Field Notes

Colorado Trail 2A • June 30-July 13, 2018

Until Next Time

July 15, 2018

It’s hard to believe just two weeks ago we stood in front of each other, 14 strangers and today we part, a family. Over the past two weeks we have been so lucky to spend time with, grow with and learn from these amazing people. As we watched the last plane leave, we looked at each other with tears in our eyes and began to reminisce about the wonderful times and fantastic people we had gotten to know and love. We’d like to take a few moments to give you all a little better understanding of the folks we spent our time with these past few weeks.

 

Henry, aka Tex, showed us the power of laughter. Any van ride, you could find him singing along in the back seat making us all laugh until our bellies ached. We were all able to learn how to be a friend from Coleman. He was always quick to help, quick to encourage, and quick to share a smile. A friendlier guy is hard to find. Zoe met everyone and every challenge with a smile and an inspiring thoughtfulness. She reminded us daily to be present in the moment.  Brooks is a leader with a mature demeanor which made his presence calming and delightful. Every moment you spent with Brooks you knew you were in good company, always apt to listen and help. John filled our days with countless jokes and laughs; where ever the wave of giggle rose from, you knew you would find John.

 

Moondance creates opportunities for students to push their boundaries and to grow into themselves within the context of those challenges. Helen showed us how to embrace new challenges head on, to rise up rather than shrink back from new experiences. And in those challenging moments, you could always find Grayson cheering you on. Someone who was always in your corner, always helping you pave your way. Mason led by example, whether it was offering to help get duffle bags out of the Uhaul, helping set up tents, or getting everyone to play a new game. We could always count on him to be a rock for our group.

 

Lily kept us all entertained with her endless stories and magic tricks. Her ability to laugh at herself is admirable and created a safe space for everyone. Ned’s sense of adventure and willingness to put himself out there inspired us all to create our own adventures. Kate’s sweet demeanor and smile made her quick friends within the group, however it was her loyalty and openness that made those friendships ones that will last a lifetime. Smith, aka Smitty, loved us all so well. His vulnerability and ability to recognize the good in everything is a trait we could all use. Not to mention, that giggle that quite literally stole all of our hearts.

 

We wish these words could measure up to the greatness of each of these students. We will carry these kids and memories in our hearts for years to come. We know they have changed our lives and challenged us to grow and we can only hope we’ve done the same for them.

 

Until next time.

 

Stay safe and have fun,

We know we will!

 

Bill and Emma


Concluding our Colorado Adventure in Style!

July 13, 2018

Hello!

Holy smokes we can’t believe today was our last day of adventures! But we were all so happy to spend it just how it started- rafting down the Arkansas River. Today we got to raft down the beautiful Royal Gorge and see how truly remarkable it is. Since we had had a previous rafting trip under our belts, we all felt like seasoned rafters and were eager to get on the water. Helen was the first to claim the front seat and urge us foreword.

As we sped down the river, you could feel the excitement radiating through the group for the upcoming class four rapids. Mason could hardly contain himself through the warm up class three rapids we hit before lunch. Luckily, our guides let some of us “ride the bull” (ride the front of the raft) during these rapids. Smith was a pro and quickly jumped up front with Henry and Lily not far behind. John kept us all laughing with his ridiculous attempts to fall in, hoping he’d be able to “float” the river – his favorite part of rafting. Before lunch we all got the chance to jump out and swim for a little, a relief from the hot sun. For lunch we filled up on delicious wraps, fruit, chips and cookies before heading backing out to tackle the class four rapids. Brooks and Zoe handled the challenges flawlessly with calm faces and determined strokes. Coleman was our skilled videographer and was able to get some awesome shots of the group in the rapids. During our final float towards our take-out spot, Ned and Grayson started a splash war between the two boats that had everyone soaked from head to toe and smiling ear to ear. As we ended our ride, Kate couldn’t help but jump in for a final swim in the Arkansas. After bussing it back to our van, we hurried to camp for more grub. Zoe and Lily prepared five star pasta before we retired to our tents. All in all, we couldn’t be happier with our last day of this adventure.

Until next time,

Stay safe and have fun,

We know we will!

Emma and Bill


Greetings yet again from Colorado!

July 10, 2018

We have had such a wonderful time these past few days and we continue to learn from and be surprised by all of these folks every day. We are just now wrapping up our rock climbing portion of the trip and to be honest, we almost had to pull them all off the wall they were all enjoying themselves so much. They were all rocking right along, until a storm drew us all away. These two days showed us a lot about how close all of these guys and girls have gotten in the past eleven days, and it was truly a beautiful thing to see.

Coleman and Smith were our pro belayers and everyone’s number one fan, they continued to chant and cheer for everyone going up the wall, whether the route was finished or not. Helen, Brooks, Henry and Mason could have been confused for professionals as they surfed up and down each route with ease. The rocks were hot, but the jokes were even hotter and Tex kept us all laughing the whole time with his wit and charm throughout the day. John has turned out to be one of the friendliest and most helpful guys around, and he’s always willing to lend a hand with organizing the Uhaul or carrying gear. Grayson and Ned got us all involved in some serious frisbee tossing while Lily continues to wow us with the magic and card tricks that she knows and none of us can figure out. Zoe teaches us all everyday about the power of kindness and openness and Kate teaches us all what the love of a friend can do. All of these guys and girls have such great potential and we have been so blessed to spend this time with all of them.

As our trip slowly winds down, we’ve been keeping our head up and smiling through the rain. After climbing yesterday, and a lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies, we headed over to Crested Butte and grabbed ice cream and did a little shopping before heading to the beautiful campsite overlooking the lake. Today, we are again in high spirits, driving through the rain to our campsite for the evening before rafting tomorrow. The stoke remains high with this group and we couldn’t be happier with all of them.

Until next time,

Stay safe and have fun,

We know we will!

Take care.

Emma and Bill


Rockin' The Western Woods

July 9, 2018

Hello all,

We’d like to give you all a glimpse into our past few days as we tackled the Uncompahgre National Forest. Even though we were visited by thunderstorms every evening like clockwork, the stoke remained high and we all had a wonderful time; feeling good and eating better as we thrived in the back country.

Although, like always, there were some pre-trip jitters, everyone knocked it out of the park on this portion of the trip and we had the time of our lives. We couldn’t be prouder of how everyone handled the adversity on this section and met every moment with laughter and joy. From the start, Ned and John were our point men, our mountain goats, and charged ahead to check out the sights and sounds. Their stamina and resilience really set the tone for the rest of the group, and we were all grateful for their presence. When we got to our first campsite, everyone was ready to eat so Mason and Kate got us all filled up on ramen and soup, a nice hot meal as the rain slowly began to fall. When we retired to our tents on the first night, we fell asleep to the gentle sounds of rain falling and thunder in the distance.

On day two, we dropped our packs and went for a good day hike up to the summit of the mountain. Along the way, Henry led us all in song after song, all the way to the top. We could have been heard for miles around, allowing others to also share in our good time. Zoe and Helen got us all in the mood for some art and made some fantastic flower crowns that could have been sold at any store. Brooks is always a solid leader, with his calm, cool, and collected demeanor. He kept us all in check and made sure we were all content and motivated along the way. We hiked a big trail which lived up to its name of “Rock of Ages,” the rockiest we had seen. Rock of ages led to a big overlook that gave us an incredible view looking out over the great, big mountains of Colorado. Just as soon as we arrived back to camp, the sky that had been big and blue all day, became covered in gray and rain began to fall immediately. We were quick to set up the tarp and quick fire some personal pizzas and huddle in the dry area for a while as we munched down. After a moonup full of laughter, we hit the hay, again being lulled to sleep by the sound of rain slapping the tent and thunder echoing throughout the valley surrounding us.

Day three brought us all a lot of different experiences. Emma, Helen, and Zoe went for a hike around the lake, while the rest of us skipped rocks, swam, and fished our way around the lake. Mason won the rock skipping contest, really rocking it out and skipping straight to the top. We all learned of Coleman’s love for fishing and his commitment to the sport regardless of whether or not he’s actually catching any critters. Grayson and Lily kept the spirits high and got us all involved in multiple games throughout the day, everything from mafia, poison dart frog, to Big Booty. Fun times were had by all. Just like the two days prior to, thunder and rain came to wash our blues away. We piled together and had a big riff off, which is when two groups match up and sing song lyrics back and forth. The winner of that round was undetermined, and yet to be continued. After moonup, again, the rain and thunder caressed our ears into a sweet sleep for our last night in the woods.

After waking up, we packed up and headed to the van, snacked on some cereal, then hit the road to check out the sights and sounds of Telluride. For most of us, this was our first trip to the town of the valley, and we believe that it certainly did not disappoint. We grabbed some burgers and milkshakes, which Smith was quick to critique and gave two big thumbs up, saying the burgers were “pro.” We can always count on Smith for all words of wisdom needed in any given situation. After grabbing grub, we moseyed around the town and shopped for some souvenirs, always on the lookout for the coolest hats and t shirts. Telluride has a lot to offer anyone hungry for both food and little trinkets. The town trip was a great way to finish off four days and three nights in the remote wild of Colorado. Next, we’ll be moving on to scale some rocks in Taylor Canyon, can’t wait to tell you all about it.

 

Until then,

Stay safe and have fun,

We know we will!

Always,

Bill and Emma


Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2018

Anotha day anotha adventure!!

 

This morning we woke up before the sun rose to catch the sunrise on top of the dunes. With sleep in our eyes, we munched on some pop tarts as we headed down the trail. Grayson, Ned, Brooks and Mason led the troops as they seemed to float up the sand to the top. The rest of us took our time then Henry and Smith led us in a lovely rendition of God Bless America to get us all in the Fourth of July spirit. When we finally reached the top, the sun had just began to rise and we could see the subtle hints of pink in the clouds above. Kate, Helen, Zoe and Lily all bundled together in anticipation to watch the sun as it started peaking over the mountains. John had carried up a container top we tried to convert into a sled, and was busy running up and down the dunes with Coleman in an attempt to surf the dunes. Once the sun rose it finally began warm up which encouraged everyone to jump off the dunes, draw in the sand and bury each other. We worked up quite a hunger in the dunes so we headed back to camp to feast on a proper breakfast of pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns and bacon. With full bellies we loaded up the U-haul and are headed to the Uncompahgre National Forest for our next adventure! Until then!

 

As always, take care,

Have fun and be safe,

We know we will!

Emma and Bill


Zip zip zip!

July 4, 2018

Hello again!

 

We can hardly believe how fast time is flying, and it’s crazy to think that today was already day 4! We spent the morning zipping across the beautiful canyon. Helen was first to try out the bunny zip and impressively master the techniques our guides showed us; while Henry, almost unrecognizable, kept us laughing with his ridiculous attempts to shield himself from the sun. Brooks’ constant encouragement kept us all ready to go with smiles plastered to our faces.

 

As we headed to the first cable, Kate showed no fear as she was the first to riiiddee! The first three cables were pretty easy, learner cables which the group handled flawlessly. We were ready for more of challenge, which we met with the last three cables of the day, the fastest and longest in the canyon. Grayson let loose with a war cry that set the tone for the rest of us! Ned entertained everyone while they waited for their turn on the zip line by inventing a new game with an unused cable.

 

After we were zipped out, we flew out of there and headed to the sand dunes. Of course, on the car ride over Mason showed off his never ending DJ skills and got everyone singing along.

 

Once we set up camp, Zoe and Smith got everyone engaged in a game of keep away that lasted for hours. Lily was the sneakiest player and had everyone cheering her on  by the end of the night. We were all starving after wearing ourselves out all day and sat down to a delicious dinner of fajitas that John and Coleman expertly helped prepare. The duo kept us laughing all throughout dinner sharing stories and cracking jokes! These kids continue to amaze us with the energetic personalities and creative minds. We can’t wait to see what else is in store.

 

 

As always, take care,

Have fun and be safe,

We know we will!

Emma and Bill


A Wet and Wild Start out West

July 2, 2018

Hey everybody!

 

These past three days have really been loaded with such good times and wonderful laughter. Right off the bat we knew that these two weeks with all of these great guys and girls would be a fantastic time and we will all be making memories to last a lifetime. At the airport, we all came to the realization that we have a wild crew on our hands and fun is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, which works well for us because we feel the exact same way. We were at the airport for a long time, but we made the most of it and Coleman and Grayson, as a duo, had us all belly aching and bent over from their antics and contagious laughter. After everyone had arrived safe and sound, we headed out on our first road trip. We stopped for pizza in the park and got on the highway. Along the way, Mason let loose and serenaded and surprised us by knowing almost any song that came on the radio. After a few hours on the road, we arrived safely at camp, quickly set up tents and hit the hay to get some much needed rest before our trip down the river.

The next morning, we arose and feasted on eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns, a fuel up so we could give our best effort on the river. As soon as we hit the open water, we saw a surprising side to Helen. She is an animal with the paddle. Throughout the trip, she saved us and kept us in line as we made our way downriver. Smith came around and cracked jokes that had us giggling silly as we flew downstream. After a few hours, and a hearty lunch of chicken and turkey wraps, we got down and dirty and made our way through the toughest rapids of the trip, which is where John hopped to the front of the boat and rode the bull, having an absolute ball at the front of the boat. When we got to camp, right along the river, Brooks and Lily got our minds going and gave us some tough riddles to solve, some of which have yet to be. We ate some spaghetti and went for a sunset hike to end our first full day together.

We woke up and ate some eggs, sausage, and sweet potatoes as our fuel for day two on the river. On the river, Zoe and Kate keep us all entertained and energized with their funny stories and contagious laughter. Shortly after we hit the water today, we stopped at a big rock for some cliff jumping. Ned went up time and time again, encouraging us all to climb out of our comfort zones and jump into the cold water below. Everyone got up and had a great time. Henry let loose with some fantastic war cries and continues to keep his positive energy up at all times. The stoke level in this crew is sky high and we can’t wait to see them fly through ziplining.

 

Until next time,

Stay safe and have fun,

We know we will,

 

Bill and Emma


Off to a great start!

July 2, 2018

Hello Colorado Trail Families!

We have heard from our leaders, and the trip is off to a great start! Stay tuned for more updates. We cannot wait to share stories from their adventures.

  • Moondance HQ

Students

  • Smith
  • Mason
  • Lily
  • Brooks
  • Henry
  • Kate
  • Zoe
  • Ned
  • John
  • Coleman
  • Grayson
  • Helen

Staff