Day 21

Our Sleeper of the day is..............Emilio Blair from Florida.  He must be listening to a pretty song about turtles.

Quote of the day: Landon Wright said, “ When life gives you lemons, throw them away and buy Emilio’s oranges from Florida.”

Howdy blog!!!!! Thank goodness we are not in Kansas anymore… LOL! We were happy to find out that Bradley Olson kept us safe from the raccoons at our campsite in the middle of the night… they were EVERYWHERE!

After waking up at 5:30 this morning, we loaded onto the bus and the vans, and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pastries. 

We soon arrived at Kansas University, where we explored the Student Union, and purchased lots of goodies… coffee included. We also had the pleasure of Face timing friends and family with the iPads in the Kansas University Bookstore.

Kansas Football Stadium

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Dallas, in her gracefulness, spilling the free cups we got all over campus

Some fun facts about the university given to us by Tristan Benson and Riely Kiefer include: James Nay Smith, the inventor of basketball, was the first head coach at Kansas. When students first enrolled in the school, they only paid $30 per year and it took the first class seven years to graduate.

After loading back onto our vehicles, we ventured into the most interesting state of Missouri!! We were excited to discover a delicious Wendy’s around lunchtime that was conveniently located at a gas station that we needed to stop at. Lots of us enjoyed TWO lunches because we were served a gourmet meal of Hawaiian rolls and roast beef while continuing our trek to St. Louis!! 

Some of the festivities on the bus included an intense game of what are the odds, a modified baseball game, a liars dice tournament (very similar to the card game BS), and entertainment from our lovely counselors. They (Dallas) told us funny stories about Brooks Godbold, her little brother, and how he used to go by Otter Boy… LOL!! Dallas also mentioned a Christmas a long time ago when the Christmas tree fell down on Brooks.

Baseball on the bus.....Why not!

As we pulled in to St. Louis we were overjoyed to see that Grant had caught back up with us claiming we had left him yet again in a bathroom...this time in Cody, WY.

We were overjoyed when we pulled into St. Louis, Missouri, and we saw the Archway to the West! It was MASSIVE!!! We were relieved to find out that we didn’t have to take stairs to the top, like the counselors said we would have to do. We did get a little cozy in the elevator pods that took us to the top. Sydney Craig, Olivia Comer, and Sarah Kate Rankin had the pleasure of squeezing in the tiny capsule (they had four-foot tall ceilings) with the two tallest boys in the trip, Grant Swicegood and Drew Hughlett. However, we were saddened to find out that there was no McDonalds at the top of the archway!!! There were only windows to peer out of over the awesome city and baseball stadium in St. Louis. 

Avery Clark shared her research on the Archway to the West and told us it was 630 feet tall and takes 4 minutes on the elevator to reach the top.

Grant loves St. Louis

Arching under the Arch

Idk what's going on here, but it looks like trouble

"Chief" Trey
Still plotting

Abby Christian catching some Z's under the Arch

Apparently while waiting in line for the elevator at the Archway, some folks decided it was selfie day and snatched the blog camera for some close-ups.

Grant Swicegood, Landon Wright, Jake Studebaker, Emilio Blair, Hunter Wood, Trey Dry, Nolan Beaty, and Luke Edwards

Logan Schultz

Madee Draper

Natalie Royal

Ethan Manning

Sara Beth Parker

Matt McConnel

The elevators were like an egg shaped washing machine big enough for maybe 2 people....but required to have 5!!!  The elevator ride was an experience in itself.  They couldn't go straight up because of the shape of the Archway, so they actually went up and over!!! It was a bit of a surprise to all 5 people packed in like sardines.

Emilio Blair, Sofy Saiz, Luke Edwards, Landon Wright, and Jake Studebaker in the washing machine elevator

Sarah Henderson,  Sara Beth Parker, Jordan Thompson, Logan Schultz, and Natalie Royal

The view on the riverside of the Arch

Nolan Beaty, Landon Wright, Luke Edwards, and Jake Studebaker at the top

Ana Ramsey and Jordan Thompson enjoying the top

View from the city side 
St. Louis

The construction going on far far below

We loaded the bus to head to our final destination of the night, a Walmart! What a surprise!!! Grant Deaton tricked us into trying a local soda called Ski, which he said tasted like Sundrop (it didn’t taste ANYTHING like Sundrop).

When we arrived at our campsite in Illinois, we were introduced to a new challenge. Three partners had to be zip-tied at the wrist until we arrive at Churchill Downs tomorrow. This includes doing everything together, from showering to sleeping to eating and going to the bathroom. From a first hand account from Sydney Craig, Olivia Comer and Hundley Rhyne, it was quite hard for Olivia (the person in the middle) to use the bathroom, and it was even harder to fit all three of them in one stall…LOL!!!!!

Josie Crooks and Avery Lowrance wondering if this zip tie thing is going to work out

RUN!! Maddie Lawson, Carly Brown, and Madee Draper rushing to get their jobs done

Luke Edwards, Mack Slaugher and Jake Studebaker trying to lay their stuff out for the night

Morgan Bostic, Avery Clark. and Hannah McAferty excited for the challenge

Get your stuff laid out McKenna Cuadill, Avery Biber, and Shelby Auvil

Claire Fry, Allie Binkley, and Bryn Robinson are literally attached to one another

Katey Taylor, Anna Ramsey and Scotlyn McDowell zipping along

Georgia Privott, Allison Roney, and Landyn Gray were very glad to discover they were all 3 cooks

Getting our bags was much harder with help that is attached to you

Sydney Craig, Olivia Comer, and Hundley Rhyne partnered up and ready to go

HURRY Leni Hull, Sam Russel and Analee Decker

Kayleen Smith and Carson Little had to help Sloan Edemann be a bus unpacker 

Blogging with extra hands

Alex Garrigus working on his balancing circus act

Our fearless director Matt Harkey working super hard at laying around

Anna Ramsey, Scotlyn McDowel and Katey Taylor aren't going to give up

Alex Cormier, Trey Dry, and Bradley Olson dabbin' on dem folks

All smiles from the people smart enough to not get tricked into the zip tie competition

Somebody bought cookie dough and it immediately led to some girl talk

Dinner is coming sooooooooooon!

The dream team?  Idk we will find out

For a late dinner, the cooks whipped up some delicious French toast sticks, sausage, hash browns, and watermelon.  It was hard for all the groups of three to eat, but somehow they made it work. After dinner we had another amazing sing along.  We feel very close together....especially those zip-tied at the wrists.  We are racing into tomorrow with excitement for Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby!

Cooking was hard before we were attached 
Enjoying some terrible Ski while cooking an awesome meal

Avery Biber, the only actual cook of the three, eating while her partners do all the work