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Day 10 – Salt Lake City – By Teddy Magram

After descending 1,204 ft in the span of 8 1/2 hours in total darkness with 80% of the bus in a semi sleep state, we finally arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Here Comes The Sun” quietly came on the speakers and got everyone up and ready for the exciting day ahead. Our first stop was the JCC where we were served breakfast, which consisted of bagels and a variety of cereals. Being a New Yorker I decided to stay away from the bagels for obvious reasons. After breakfast we were able to use the showers, gym and basketball courts until 12. A bunch of guys had a pick up game of basketball while the rest used the gym and some went on a hike. Some girls decided to spend their free time prepping for their Fourth of July attires.

After our free time at the JCC we headed over to Whole Foods where we grabbed something to eat. We got to load up on fruits and other organic healthy options. After lunch we drove to the most appropriate location for the Fourth of July, a shooting range. At the range we spoke with Clarke Aposhin, a lobbyist for the NRA, about how as Americans it is our right to own guns and how guns are “safe”. This was the counter balance discussion from our talk with Rep. McCann in Denver who was pro gun control. Most in our group remained pro gun control but some began to rethink this position. After talking about the positive aspects of owning a gun, the group was brought out to the actual range and we got to watch the trained experts shoot off some guns. At one point they called on Billy to shoot a gun and then Earle (our bus driver and a veteran of the military). Watching Billy shoot was quite entertaining and Earle was a pretty good marksman as well.

After our meeting, we got back on the bus and headed back to Salt Lake City where we took a tour of the Mormon church. We were escorted around by four women who were missionaries trying to spread the beliefs of Mormonism. They were very informative as we spent a lot of time asking them questions about the Mormon faith. As the tour progressed I began to think to myself that these women enjoyed serving their church way more than I could have ever imagined and to me it felt almost obsessive. They were all very nice and informative but that lifestyle is not for me. After the church we went to the hotel and had a bit of free time before we ate dinner which was, ironically on the 4th of July, Mexican food.