Imogen’s letter from America

Brechin teen Imogen Sherrit, who is currently on an gap year to the United States where she has been attending Fauquier High School in Warrenton, Virginia has been in to touch with her latest stateside update. In it, she discusses what she got up to in her Spring break vacation.

Imogen said: “March was definitely a busy month! A few days before our spring break I took part in a speech contest, organised by the local Rotary Club.

“The first stage took place in February, and involved a group of high school students from my county and a few of our neighbours. We were asked to write a speech based on the Rotary theme for 2013, ‘Peace Through Service’, memorise it, and then deliver it at the monthly meeting. A panel of judges then decided who would go on to the next stage of the contest.

“In the first stage, which took place in February, I tied for first place and won $250 which was a bonus! Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the next stage in the second contest in March, but the money I won paid for my ski trip to Timberline in West Virginia, so that was an added bonus.

“We broke up for spring break on the March 22, which was the day my host family and I flew to Utah. We spent the first three days in a town called Moab, in southern Utah.

“The scenery in the western states is absolutely breathtaking, especially the south. “I felt like I’d walked into a western movie.

“We visited two national parks while we were there; Arches and Canyonlands. Both names give you a pretty good idea of what you can find there.

“My favourite thing in Arches was the hike to Delicate Arch, a natural arch formed from the erosion of the sandstone, which has become something of a state symbol for Utah. Landscape arch was beautiful too. It is the largest in the park, at 306 feet, but it is now only six feet wide at its thinnest point after a part fell off naturally in the 1990s, so it may not be an arch for much longer.

“When we visited Canyonlands we visited the part called “Island in the Sky”, which as you can imagine is at a very high elevation, so we had beautiful landscape views of the canyons and buttes below. The scenery really is fantastic there. It’s so different to anything I’ve ever seen before.

The following Monday, we headed north to Logan, which is where my host dad’s brother lives. It’s much greener and snowy in the north; similar to Wyoming and Idaho which we also visited over the remaining days.

We visited several historic sites, including the Golden Spike which where the transcontinental railroad was completed.

On our last day we visited Antelope Island which is actually situated on Great Salt Lake. No prizes for guessing what we saw there... But as well as antelope, we saw lots of American Bison, and even a few coyotes.

Unfortunately our return flight on Monday gave us a few issues. Mechanical problems with the plane combined with a mass influx of people trying to get home at the end of break meant that we were asked to fly the next day instead. So the hotel put us up with a room for the night and we missed a day of school- bonus!

It also meant we could see a bit of Salt Lake City before we went home to Virginia. I really enjoyed our trip, because it’s a part of the states I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I’d love to go back and see a bit more of the western states someday, especially Colorado and Arizona. I guess they’re next on the bucket list!”

Imogen Sherrit,