by Casey Ference
Day 11 (July 7th) was a very special day for me, especially because it was my 15th birthday! It was the first time I spent my birthday away from home, that being said, this trip already feels like a second home.
My friends woke up early to get me a milkshake and cookies for breakfast. After we finished eating, we went on the bus for a three hour ride to Salt Lake City, Utah. On the way there, we stopped at a gas station where we met a group of people dressed very traditionally. We thought they were Amish, but it turns out they were just reenacting the Oregon Trail!
First on our agenda was meeting gun rights activist, Clark Aposhian. In my opinion, this conversation was much more nuanced than our previous controversial discussions (marriage equality and abortion). Mr. Aposhian emphasized how there isn’t a consistent correlation between more gun restrictions and less homicides. He also talked about how laws about guns simply aren’t being enforced. After our dialogue, we went to their shooting range and watched them shoot semi-automatic weapons and even a machine gun.
Since we were in Salt Lake City, we had to go to the Mormon Church. We got a quick tour of some of their buildings which were very beautiful. We had the opportunity to ask questions about the beginning and practices of Mormonism. It was an interesting and informative experience.
To cap off the day we went to a minor league baseball game. We ate dinner at the stadium, and we got a cake for my birthday. I didn’t spend much time watching the game because I was stressed about getting good pictures for Instagram. It was very nice getting to end the day with a fun, relaxing activity.
About half an hour before curfew, me and some friends jumped into the hotel pool with our clothes on, which was fun, but my clothes are still wet.
All in all, today was very eventful and I can say with confidence that it cracked my top 15 favorite birthdays.