“Life Elevated” in Utah

Crossing from Nevada to Utah

By: Lidia

Hello from Utah, the “Life Elevated” state! We have some exciting news from the road. Over the last week, we’ve had our first official meeting at Southern Utah University, were joined by a new team member, and have reached out to over 30 community colleges and state schools along our route. Here’s a quick recap of our recent adventures:

Last Friday, we were fortunate to meet with nine students from Southern Utah University who are interested in public service and careers in DC. We introduced ourselves, SAIS, and the mission of our trip. Lidia discussed how she lived and worked in Eastern Europe. John spoke about his family background and challenges adapting to DC life. Sarahann shared her experiences working in U.S. embassies around the world. The students asked thoughtful and provoking questions, challenging us to reflect on how individuals from different backgrounds can enter and thrive in competitive fields. We know they will all do great things for their communities!

Exploring Southern Utah University’s campus after our meet-and-greet with students

In Cedar City, we also had to say goodbye to Josh and Chloe, who are moving on to start their jobs at the Federal Reserve in New York. We will miss them! But, we’ve been joined by a new team member, Jesse Metzger. He will be cycling with us to Washington, DC and has brought wonderful energy to the group. To read more about Jesse’s background, check out our team biography page.

For Jesse’s first day, we began our climb through the Utah mountains. Wow, it is difficult! The hills are pushing us to our breaking points. In a single ride, we climbed over 5,000 feet, reaching an altitude of 10,400 where the snow is still fresh and summer seems far off. On Saturday, we caught a glimpse of Cedar Breaks and met a park ranger whose brother attended SAIS. We also met a fellow Washingtonian, RootChopper, who has a friend working at Johns Hopkins and gave us tips about the road ahead.

Sarahann, Jesse, and Lidia making the long climb from Cedar City to Cedar Breaks

Next, our route brought us to Kodachrome Basin State Park, which has beautiful views, rock formations that look like they’re from Mars, and a campground with 5-star showers. We cleaned ourselves up and spent the night toasting marshmallows over a fire. From there, we traveled to Escalante, UT and then descended into the Escalante Canyons. The road was steep and narrow, so we had to take extra safety precautions. But the view at the bottom of the canyons was worth it!

Views from Kodachrome Basin State Park

Today, we have reached Boulder, UT and have spent the morning reaching out to community and state colleges across the country. We have contacted individuals from over 30 institutions inviting them to connect us with their students. We hope this outreach will be fruitful and help us set up more formal meetings. If you know anyone along our route who would be interested in meeting us, please contact us. We are happy to get coffee and chat with anyone!

John, Sarahann, and Lidia enjoying the views after a long day of cycling