July 30, 2018
Greetings from Jackson!
Today Big Wild parted ways with teary hugs and a flurry of phone number exchanges. We finished our trip strong in Jackson enjoying all the town has to offer!
After some well deserved showers, we set up camp for the last time and got ready for some time in civilization and our Banquet dinner! We jammed out in the van on the way, with Goodwyn and Jay singing every word to every song of course. Nick, Hunt, and Catie instantly sported their new Jackson Hole purchases, looking fresh as ever.
Everyone explored Jackson to their hearts content until it was time for Banquet! We had a big table and even bigger pizzas for our last dinner together. I loved sitting around a table with the group as we recounted stories from our two weeks of adventures. Reyn and Sallie kept the group laughing, even our waiters, while Tyler showed off her new amazing pair of socks.
After dinner, we hopped back in the van and headed towards camp. But our last night would not have been complete without a final Teton sunset viewing. We pulled off with the perfect view as the sky changed from blue to orange to pink over the mountains. We danced and frolicked in the open field, while Avery, Charlotte, and Ava showed off some impressive dance moves. Zack took off into the sunset faster than I’ve seen anyone move. Everyone basked in the bitter sweetness of our last night together under the Wyoming sky.
We circled up for our last Moonup and continued to reminisce on all the highlights of the trip. Big Wild finished the summer on the highest note possible, truly becoming a family that will be dearly missed. The group crushed everything this trip had to offer and squeezed all the goodness out of every moment we had together.
Thank you for sharing your kids with us this summer, it was such a treat to meet them and watch them grow.
Ben and Kit
July 29, 2018
Big Wild reporting live from the edges of the Wind River Range!
What a time we had during the final section of our adventure: backpacking! Our group truly crushed it in the wilderness. Their packs were packed like professionals and they hiked like there was no tomorrow!
Before we entered into the wilderness the entire group broke out into a game of touch football. There was no clear winner with very evenly matched teams. Tyler ran in a couple touchdowns and Hunt and Jay added some encouragement and entertainment for everyone.
The first day of backpacking was an incredible success. We had a big hike into our lakeside camp and the group stayed together the entire time, snaking through the woods along the rivers and lakes. Once we pushed through the final uphill mile to camp the crew rejoiced at the sight of the lake and our camp. Nick, Sallie, Tyler, Jay, and I swam to a pile of rocks, or The Isla as Nick called it, surprised by the cold at first. Sallie showed off her swimming skills and ventured to a bigger island in the lake. After we warmed up and dried off we made a delicious pasta dinner. We enjoyed the night, just us and the stars.
The next morning we woke up to yet another beautiful day! After breakfast, we began our hike to the summit of Bunion, which towered over our camp. We set our sights high and hiked higher. Zack and Tyler, our Leaders of the Day, carried packs with lunch and gear like champs. We hiked and bouldered our way up the face, everyone showed off their climbing skills. We all reached the top and were treated to 360 views and personal pizzas. Charlotte and Ava reclined on a rock-couch at the top, truly enjoying themselves. After we got enough pictures to last a lifetime, we began our descent. Avery and Goodwyn crushed the way down, showing others the easiest routes down the boulders.
Once we got back to camp, everyone broke out the fly fishing rods and headed to the lake. Reyn immediately impressed with his cast and form. Hunt, Jay, Ava, and Catie tried their hand with a rod. Ben taught them well, and Catie only needed five minutes of instruction before she was looking like a pro. We had another great dinner and Moonup by the lake at the base of the mountain we conquered earlier that day. We went to bed full and rightfully tired.
We woke up to a morning of chocolate chip pancakes, fishing, and sunshine! We enjoyed a leisurely morning in the wilderness and then broke down camp to continue our adventure. Not surprisingly, everyone crushed the hike out, talking and laughing the whole way down.
Even though we are sad our trip is winding down, we still have so much to look forward to in Jackson!
Big Wild signing off for now,
Ben and Kit
July 24, 2018
Hello hello hello from Washington!
Big Wild has landed on shore after four days of rafting on the wet and wild Salmon River. We fought the rapids with nothing but perfect weather and amazing guides! We had an epic adventure Crossing State lines and making memories that will last at least until we’re back in Wyoming.We prepped for rafting in Idaho after a great travel day. We jumped in the beautiful lake and swam in the sun at our campground. Reyn was the first off the dock and into the water (as he was every chance he got throughout rafting). Goodwyn, Nick, and Tyler joined me on a nice trail run though the beautiful Idaho lakeside woods. A Fox even joined us on our jaunt spotted by Nick. The next morning we hopped in the van and headed north for our put in for rafting! We strapped into our life jackets, tightened up some last minute braids, and settled into the rafts. Jay immediately hopped on the front of the raft to ride the bull, truly emulating the Wyoming cowboys (great form). Sallie was one of the strongest paddlers for the entire trip, always staying in sync with the paddling leader and pulling her weight.Reyn, Avery and Catie absolutely crushed a wonderful first breakfast of pancakes and bacon, feeling us up for a big day on the river. Charlotte, Ava, and Hunt gained major style points during cliff jumping. Charlotte worked her way up to the big jump while Hunt struck a pose mid air (shortly followed by Jay, Goodwyn, and Reyn). Zack, the ever helpful and always reliable boat member, was equally impressive in the kitchen, making some of the best French toast I’ve had with Sallies help. I was lucky enough to sit next to Ava in the raft and watched as her amazing hair got blonder (if that’s even possible). Jay and Goodwyn also had an impressively long dance off on the second full day of rafting with a pretty even tie and equally good moves.Our rafting adventure was jam packed with hikes to mines and lookouts, swimming, and, of course, paddling. At our last riverside beach camp we stayed just below a nature conservancy on the border of Oregon and Idaho. We picked our fill of blackberries, which we added to the cobbler for dessert, and apricots. I have never seen anyone so happy to pick berries as Tyler. We also saw deer, turkeys, beavers, and a cougar! Now we are off to the final part of our trip: backpacking in the Wind River Range! The group is bonded by the river and the and waves and ready for another challenge!
All our love from Idaho/Oregon/Washington/Wyoming,
Ben and Kit
P.S.Shoutout to all pets! WE LOVE YOU
Shoutout to Maggie! I love you Kenny and Lacy! -Goodwyn
Hi Tripp! – Sallie
Hi Mom and Dad!
Shoutout to Jules and Caicos! -Avery
Hi fam and Lilly! -Tyler
Shout out to my parents! I love you guys and I’m having so much fun! -Jay
Shoutout to David and Helen – Charlotte
Hi Calder! -Hunt
Nick says hi.
Reyn says hi.
Shout out to Mindy and Chad and Summer and Chase! -Catie
Shoutout to Evan! -Zack
Shoutout to Holly, Sophie, and Juha! -Ava
July 20, 2018
Hello family and friends!
Big Wild has just completed the first (and truly amazing) part of our adventure: climbing! Everyone absolutely crushed it both days in the Tetons with multi-pitch and top rope climbs and some great rappelling.
After setting up camp, we started our adventure watching the sunset and eating pizza as we got to know each other. The group immediately bonded and gelled as Goodwyn and Charlotte led the group in some games. Surrounded by the Tetons and our new friends, we headed back to camp for our first Moonup and to get some good sleep in preparation for our days of climbing ahead of us!
We woke up to perfect weather for the first full day together, and we headed to Teton Village to try our hands at climbing. Everyone worked together to finish the multi pitch climbs, tied to and belying one another. Ava belayed Charlotte and Goodwyn belayed Nick so well, following their every move up the mountain. Once back at camp we had an amazing fiesta style dinner. Our first Leaders of the day were Nick and Charlotte, and they chopped veggies and sizzled the meat to perfection.
After our amazing first dinner, we headed into Jackson for the Rodeo! We had great seats and an even better time. The group showed a lot of enthusiasm, led by Sallie and Hunt, cheering on the bull riders and cowboys. On the ride back to camp, we belted some Taylor Swift. Ben and I could hear Jay’s wonderful singing voice all theF way from back.
Day three started with some hot oatmeal on the chilly Wyoming morning. After filling up we headed back to the mountain for some more challenging climbs and big rappels! Avery was the first to rappel and Catie was the first to climb, showing no fear or hesitation. Tyler crushed every climb she started with impressive speed. She was a natural on the rocks! Reyn was the first to try the hardest climb of the day and did so well. He never gave up and worked to find the right route. Zack not only crushed his climbs, but supported every member of the group (even carrying Goodwyn’s pack so he could race back up the trail).
Our Leaders of the Day, Tyler and Goodwyn, made a wonderful stir fry dinner and we explored our neighboring state Idaho! We crushed some local music and played some soccer. After our adventure across state lines, we headed back to camp to rest up for our big travel day to rafting!
We could not have had better weather or a better time kicking off our trip in Jackson! Onto wetter and wilder things on the Salmon River for Big Wild!
Kit and Ben
July 17, 2018
We heard from Kit and Ben, and the trip is off to a “wild” start! Stay tuned for more updates from the leaders over the next few days.