike to a waterfall and an excursion to beautiful Bryce Canyon where we encountered a brief blizzard at 9000ft. Our final park was Zion. Hikes were up high and into the river canyon as well as photo journeys to some small ponds and waterfalls. Travel was by minivan, lodging was basic motels, and meals were usually on our own with several group meals along the way. The cowboy bar in Torrey was great fun and the view from the restaurant in Moab was terrific. Also in Moab, some of the group had an exciting adventure rafting on the Colorado. It was a large group, but we separated into smaller groups for hikes and walks. The American participants did a fabulous job of supporting the group, driving the vans, leading hikes and planning and preparing some meals. Leaders Diane Clifford and Steve Johnson kept the party moving with new parks and hikes every day. The only causality was Ida on the first day in Las Vegas when she lost a fight with her bed frame and ended up in the hospital for the duration. Everlasting memories were captured with thousands of photographs!

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