Cycle I Immersion at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

What a terrific time the students had on their first immersion trip!

relaxing at the organic farm

The first day was spent at Willowbrook Organic Farm which was both productive and fun.  The students sorted garlic, prepared planting beds for winter, and harvested watermelon.  There was an old fashioned tree swing that everyone took turns on. The picnic lunch under the shade trees was a great end to their time at the farm. The photo to the right is the group in a huge belly laughing chain.

Group Photo & TuzigootAfter the farm, it was off to Tuzigoot National Park.   At the park, the students split into two groups.  One group explored the visitor’s center that is filled with pottery and original artifacts.  The students viewed displays on how the ancient tribes traded with southern and northern tribes. The other group went on a ranger led tour of the ruins.  One of the student highlights was finding a walking stick insect on a tree at the park.  The photo to the left is a group at the top of the ruins on the ranger led hike.

Next the group traveled a short distance to Dead Horse Ranch State Park and began setting up their home away from home.  They were able to take a hike on the first night by the river and do some exploring.  Tents were set up and a delicious dinner was prepared.  A football game was part of the first night’s recreation as well.

Photo of Student FishingTuesday was spent exploring. Some of the discoveries were javelina  tracks, tarantulas, a beautiful sunrise over Tuzigoot ruins (Ms. Larson’s favorite) and the lovely cottonwoods. Two students  were lucky anglers, each catching blue gills. To the left is a photo of one of them fishing in the lagoon at the State Park.

In the evening, the students and teachers preformed some hilarious skits.  While Mr. Vest spoke to the audience about his confidence in the student’s good behavior, several students pantomimed chaos behind a sheet. Two students performed a  parody of how “over prepared” some students might be for their immersion trips.  One of the girls. sang a song from Aladdin, the musical.  There were many more skits and talents shared as well.

classroom at ClemenceauOn Wednesday they broke camp and headed to  the Clemenceau Heritage Museum in Cottonwood.  There they viewed a miniature train display, a replica of a one room school house, early 20th century home interiors, and memorabilia from the heyday of mining and ranching in the Verde Valley.
The students ate lunch on the lush lawn of the museum and played games as well.

The last stop before returning to school was a hike in Sedona at Midgely Bridge.  The students found a small spot in the creek where they could “slide” and many of them, including Ms. Cook, had to ride back to Flagstaff in wet clothes.  The switch back trail was amazing and it is always great to find a creek to play in.

Many memories were made on this first immersion of the school year. Now all the students are working hard on their academics to participate in the next one.