Field Notes

The Grand • July 18-July 31, 2017

A Grand Farewell!

July 31, 2017

Hello to all the amazing Grand families, 

Our last day of the trip we rafter down the Snake River and it was definitely a great way to wind down after such a great trip! Though it was short, we all got wet and splashed around in the brisk waters of the Snake. There were a few rapids that everyone got to try out “riding the bull” which is when one person sits on the very front of the raft, taking each rapid head on: quite an adrenaline rush for those peeps!  After our rafting adventure, we headed into town to take some showers and clean out our beloved van. We then headed to Pinky G’s Pizzeria for our banquet dinner and Moo’s for ice cream! It was a great way to end the trip. 

As for our kiddos, we are going to miss y’all so much! 

Rudy aka Ruby: we are going to miss your funny stories and helpful attitude! 

Brandt: we will miss your explosive energy and radiant smile. 

Carter: we will miss your calm demeanor and willful presence. Stay found and don’t get locked in any vans.

Allie: focus on the dream and keep your eye on the prize.

Katie: moments make up a lifetime of memories. Never forget, always remember.

Kelley: heroes get remembered. Legends never die. 

Robert: what would Wendy do? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep it real.

Bennett Ann aka BAM: do what you have to get what you want. It’ll always be worth it. 

Cole: whether you can or you can’t, you’re right. Roll tide.

Michael: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Live for today, love for tomorrow.

Margaret: today is the first day of the rest of your life. Don’t look down! 

Last but not least, 

Sam: everything happens for a reason and the reason is YOU. You’re a gem! 

Love y’all so much! 

Morgan and Evan 


Top of the Tetons!

July 30, 2017


Bonjour from Jackson Hole, Wyoming! Our day one of climbing was a short yet great day filled with joy laughter and lots of rain. We met our exum guides in Teton Village and took the gondola up to begin learning the basics of climbing. Our LODs got us focused and ready to learn some essential skills. Our guides Lynn, Daniel, and Dan taught most of what we needed to know in this short span of time before the rain hit! Since this was a lot of the students first time climbing, the guides were really impressed at how quickly everyone was catching on. After the quick day of climbing, we went into the town of Jackson and got some ice cream at Haagen Daz! 

Day two of climbing seemed to be a crowd favorite. We split into smaller groups and every had a blast actually getting to jump of the rocks and show them what they are made of! The Grand Teton has nothing on us!! 

Here are a few shout outs from your kids before we climb the grand!!:

Katie: hey mom and dad! I miss you and hope the house is holding on without the best kid there

Rudy: what’s up mom and dad! See you in a few days. Miss y’all, I’m having a blast. Ready to be home for a while

Carter: love and miss you guys, love and miss the dogs more though.

Allie: hey Alan and Lynn! Miss y’all and can’t wait to see Fritz 

Bennett Ann: I love and miss you all! Can’t wait to see you soon!!

Cole: hey mom, hey dad! Having a blast.. see y’all soon! 

Brandt: hi ford

Robert: I love you mom and dad! See you soon.

Michael: mom and dad, I miss you guys. I’m having the time of my life.

Kelley: I love you mom and dad! Tell coop I miss him

Margaret: thanks for sending me on this trip. It’s been really fun. Love you! 

Sam: hi mom and dad. I’m having fun see you soon

We have just finished up climbing the Grand Teton and it was incredible to say the least! We could not be more proud of our enthusiastic and super talented students!! Day one started out with a bang as we began our all uphill climb up to the saddle of the Grand. This hike was not an easy feat and it was such a treat to see everyone thrive on this tough hike. On summit day, our wake up time was 3 am sharp to climb in the dark and see the sunrise at the upper saddle. After tough climbing pitches, we are proud to say that everyone made it to the top and back down safely! The altitude was high but not as high as our spirits!! Tomorrow we journey into the Snake River on our last leg of the trip. Stay tuned.

-Morgan and Evan 


Backpacking in the Wind River Range!

July 26, 2017

Hello all!! Greetings from Wyoming as we have just completed our backpacking section in the Wind River Range. Wows are those mountains awesome and beautiful! Day one of backpacking began with an early wakeup call so that we could prep for the next seven days and learn the ropes. Our first LOD’s (leaders of the day), Sam and Carter, were an incredible help as we had so much to do in such little time before we hit the trail. We hit the trail a little late in the day but the group quickly adjusted as we experienced gnarly mosquitos and quite a bit of rain! No fear here though, this group is full of troopers! Katie and Cole proved to be awesome hikers with incredible attitudes right off the bat. Their positive attitudes kept the group going during the first day of backpacking. Upon arrival to camp, we set up tents, had a quick dinner and then hit the hay. This surely was a first day for the books. 


On day two of backpacking, we woke up rather early so that we could cook a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs. LOD’s, Rudy and Allie, assumed the leadership role and motivated the crew to hit the trail as soon as possible. About half way through the day, we got caught in some afternoon thunder showers but there were absolutely no complaints- some even claimed to like the rain! We hiked about 6 or 7 miles up to a beautiful lake with Mount Geikie towering above us at 12,000 feet. We were super excited that this campsite was ours for the next two nights! Upon arrival, we set up camp and assembled for Moon Up underneath the stars. How incredible it was for us to be out here all together amongst such beauty! 


Our rest day consisted of hardly any rest at all. All members of the group were excited to explore the surrounding peaks and lakes. Brandt rallied the crew for an impromptu hike up the local mountain near our base camp. In less than an hour we were high up on the peak looking as far as the eye can see. The view inspired deeper conversation and time of reflection. The hike down was expedited by Robert suggestion of sliding down on patches of snow. Once down we needed to prepare our backcountry pizza diner. Bennett Ann culinary expertise took over as she was a natural in the art of pizza making. 


The next day our LOD Kelley led the charge on the best hike of the day, passing by pristine streams and hills. Once at camp Michael saw an opportunity to take a polar plunge in the frigid Raid Lake, and Margaret showed off her anti-gravity acrobatic skills to the group. Moral is just as high as the elevation.


Our final rest day consisted of packing up our lunch, swimsuits, and fishing gear. The group navigated their way to a sweet spot overlooking Dream Lake. Some took the time to lie out and embrace to crisp mountain air while some ventured out to the lake to catch some fish. Rudy and Sam lead the charge and after a few nibbles, finally caught some good size trout. We headed back to base camp to prepare diner and reminisce about the wonderful day in the water. The days seem to fly by with great company. 


After a great rest day the group was ready for our hardest backpacking trek. LOD’s Robert and Bennet Anne took the responsibility seriously and motivated every member of the group to push through the 10+ mile day. Trail talk about music, family, and dreams passes the time by and before we knew it we were at the trailhead ready for our next excursion. We are now off to climbing school in preparation for our greatest challenge to date, the Grand. Until next time, sending our best to everyone reading! 


-Morgan and Evan



  • Cole
  • Robert
  • Michael
  • Carter
  • Margaret
  • Brandt
  • Sam
  • Katie
  • Bennett Ann
  • Allie
  • Kelley
  • Rudy