Field Notes

California 2A • June 30-July 13, 2018

California Dreamin'

July 9, 2018

“Yo, Yo, Yo!”-JP

It has been a busy last few days in Lake Tahoe! After a fun hike to Nevada Falls in Yosemite, we loaded up in our van and cruised along the windy roads of California jamming to our favorite tunes. After a long day of extravagant adventure and hiking we stopped for a delicious bite to eat at the tasty Walker burger in Walker County the whole gang ate a very scrumptious and hearty meal.  Shortly after we hit the road to head to the iconic and beautiful Lake Tahoe. We set up camp close to the lake and everyone settled in for a good night’s sleep!

The next morning, our LODs Liddy and Will M woke us up early to prepare for a big day of kayaking! We had a nutritious breakfast of oatmeal and fruit and packed lunches for a picnic on the beach! Then we headed to Emerald Bay to meet our amazing kayak guides, Rob and Giles. After they taught us the basics, we split into double kayaks and headed out for the day! We had a splashing good time and everyone impressed the guides with their attentive listening skills and positive attitudes. We paddled to an island and explored a historic tea house. We then paddled to the beach for a picnic lunch. We all enjoyed a relaxing break and refreshing dip in the lake. As usual, Regan, Charlotte and Caroline were the first ones in the lake and had big smiles on their faces the whole time! After lunch, we paddled over a sunken ship and the water was so clear that everyone could see the whole thing! Rob, our guide, taught the whole group about the history of the area and showed us several Osprey nests. We then had an intense kayak race and Peek and Will M came in first with a spectacular finish! After an exhausting morning of kayaking, we headed back to camp for a short hike to balancing rock. We spent the rest of the afternoon throwing the football with Will J and Thomas. Meanwhile, the rest of the students set up an eno village where they hung out until dinner. For dinner, we had an amazing dinner of personal pizzas grilled over the fire! Liddy and Maddie were great helpers and Cece was quick to volunteer to help with dishes! After a wonderful Moonup we headed to bed with many of the students electing to sleep in their hammocks.

We woke up the next day feeling refreshed and ready for a full day of paddle boarding! Thomas and Maddie were our LODs for the day and led the group in an inspirational morning huddle before we headed to South Lake Tahoe. After a short drive down the mountain, we got our lifejackets on and headed out on our paddleboards. The boys were all incredibly enthusiastic about pushing each other off the boards and everyone had an awesome time! After, we enjoyed a few hours relaxing on the beach and throwing the Frisbee. We then loaded up the van to head to our next campsite in Columa, California! We are currently jamming to Good Day and JP and Jack are keeping the energy up by cracking jokes! We have had the best time already and cannot believe we are already halfway through our trip! Time flies when you’re having fun! All of the students have asked us to tell you to cancel their flights because they never want to come home! We have had a blast getting to know each and every one of these kids and cannot wait to see what the rest of the trip brings us! We are pulling up at camp now so I’ve got to go, but we will have several more updates to come! Until next time!

  • California Dream Team

Rocks rock!

July 6, 2018

 

Hello friends, family, and followers! Happy belated fourth! We almost forgot to post today; we have been having so much fun! We have all thoroughly enjoyed being unplugged here in Yosemite. We have been having a blast! The whole gang has been grooving together so well its incredible! Its wild to think that we only met each other a few days ago; we are already treating each other like family. After hiking to Dog Lake we returned to our base camp where we gathered cook crew and made a scrumptious Moondance classic, backcountry pad thai! Everyone was extremely enthusiastic about learning how to cook, so I had plenty of helping hands. Charlotte, Liddy, and Caroline helped me slice and dice our veggies. Meanwhile, Will J and Jack cooked the chicken, and Madeline and Regan stirred the noodles to perfection. I must say the cook crew did a wonderful job; everyone came back for seconds. After dinner our noble sump crew for the evening, Peek, JP, and Will M, took the dishes sumped them clean. I was genuinely impressed at how great of a job they did, and how much they enjoyed doing it. After, the group gathered together to Moonup under the most awe-inspiring display of stars any of us have seen. To conclude our Moonup we passed the pulse and had a moment of silence to truly take in the sky. Following moonup we resided to our tents that we now call home to get some much needed rest before our first big day of rock climbing.

The next morning, we woke up bright and early! Many of us were anxious and excited to go rock climbing! For breakfast we had a nutritious meal that consisted of oat meal, fruit, milk, fruit & nut bars, peanut butter wraps, and pop tarts. As we all know food is fuel and food is comfort, so we had everyone fuel up as much as possible! After breakfast our leaders of the day, Jack and Madeline, gathered us together for morning huddle. They inspired us by reading a quote, giving a speech, and getting everyone fired up by coming up with a “live in the moment” chant. Subsequently, we hopped into the mystery van to head to our climbing site. Along the way we jammed out to get everyone pumped up to climb with the world famous Yosemite Mountaineering School. YMS is the best in the industry at what they do and we were truly blessed to have Miranda and Mark teach us how to rock climb where it all started. Miranda is a superstar and a legend known all over the world; she was the first woman to ever solo El Capitan. I was extremely proud of our group. They were all very attentive and respectful to our guides. After everyone became confident in the skills the guides had taught us we set out to conquer the rock. Every single member of the group made it to the top of multiple routes on the face with encouragement of their fellow peers. It was extremely inspirational to see everyone smiling ear to ear with a sense of accomplishment from conquering their fears and pushing themselves to new limits, as well as having learned that they are capable of much more than they previously thought. Next, we headed to the iconic Tenya Lake to cool off in the water and catch a few rays while relaxing on the beach. While we were there the boys had a competition to see who could stay in the water the longest, and proceeding they enjoyed making sandcastles. Meanwhile, the girls were trying to catch a tan on the beach. While we were there I threw the Frisbee with Peek and Jack. We also practiced our dance moves, and we began choreographing a dance for our music video. After enjoying some solid rnr we headed back to camp to prepare one of my favorite dinners, fajitas! Once again everyone was longing to be on cook crew. That night our team was comprised of JP, Will J, Jack, Liddy, Charlotte, Caroline, and Cece. The fajitas were delectable and we were all stuffed. Following dinner everyone eagerly volunteered to help sump and clean the dishes. That evening we had an exceptional Moonup under the dazzling illuminated night sky. Ensuing moonup we dwelt into our homes with our new friends for a good night’s rest.

The next morning it was the 4th of July!!!  Our LODS, Peek and Regan, woke up the gang to the National Anthem. That morning we had another nutritional breakfast similar to the day before: apples, oranges, bananas, oats, granola, bars, raisin bread, peanut butter wraps, and pop tarts. Afterwards we gathered together for an extra patriotic morning huddle where Peek and Regan read us a great quote, repeated the pledge of allegiance, and then got hype by bouncing back and forth in a circle like the buckeyes. Then we headed to our new climbing site; of course along the way we got pumped up to some of our favorite jams! When we arrived our guides greeted us with a smile. That day we were learning how to do a different type of climbing called crack climbing, so the guides taught us some new skills and showed us how to use some cool equipment. Once we were confident we knew how to apply our new skills we began scrambling up the face. We climbed throughout the morning; as always in Yosemite we had perfect weather. Once again the entire group made it to the top of multiple routes with the encouragement of their friends. When we were all too tired to climb anymore we spent some time sitting on a big rock absorbing the grand vistas surrounding us. Subsequently, we traveled to June Lake to cool down and relax in the sun. After spending some time on the beach the leaders surprised the group with a bag of popsicles! It was exciting to say the least, but it was a well-deserved treat. Following the beach, we headed back to camp where there were more surprises: American flag table cloth, American flag plates and napkins, watermelon, a football, hamburgers, hotdogs, face tattoos, and Coca Cola. The leaders decided to give the students a night off of cook crew because of their great attitudes and hard work. While we prepared dinner the students enjoyed playing with the football. Will M and Caroline discovered a creative strategy to block Thomas’s passes to his receivers by getting on each other’s shoulder, and then blitzing. Although it was a good idea Thomas has a cannon and was still able to complete passes to his receivers Madeline, Will J, and JP. Once dinner was prepared we all feasted on our American themed dinner. It was delightful. It was getting late once we finished our feast so we decided to Moonup and hit the hay. It was our last night in Yosemite, and we all spent some time captivating the breath taking sky.

The next morning, we got up before the sun did. We fueled up for the day, and excitedly broke camp because we were about to journey into the valley! We have just arrived at the base of El Capitan, so I am signing off. Keep an eye out for updates we still have much fun in store. We will keep you all posted! Thank you for following! Until next time!


Early Exploration of the West Coast!

July 3, 2018

Hey everyone! We cannot believe that it has been just two days since everyone met at the airport. So far this adventure has been full of laughter and excitement. Our first campsite was right on the ocean where we had some local pizza and played some games. Peek decided to make a spontaneous swim during a colorful sunset. Will M. and Thomas quickly followed behind, diving into the Pacific ocean. That night we had our first moonup and we were so surprised how fast the students became friends and came together as a group.

The next morning, Thomas and Caroline were elected as LODs (Leader of the Day). They spent the morning leading the group with enthusiasm and positive vibes all the way to the beach for surfing. Regan was the first up on the board riding every wave that came her way with a big smile on her face. It was not long until we had everyone up and shredding the waves like they were professionals. Liddy and Charlotte led the body surfing lessons riding the waves all the way to shore. After taking off our wet suites and thanking our guides, we headed to Yosemite!

Today, JP and Cece lead the group on a hike and kept everyone motivated the whole way. Once we reached the top, we were surprised with a crystal clear lake. Maddie and Will J. jumped in first with everyone following behind. We all had a showers in the lake thanks to Jack sharing his biodegradable wilderness wash. We ended the day with a feast of delicious fajitas. It’s been a great start, but the best is yet to come. Don’t forget to check for updates; we will keep you posted! Until next time!

 

Sincerely,

The Cali Crew


All is Well in the Golden State

July 2, 2018

Hello Families!

We heard from Will, Lizzie, and Matthew, and the trip is off to a “golden” start! Stay tuned for more updates from the leaders over the next few days.

  • Moondance HQ

Students

  • Charlotte
  • Regan
  • Peek
  • Will
  • Caroline
  • Liddy
  • Jack
  • Will
  • Cece
  • John
  • Thomas
  • Madeline

Staff