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Go-West 2015 -- Tour the magnificent American West


OUR TRIPS: Washington DC, Amish, Outlet Shopping, Lancaster, Myrtle Beach, Pittsburgh, Rickett’s Glen State Park, Elk State Park, camping, bicycling & more!

ACTIVITIES: various hikes, demonstration wedding, bowling, miniature golf, bonfires, star gazing, Super Bowl Party, & more!

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Go-West 2015 -- Tour the magnificent American West

International Ministries at Penn State

and Above&Beyond Ministries
June 11 to June 21, 2015

Download registration form and PDF of all the info here

International Ministries at Penn State joins Above&Beyond Ministries for this memorable 5000 mile+ trip that includes some of America's most spectacular sights - Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Grand Canyon, Chicago, Las Vegas, and much more!


Tentative Schedule


Day #1 (Thursday, June 11): We leave Penn State at 5:00 PM, and drive through the night to CHICAGO.

Day #2 (Friday, June 12): Arriving in Chicago in the AM we explore this grand metropolis, with a particular focus on the downtown and waterfront area. Leaving Chicago in the late afternoon, we travel through the night to South Dakota and Badlands National Park.

Day #3 (Saturday, June 13): After a stop at the unique “Wall Drug” store, you will see the special rock formations of the Badlands,  the famous Mt. Rushmore carving of four Presidents, and the unique Devil's Tower.

Day #4 (Sunday, June 14): We drive up into the Rocky Mountains, where we will see waterfalls, long horn sheep, and some breathtaking mountain scenes. For lunch, we will stop at an old country store, and continue on to Cody, Wyoming, just outside Yellowstone National Park, arriving just in time for a shower, dinner, and playing at a recreation center there.


Day #5 (Monday, June 15): We tour the main part of Yellowstone National Park, seeing wildlife and visiting Old Faithful and numerous geysers and hot springs. Leaving Yellowstone, we drive down to Grand Teton National Park for a sunset dinner on the lake and campfire.


Day #6 (Tuesday, June 16): The Grand Teton mountains are the most spectacular of the Rocky Mountains as they seem to rise up out of the nearby lake. After breakfast we will take a ferry boat over to the bottom of the range and hike up to Inspiration Point.  Dinner will be in Jackson Hole, WY, where we will also watch a mock Old West “gun-fight”.  

Day #7 (Wednesday, June 17): We arrive in  Las Vegas in the late morning, where you can visit an  amusement park, relax in a hotel room we provide, watch a show, or just wander through the many casinos. We leave Las Vegas in the late evening for Grand Canyon National Park.

Day #8 (Thursday, June 18): The sun is rising over the Grand Canyon, one of the seven wonders of the world.  It is truly an incredible, breath-taking sight. The day is yours to explore the Grand Canyon.

Day #9 (Friday, June 19): Driving through the night, we will arrive in Oklahoma City in the morning where we will spend the day at an amusement park called Frontier City.   


Day #10 (Saturday, June 20): Driving thru the night, we will arrive in St. Louis in the morning and visit the famous St. Louis Zoo and take a trip up the famous Gateway Arch.  


Day #11 (Sunday, June 21): Driving thru the night, we will arrive in Pittsburgh, PA and enjoy a ride up the Duquesne Incline where we will spend a couple hours enjoying the view of downtown Pittsburgh.  After this, we will continue our drive home and arrive in State College mid-afternoon.

Additional Trip Information


Above&Beyond is a Christian organization, based in Boston, which specializes in providing long-distance bus trips for international students. We will be traveling on one of their special "sleeper" busses. This bus will enable us to sit along the sides and at tables while traveling during the day. Then, while traveling longer distances at night, the bus is transformed into upper and lower platforms for sleeping. This allows everyone to have a regular night's sleep in their sleeping bag while the two drivers take turns driving us through the night. (Enroute we will stop periodically during the night for gasoline and to use the restrooms.) As we travel, the staff will occasionally give a brief talk to explain and enhance the experience, which will help us to get acquainted with each other and to reflect on our lives and some of these special places and experiences from a Christian perspective.

      Some meals are provided by Above&Beyond; others are usually “fast-food” stops (or Chinese buffets!).  Also, we will periodically shop at a grocery store for food to bring along on the bus. There is a toilet on the bus for emergency use, but we stop every 3 hours or so for bathroom breaks for everyone. There will be planned opportunities to take a shower, at a YMCA, campground, or college athletic center. The bus has 3 tables that can be used during the day, and you can bring along playing cards or favorite games, but don't bring elaborate games that involve small parts that could easily get lost, or which would be hard to learn.

      What to bring? Bring your toothbrush and personal hygiene items, a towel, a pillow (if you use one), and a warm jacket for cooler nights in the Rocky Mountains. Optional items include a hat, camera, and sunscreen! You will also need to bring a sleeping bag, which, if you don't own one, you can borrow from a friend or buy for as little as $20 at Wal-Mart.

Trip Registration Information: This trip is limited to 30 people. (The bus is reserved for our Penn State group until April 20, when any open spaces will be made available to international students from other universities.) To reserve a place on the trip, you should complete and sign the registration form below, and return it to me with a deposit check, payable to "Above & Beyond Ministries", for at least $200 of the total payment of $895 if registering and paying deposit by April 24; ($945 if registering after that date.) The remainder of full payment is required by May 15. The deposit is non-refundable unless you find someone else to take your place or unless we run out of spaces and have a waiting list. (A few spaces are available for children ages 5-12 at a reduced rate of $750.) 

      Cost includes transportation and lodging on the bus, admission to all national parks and monuments, use of a hotel room while in Las Vegas, and some meals while sightseeing at the National Parks. All dates and scheduled activities are subject to change.

Additional details will be sent upon receipt of deposit or on request.

Questions? Contact Bill at the address below, or the other group leader, Kirk Zuercher at 205-365-6776 or at  

Send completed registration form and payment to:

Bill Saxton, International Ministries at Penn State
Office: 210A Eisenhower Chapel, University Park, PA 16802
Office: 865-1935        Home: 237-6304  Cell: 404-6763     Email:

Earlier Event: March 26
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Later Event: August 9
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