July 29, 2017
One final Howdy from Mary Frances and Wright here in the Pacific Northwest! We wanted to thank you all for such a great summer and choosing to share your daughters with us for the past three weeks.
Our last few days or “home stretch” were packed full and we made sure to make it all count! We rose early to catch the ferry and as we waited we had a spontaneous dance off in the terminal. Upon arriving on the mainland, we traveled in the van for our last big travel day listening to our favorite songs from the summer. We arrived at our campsite, organized some gear and then headed to clean out the van! We cooled off with some slushies and then headed to Goodwill where we picked out goofy outfits, had a photo shoot and shared our final banquet meal together with no shortage of laughter and a new found unrivaled confidence in each student!
Our final Moonup was sentimental as we discussed what we will be taking with us from this summer. Each “gal pal” and we are so thrilled to have had shared this impactful time together. As each girl finds their way home we know they will do so with memories and friendships to last much longer than this summer and that is something no one can take away. It was a true privilege to take part in this journey with them. Thank you all so much again and may the PNW 2C Gal Pals live on forever!
May Fray and Wright
July 27, 2017
Hello from the San Juan Islands!
May Fray and Wright here to update you all on our final adventure: Sea Kayaking! The gal pals definitely lived it up for our last few days together and we thought we’d share some highlights.
We traveled on a ferry over to Friday Harbor where we met our guides, learned the ins and outs of sea kayaking safety, and prepared for our adventure! Our travels began early the following morning where we launched our tandem kayaks from Friday Harbor to Jones Island: one of 498 islands in San Juan County designated specifically for camping. We fought some tough currents in the first bit of our day but our fantastic guides, made sure we had the current to our back during our channel crossing. We definitely looked to Elsie for her natural paddling expertise to help us with technique during the more technical parts. Midway through the channel crossing, Georgia spotted some marine mammals in the distance and moments later we were freaking out: we saw a pod of nearly seven orca whales! This is very uncommon seeing as whales travel 100s of miles a day and we travel around 10! This species of orca was also a matriarchal species which we found fitting as well! After paddling, our afternoon on Jones Island was spent playing cards where Ellie taught everyone to play presidents, and Sofia lead the group in some team building games where they were able to lift Wright up with just two fingers! We then hiked to the other side of the island to watch the sunset (pictures to come!) and Grace helped with some stellar advice for picture taking.
The next morning, we traveled from Jones Island to Blind Island and along the way we stopped for some surprise ice cream. Along the way, we spotted a bald eagle and Elizabeth could not help but lead the group in our country’s national anthem as it circled above our heads! Along with the bald eagle and oracs, we also saw sea lions, sea otters, and loads of jelly fish! Camilla even spotted some porpoises. Among our super star paddlers, Julia was always leading the pack and helping the gals out. When we weren’t paddling, we had some stellar sunsets and plenty of time to relax and make new memories- Carley taught Wright and me how to do the “whip and nae nae” among other dance moves.
We did a lot of laughing in this last section and can’t believe we only have two days left together! We are so excited to spend our last bit of time together and thank you sincerely for sharing your daughters with us this summer!
July 25, 2017
A big hello from PNW 2C,
We are checking in to let everyone know that our backpacking trip in the North Cascades was a great adventure! The 5 night 6 day backpacking trip was met with some difficult hikes, but the entire group defeated every challenge that was presented to them!
Sofia, Elsie and Ellie helped us power through the challenging Desolation Peak sunrise hike where we started hiking at midnight and made it to the top to see the start of a new day! All three girls led the group the entire way up and on the last stretch Ellie decided to get a little run up to the summit of the famous peak! We were even able to look around the house on the peak where Jack Kerouac himself lived as he watched for forest fires. At the summit, we celebrated with nalgene toasts and some surprise snickers bars followed by a quick cat nap. The entire adventure lasted roughly from midnight to about 11 am that morning. Needless to say, the group was very tired when we got back to Lightning camp! But, when they found out we would be continuing our celebration with chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and would be relaxing by Ross Lake for the afternoon they were very pleased!
When the going got tough, we could always count on Elizabeth and Camilla to provide the group with endless amounts of laughs. Even at the end of a long hike the two girls were always able to make jokes and tell elaborate stories that entertained the entire group- they even wrote an original song! Both Camilla and Elizabeth were great motivators on the day after the Desolation hike, where there were some hard up-hill sections! But once the more challenging parts were out of the way, both girls continued to entertain the group with endless stories and games! Additionally, they assisted with the cheesy bake pasta meal on the last night of the trip, which was a crowd pleaser (along with quesadillas)!
On our last full day of hiking, Carley and Grace were the designated Leaders of the day! Utilizing the group map and watches, the two LOD’s kept a great pace and ensured great group dynamics throughout the entire day and through Moonup when we discussed peers that we admired. Also, Graces’ laugh was a never ending source of energy and humor, which would inevitably lead to a break out of endless laughing among the entire group.
On some of the longer days, Georgia and Julia provided the group with great motivation! They never let a tough hike get the best of them and they always stayed positive. Georgia and her photography abilities was definitely a game changer on the trip, as she was able to capture absolutely stunning images of the west side of Ross Lake and the surrounding snow capped mountains. Julia always provided the group with a great attitude throughout the trip, which then led to an always upbeat and inspiring group dynamic, which was awesome!
On the last day of our backpacking section, we had a 4 mile hike to the upper North East side of Ross Lake where we were met by a water taxi to take us back to our trailhead. The students were ecstatic when they saw Dwayne The Van Johnson (the name for our 15 passenger Ford Transit)!
Lastly, May Fray and I were both so impressed by the groups positive attitude throughout the entire trip! It was truly an enjoyable experience to backpack with them for those 6 days. We are so grateful for the “gal pals” and can’t wait for our final sea kayaking adventure!
Until next time!
May Fray and Wright
Elsie: Hi Mom, hi Dad. Miss you. Can’t wait to see you!
Ellie: I have probably gotten taller and I miss you! Love you!
Georgia: Hey Mom and Dad. I miss you and love you so much! I am having a great time and I can’t wait to tell you everything when I get back!
Julia: Hey Mom, Dad and Emily! I miss y’all can’t wait to see y’all. Love, Julia.
Sofia: Hey everyone! Hope everyone is doing well. I am having a great time! Love and miss y’all!
Elizabeth: Love you mom and dad, how is Butter Cat? I just finished backpacking! Can you believe it? Bye!
Carley: Dear Mom, Dad, Bailey, and Stella, I love and miss you! Backpacking was great!
Grace: Hello Mom, Dad and Ally, I miss and love y’all! I just finished backpacking and feel pretty beat but I’m so proud of myself! Love you! Love, Grace
Camilla: Hey guys! Having a super fun time here. Love, Camilla!
July 15, 2017
Wow! What a time we’ve had climbing.
It’s Mary Frances and Wright here to update you on our latest adventure: rock climbing in Smith Rock! Our first day we spent on the north side of the park learning the basics of climbing. After a safety briefing, we got started! Elizabeth and Carley were our first to bravely try the climbs our guides set up and everybody followed. We practiced climbing, belaying, and back up belaying all to prepare for our third day’s Monkey Face challenge! After some climbing, we tried rappelling off a sixty-foot cliff! Grace was the first to cruise down and show us how it was done.
After some successful rappelling, we headed over to local Steelhead Falls to cool off in the river. Later, Georgia and Ellie helped us cook some green chicken curry- a fan favorite so far! The next day, we practiced climbing and rappelling on some felsic tuff rocks and then headed to Bend, Oregon to spend some time in town! We explored the city, and picked and chose from some local food trucks and feasted in the park where there was some live music playing. We got to bed early to conquer the Monkey Face early the next morning!
The next morning began with a tough hike, but our LOD’s, Grace and Camilla, kept spirits up! The monkey face was first tackled by Julia, followed by Sofia and Elsie. Beginning with a traverse, we then climbed up to a bit above the “mouth” then rappelled down over 200 feet! Everybody attempted the monkeys face and we are so proud of everybody! We are heading up to Washington tomorrow to prepare for our backpacking adventures!
Elizabeth: Hey mom and dad! Pacific Northwest is so dope! I’m pretty psyched! We just finished climbing and met some cool people! Can’t wait for shiver shaver! See you in two weeks! Also, please pack my mermaid tail.
Elsie: hey mom and dad,
I am having a great time! Everyone is so nice and I love Wright and May Fray! We are about to start backpacking and I can’t wait. I hope that y’all are having fun without me 🙂 miss you so much and can’t wait to see you after the trip. Love you to the moon and back!
Hey mom and dad!
I’m having tons of fun! Already we’ve been rafting (overnight) and climbed some big rocks (without any hand grips) just us on the rocks (and some safety stuff). All that was super cool! We are about to start backpacking and I’m very excited (yay!) thanks so much for sending me on this AWESOME trip! I’m glad I chose this instead of camp too!!! Also, please send Lucy a package for me I totally forgot to me. Maybe a fidget spinner or something. Ok anyway LOVE you guys, see you soon!
Hi mom and dad,
I miss y’all so much but I am having an amazing time on my trip. It has been amazing. I hope Allie is having a great time in London and George is having a great time in Wyoming. Camping has been really great and the girls are so much fun! We went on a pretty hard hike today but it was so worth it. It was so much fun and climbing and rappelling was super cool. I love and miss y’all so much!
Dear mom and dad,
Moondance is so fun! Today we rappelled 200 feet and it was really fun. Tomorrow we are starting to backpack. I miss y’all!
Hi mom and dad and sisters!
I don’t know if you’ve figured out how to read this but if you have, I really miss all of you. I hope you had fun in New York! Today we went rock climbing and mom and dad if you remember the picture of the big rock you had to cross… I did it! I am honestly having so much fun and a really nice time… and I don’t even miss my phone! I love you, see you soon!
I am having an awesome time! I am loving Washington and Oregon! Happy birthday mom and Emily! Miss and love y’all tons!
Hey mom, dad, and Ally,
I’m having so much fun!!! Love and miss y’all! I did the monkey face today and can’t wait for y’all to see the pictures!
I’m having so much fun. Oregon is really pretty. I got my bag so now I have clothes. The all- girls group is super fun and different from last year, preparing me for Mrs. Porters! Tell Kaleb I miss him!
Hey mom! Hey dad! Happy birthday Rey! Love you guys and miss you!
Hi guys! Hope Vail rocks! Love and miss you all and can’t wait to see you all soon!
July 12, 2017
Howdy from the windy Deschutes!
Mary Frances and Wright here with your first official trip update! We just hopped off the Deschutes crushing our two-day white water rafting adventure!
We spent the majority of our first full day traveling from Washington down to the dry desert of Oregon where we constructed perhaps one of the greatest playlists to exist to date and playing some getting to know you games. We met our raft guides that night and went straight to work pumping up boats and learning about boat care. Our first days’ LOD’s (Leaders of the Day) Camilla and Elsie helped show the rest of the group the ins and outs of choosing a tent location and picked out the Moon Up topic: who our favorite superhero is and what our super power would be!
The next morning we packed up the rafts and were on our way! We had a lengthy 25 miles to raft and cruised but even when the paddling was tough, we had Grace to thank for help keep spirits up.
As the day came to an end, we had the opportunity to get out of the rafts and swim our final rapid of the day. All nine gal pals bravely took it on with Elizabeth leading the way. Ellie and Sofia loved it so much they went for it a second time!
Our second day of rafting was a little shorter but jam packed with rapids and games of duck, duck, goose in which Julia was our reigning champion. On our ride from the rafting put out, our LOD’s Georgia and Carley helped us shop for dinner the next night and surprised everybody with watermelon!
We are currently heading to Smith Rock to get started on some rock climbing bright and early tomorrow morning- until then!
Mary Frances and Wright