Going to Washington D.C. in July is an experience for anyone, especially if you are from small rural communities in the high desert of southeastern Nevada, mostly because it is often stiflingly humid, quite different than the dry heat of the desert.

And every couple of years, Pahranagat Valley High School history teacher Brooke Foremaster takes a group of students, mostly juniors and seniors, plus interested parents, on a tour to D.C. and other historical sites nearby, such at Mt. Vernon and Gettysburg.

“I try to get some cultural sites in as well as educational,” she said. “We mostly take public transportation, and do miles and miles of walking. We rent vans when we have to drive outside the city.”

The trip July 2-13, also included a side trip to New York City. Seventeen students made the trip along with her husband Robert and Rob and DeeAnn Hansen.

The group also stopped in Philadelphia and visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell monument. Another side trip was to Atlantic City to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, for those who wanted to.

Included in the Washington trip are the usual historical sites around the capitol, White House, Capitol Building, Smithsonian Museums, National Zoo, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, plus various other national monuments. “This year we did the Pentagon tour and the 9/11 memorial there,” Foremaster said.

It was the second time Foremaster had taken students to New York City. They visited Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and other notable sites, but this time, included a visit to the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero.

“A lot of the kids said that was their favorite thing out of everything we did and all the places that we went,” Foremaster said. “They have heard so much about it, and we talk about it in class, and now, it was a time where they could finally put it all together at the actual place.”

At the 9/11 memorial in New York City, Foremaster said she had a unique experience of striking up a conversation with a woman who had worked in one of the towers for 18 years, and was one of the 9/11 survivors, and was coming back herself for the first time, visiting with her own, now grown, children .