LC Class 61 Classmates 10-day Road Trip

Dec 28, 2011

by Wendy Ramos-Garcia

Fourteen members of Lourdes College High School Class 61 led by host, Bernardita Rodriguez Sanchez of Santa Clarita, California and her son, Enan, daughter-in-law, Marita and granddaughter, Renee, embarked on a 10-day road trip July 3 – 12 that took us from California all the way to Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

Victoria Luminarias of Texas, Judy Buhay Yost and Ging Larrabaster Vinson of San Diego, Neile Quiblat of Montreal, Canada, Delerina Pelola and Wendy Garcia of San Francisco, Grace Gaid Reyes and Zeny Rodriguez of Los Angeles, Rosemarie Quiepo Flores of Hawaii, Lucille Willkom Justiniani and hubby, Flo of Orange County, Fe Dangazo, and Jemen Tabor Batayola of San Mateo completed the gregarious group – an adventurous bunch of classmates whose friendship spans several decades.

Rolling down the highway with Bernie’s 20-seater bus.

Bernie provided the 20-seater bus, son Enan drove while daughter-in-law, Marita took care of arranging lodging at various stops along the way. This delightful journey took us to Bryce National Park and the Arches in Utah, the 4 Corners Monument, the only point in the United States where 4 states (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico & Colorado) converge, picturesque Santa Fe, New Mexico, an artists’ haven, mystical Sedona and our last stop, the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Everyone got along fine. On the bus we always prayed the rosary along with the Divine Mercy prayers; but we also got to watch good movies and educational CDs about the places we visited, courtesy of Ging L. Vinson. And sing to our hearts’ content we did as well, with couple Flo and Lucille Justiniani leading the marathon songfests. Some meals were ably prepared by chefs Rosemarie, Lucille, Fe and Jemen assisted by other members of the kitchen brigade. Mameng Dunn Quitoriano was supposed to join us but she got sick on the first day. She was well enough to rejoin us at Bernie’s house in Santa Clarita, California before we all went back home to our respective cities/states.

River Rafting along the Colorado River was fun!

Trip highlights – top of the list was river rafting along the Colorado River that began upstream at Moab, a 13-mile run of fun rapids; visiting several chapels and churches like the Loreto Chapel in New Mexico with the Miraculous Staircase (reputed to have been built by St. Joseph himself), St. Francis Cathedral also in Santa Fe, the Santuario de Chimayo with its Holy Dirt, and Chapel of the Holy Cross, perched up on a mountain in Sedona; gazing at natural wonders Bryce Canyon National Park with its colored spires and minarets of red-gold rock, the Arches National Park, a celebration of sandstones, mudstones, shales, salts and limestones all stacked one upon another in colossal formations and the grandest of all, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, ten miles wide and a mile deep of geologic landscape that shimmer and dazzle in the sunlight. Shopping for souvenirs in postcard-pretty Santa Fe, New Mexico, Moab, Utah and Tlaquepaque Mall (meaning “the best of everything” in Navajo) in Sedona was also fun.

Petrified Forest National Park.

Miraculous Staircase, Loreto Chapel, N.M.                                        

Grand Canyon National Park.

Bryce National Park, the Arches and the Grand Canyon, natural wonders that left us all in awe made us sit, think and thank God for these gifts. They are so beautiful and grand beyond anything else on earth. So, while one is able to walk, hike and climb, make plans to visit these spectacular natural beauties that overwhelm and take one’s breath away.

Lourdes College High School Class ’61.

Tomorrow, next day or next year may be too late. Our next road trip is slated for fall of 2011 to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and nearby scenic Montana and Idaho, to be led by the Sanchez family again. Class ’61 is truly blessed to have them as friends and benefactors.

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