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Rippey FFA Trip, August, 1948

Sixteen boys, their driver, and sponsor experienced a thirteen day tour of the Rocky Mountain Regions. August, 1948

Jefferson Herald, August 19, 1948

Rippey F. F. A. Boys Return From Trip

Rippey—Sixteen boys, their driver, and sponsor returned last Wednesday evening from a thirteen day tour of the Rocky Mountain Regions.

The boys drove out through Kansas to Colorado Springs where they visited the Garden of The Gods and took a cable car trip to the top of Mt. Manitou. From here they headed south to Canon City and the Royal Gorge where the worlds highest bridge is located. At Canon City the Colorado State Penitentiary proved to be an interesting place. This is one of the few penitentiaries in the U. S. that is trying to build up the morale and pride of prisoners by having them do something constructive. The boys were shown the gate where several prisoners made their escape last December 29. This break is being put in a movie called Canon City. It was taken in the penitentiary and has only five Hollywood actors in it. The rest are inmates and wardens.

Indian-Spanish Town

From Canon City the boys traveled south through Toas, a quaint Indian and Spanish town. It is well known as a painters and artists center. The boys spent one night near Santé Fe where San Miguel, the oldest church in the U. S. is located. Because of the rain the boys .spent one night In the dorms of the San Miguel Mission where the students who study for the Mission stay. The Church is still used daily. It has walls of adobe and they are six feet thick. Parts of the church had been destroyed during the Indian wars but had been repaired..  The town and its people are truly Spanish.

The group followed the Rio Grande River down to Albuquerque and from there drove out to Acoma the oldest town in the U. S. The Indian village is located on solid rock 400 feet high and at one time had only steps leading to the top. As far back as records can be found this little village has been inhabited. The homes and. Missions are made of adobe which has all been carried up the cliff by human hands. The walls of the huge church are of adobe and about nine feet thick. These missions were inspired by Spanish missionaries that were sent from Spain 400 to 500 years ago. It is said that the Acoma Mission took 40 years to build.

Carlsbad Caverns

            The Elephant Butte Dam and El Paso on the Mexican border were the boys' last stops before making the trip through the Carlsbad Caverns. The Caverns took five hours to go through. They went down to a depth of 850 feet and back to a level of 750 feet where lunch was served to all who wished it. From here they went through the Big Room which covers about 13 city blocks with ceilings up to 300 feet and some holes and caverns down as much as 250 feet down. The cave has stalagmites and stalactites of all forms and to try and to try and describe the cave would only be an injustice to the caverns, the boys said.

The Caverns were the climax to good trip and the "Jackson Pullman" headed back via Oklahoma City, Joplin, Kansas City and then “Good Old Iowa".

Boys Making Trip

The boys making the trip were Don Grow, Chas. Stewart, LaVere Derry, Louis Laub, John Burke, Phillip Lansing, Gordon Brown, Dwight Rice, Phillip Crumley, Dale Neese, Jimmy Morse, Duane Harris, Jack Kopaska, Eugene Muir, Paul Linn, and Charles Derry, along with    Darwin Jackson, the driver and J. J. Peters, Vocational Agriculture Instructor.

They camped out every night but one and cooked most of their own meals. They raised the money for the trip by selling Commercial Fertilizer and each contribuiting$20 of his own.

The boys wish to thank each and everyone who helped to plan, finance, and make It possible for them to take this trip. They hope to make a similar trip next year.