Trip Updates

Iceland 2A • June 27-July 10, 2019

Final Update!

July 10, 2019

Wow , how has our time come to an end. We write to you with both sadness and happiness, we know it’s not goodbye but see you soon!!

Our final day was a perfect finish to a fantastic trip. As the most bright eyed and bushy tailed Thomas and Jack woke the crew up for our final day, we once again woke up to sunny skies and a cool breeze. Once the group heard bacon and eggs were ready, they took down their tents for the final time. Coleman was ecstatic to finally see the bacon he had been dreaming of, crushing at least 5 pieces! With breakfast down, our last dishes cleaned, and our dirty bodies ready for a shower, we hit the van! While on the van ride we enjoyed some of our new favorite tunes and had a few snack stops in order to grab our new favorite Icelandic treats. On our stop, Margaux grabbed her new favorite treat, “cake in a bag” to show her family our favorite dessert on the trip. Soon enough we had arrived back to the big city, Reykjavík.

When arriving to the hostel, we were ecstatic to be in not only a building but a building with beds, shades, and SHOWERS! After feeling so refreshed and clean, we explored the city, stopping in nearly all the souvenir shops. Cater finally got the Icelandic soccer jersey he had been talking about all trip! Mary Reagan, Olivia, and Sarah were sure to grab some Icelandic chocolate to bring home to their families. After wandering the streets in our new Icelandic swag, we stopped for burgers and shakes to celebrate our amazing trip. Everybody enjoyed a nice American hamburger except Peter who went for the wings and sprite. Man, these greasy burgers were much needed and appreciated!

We finished the night with our final Moonup led by LODs Jack and Zoe where we shared our favorite moments and memories on the trip. We laughed about how different we were and how far we had come from just two weeks ago in the same exact spot.

The night was finished with an intense game of soccer with some local Icelandic’s under the midnight sun. Both Anna Sloan and William once again showed off their incredible skills and athleticism. After nearly a two hour game, we headed back inside for some late night card games and snacks before we snuggled in our beds for our last night’s rest.

The group boarded the van this morning for the last time. Claudia led the group in our final count off and we were on our way. Airport day was full of matching sweaters, lots of snacks, and adding everyone on social media, of course!

What a journey we have! We could not have asked for a better group, better weather, or an overall better journey. Thank you for sharing your amazing kids with us! We miss them already! Over and out!

 


Trekking through Paradise!

July 10, 2019

Hello again friends and family!! Wow what a journey we have had. We write to you from a beautiful campsite nestled between two glaciers with tired legs, dirty hair, and memories of a lifetime. Our trekking experience was one with perfect weather, delicious food, and insane views.

First stop before hitting the trail was one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss. The group was eager as they ran through the misty waters to see one of the coolest waterfalls we’ve ever seen. After checking out the main one, we were able to visit a more hidden, less touristy waterfall tucked in a cave. We snagged a group photo in front and Peter even dunked his head under the freezing waters. After admiring the waterfalls, we were ready to hit the trails.

With our 4th of July sunglasses on and our packs ready we were on our way. LODs Jack and Margaux led us through the vibrant mossy magma from past eruptions. As we walked up, down, and around the lava fields, we told stories and learned about each other while adjusting to the unfamiliar weight on our backs. Before we knew it, we had reached the first river crossing. We threw on our river shoes, unclipped our packs, and linked arms as we crossed the freezing cold glacial waters. Temple’s group with Peter, Zoe, Margaux, and Jack, were the first ones to cross as they sang songs to distract themselves from the numbness of their toes. After crossing, we put our boots back on and soon arrived at the first campsite. When arriving, we set up camp on little islands between rivers, an incredibly cool campsite we had all to ourselves. Claudia helped chop the veggies for our amazing dinner of Salmon Mac & cheese, yum! We finished the night with Moonup overlooking the river on a mossy bed that we thought was comfier than our beds at home.

After a full nights rest, the group woke up ready for our big day on the trail. We fueled up on granola, coco puffs, yogurt, and warm tea to get us through the morning. Before hitting the trail, LODs Anna Sloan and William briefed us on how our day would go and gave us a review on the 7 Leave No Trace principles.  While the day was long and incredibly warm, almost hitting 70 degrees, the crew completed the 15 mile day very fast with nearly no complaints. When arriving to camp, it was a beautiful night and we were excited to see a warm dinner was already prepared and waiting for us. As we relaxed, munched on warm soup, and reminisced on the day, we felt extremely accomplished. We topped off the night with Moonup and a night under the sun where Thomas, William, and Coleman slept under the bright skies.

After sleeping in, we were ready for our third day on the trail. Once again, nothing but sunny skies. The crew was ready for a bit easier and shorter day full of beautiful views and many river crossings. Breakfast led us into a quick warm up game of Big Booty, then off on the dusty trail. The day consisted mostly of hiking through glacial outwash plains with a few hills mixed in. It was a welcome change from the previous hard days work. That night at the Hvanngil camp, after a delicious meal of grilled salmon, Cater and Claudia led a wonderful Moonup with spectacular views. We heard stories about influential people in each other’s lives as well as learned what movie character people thought would be interesting to see play themselves in a movie. Olivia even chose her dog to play her! After, it was time for bed.

By this point on the trek our legs were getting tired, but that didn’t stop Sarah from leading us through the black sand desert in Chacos! She was even still running at the end of the day. With Sarah’s energy radiating through all of us, we managed to make our way up to the canyon of Emstrur. With fully bellies after dinner and beautiful views all around, we settled in for our nightly tradition, Moonup. Not many people can say they have enjoyed the company of some of their best friends they had met only a couple weeks before while taking in views of the Grand Canyon of Iceland. Finally, with heavy eyelids and our tents overlooking the Entujökull Glacier, we happily fell asleep, preparing for our final day on the trail.

Waking up at Emstrur camp is an experience not many get to have. We were all fortunate enough to have unzipped our tents to those glacial views and started our morning overlooking the trail ahead as we fueled up for our final 15km before the end of the trail. Our final trekking day brought some very welcome clouds after a couple days of nonstop sun. Hiking in the cooler temps seemed to boost our energy once more as we rose and fell, and twisted and turned our way down into the Valley of Thor, or Thorsmork as they call it here. When arriving, our guide Biggi grilled up some legs of lamb and baked potatoes which we ate under the evening sun eating until our stomachs were popping. We had the final camp all to ourselves which allowed us to enjoy a rousing game of football after a dinner to remember. Zoe led the girls team as QB and Thomas led the boys. We weren’t sure how they still had energy left in them however, Mary Regan scored the winning goal for the girls team! Moonup last night was a special one, one where we all shared something from the trip that would stick with us forever. Lessons learned will never be forgotten, just like the friendships created these past couple weeks. With that in mind, we were in for a busy day today so we all hit the hay, and let the dreams take us away.

We are sad that these are our last two days, but for now we are enjoying the moments we have together. We will be back so soon!

Sincerely,

Nick and Temple


Exploring the Coast of Iceland!

July 4, 2019

We’re back!! What an amazing time we had on the coast of Iceland. Perfect weather, delicious food, and some sun kissed skin. After our night at the Game of Thrones camp, we boarded our mighty Mercedes van as we headed for the coast.

When arriving to our kayak put in, we had a safety briefing and a gear intro by our guide Maggi. After some delicious sammie’s, the group secured their spray skirts and we were on our way to our island home. With sunny skies and the perfect amount of wind, LODs Mary Reagan and Peter led us as we cruised through the sea. On our way we stopped at a historical shipwreck where we explored what life was like as a fisherman many years ago. Before arriving to the island, Claudia yelled for the group as she spotted a seal peering out of the water. This was super cool to see! After arriving to our island home, we set up camp and explored one of the most beautiful places we’d ever seen. We spent the afternoon telling stories and relaxing, a time where Anna Sloan told us a hilarious story of her brother getting locked in a camp trunk, too funny! Before we knew it, Maggi had prepared for us a delicious pasta cooked over an open fire, a huge hit among the group. With the sun still very high in the sky, we finished the night with a game of mafia led by Peter and of course a beautiful moonup overlooking the whole island. After a long day, we all snuggled up in our sleeping bags – the majority of the group was able to sleep outside of their tents because it was such a beautiful night!  We told stories where Jack had us laughing for hours until we finally were able to fall asleep under the sunny clear skies!

We woke up to yet another beautiful day! How are we so lucky? The group packed up our belongings and hopped back into our kayaks as we paddled back to the van just a few kilometers away. Nothing but smooth cruising on the way back! We were all amazed by the clear visibility in the water allowing us to see the underwater world. When arriving to shore, we packed up our kayaks, had lunch, and jumped around at a nearby blob, otherwise known as a trampoline. Nick and I thought the kids might be too exhausted but we were very wrong when we watched them jump. Everyone loved the blob and William was able to show off some skills with his back flips. The long van ride was broken up by not only some fun tunes but an ice cream stop, a perfect cool down after kayaking in the sun. Soon enough we had arrived at our mountain hut for the night, a surprise for the group, no tents! Warm showers, beds, hotdogs, we had it all! Before an early bedtime, LODs Olivia & Coleman led the group in a super fun and special moonup, a cool moment of strong leadership displayed by the students.

The next morning is when the hut really showed its worth. It was windy and raining outside but we were all able to wake up warm and toasty inside. Also, no tents to take down! The morning began with sleeping in and a breakfast of yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, and of course music by Jack Johnson. Once everyone had eaten their fill, it was time to prepare for our trekking section. We held Moondance’s “Duffel Shuffle” right there in the kitchen and went over what to pack. That happened just before everyone packed their bags with everything they would need for the next 6 days and loaded into the van.

With our bags packed and an amazing night of rest, we headed for a local geothermal pool and hot tubs where everyone had the chance to relax even more before the big days on the trail. Most of the guys had been trying to make a basket on the pool’s hoop but it had yet to happen. Nick decided to make it interesting and offer to set up whoever’s tent made the basket first in a 5 minute period of time. It was none other than Mr. Cater who made the shot at four minutes and twenty-two seconds! Cater and Coleman, his tent partner, lucked out and had their tent set up for them last night in the misty rain. But before that, we still had another surprise for everyone, PIZZA! Up the road from the pool, we all sat down and enjoyed a meal of delicious pizza from a local small town restaurant where Claudia demonstrated once again how much she could eat! With stomachs full and smiles on our faces we headed to our last stop before camp, Geysir. After heading in the tourist shop and decking ourselves out with Iceland garb, we walked across the street where there is a geyser almost comparable to Old Faithful. However, this geyser goes off every 5 minutes or so. The sky was such a similar color to the jet of water coming out of the earth that it was almost impossible to see where the geyser stopped and the sky started. What a site to see!

When getting to camp and after Nick settled his debts setting up Cater’s tent, we all hung out in the kitchen tent where Biggi was cooking us a delicious lamb stew. Zoe led us in an action packed card game of ERS while others made bracelets out of colorful string. With cards being slapped and bracelets being fitted, it seemed like no time until Biggi announced that dinner was ready. We all ate our fill of the delicious stew before Sarah and Thomas led us out to a nearby field where we had another amazing moonup. With nearby horses galloping in the background and with everyone rested and in high spirits, the moonup was one to remember.

This morning, as I write, everyone is slowly making their way out of the tents and towards the kitchen tent for pancakes! Happy 4th of July! Today, Jack and Margaux will be leading us on not only Independence Day, but also our first day of trekking! Everyone is starting to really get to know each other as Day 8 begins. We are very excited to be hitting the trails and can’t wait for the views waiting for us along the way.

Until next time,

Temple and Nick

 

Some shoutouts from everyone!

 

Hey Mom, Dad, Morgan, and Rubes!! I am having so much fun in Iceland and I love my group and leaders!! I miss and love y’all. Please record US World Cup Finals 🙂 Love, Claudia

Hey Grandommy Grandaddy Mom Dad and Annabelle,

I’m having an amazing time in Iceland. Over the 1st week here we have visited the blue Lagoon, white water rafted on a glacier river, sea kayaked to a private island in the Greenland Sea, and camped a lot. Tomorrow we start our 6 day hike through the Icelandic highlands. I’ve met some really nice guys and girls on this trip and love my leaders Nick and Temple. Can’t wait to see y’all soon . Love y’all

-love Cater

Hello Krumwiede Family,

I am having a very nice time in the land of ice and Margaux says hi. I wish I was there for the World Cup games and Vi and Dads birthdays. I bought a sweater and it’s awesome. Tell the kitties and Chief and Ava that they miss me. I love you! -Zoë

Hey mom and dad we have white water rafted, day hiked, went to a cave and kayaked to a private island for the night. We are about to start our six day hike. I’ll tell you more when I get back. Love you, Coleman

Hey mom, dad, George, and whoever else reads this. Iceland is awesome and so cool but I am missing you a lot. We start trekking tomorrow and I’m hoping it won’t be too brutal but will also help me become stronger mentally and physically!!! I love and miss you all and can’t wait to see you in around a week!! Also please treat Marlin well on his birthday.  Love Mary Reagan

Hi mom and dad

Iceland is cool. People are fun. Bye. Jack

Hey Mom, Dad, Will, and Katherine. I miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see you soon. I am having a great time in Iceland and have met so many awesome people. I look forward to watching the World Cup when I come home!! Love, Sarah

Hey family! I am having such an amazing time in the land of ice and have made so many friends and seen such beautiful places. I miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see you soon! Also, please please record the World Cup finals game for me to watch 🙂 – love Olivia

Hi family! Iceland has been so much fun and is beautiful! I have made many new friends and love our group! I can’t wait to see you soon and hope that you’ll record the World Cup game! – love Anna Sloan 🙂

Hello Familia, I miss you guys so much but Iceland is awesome. Me and Zoë (she says hi) got matching sweaters and they are dope. Please remember to record the USA soccer game. The food here is good but I am very fat now. See you guys soon! Love Margaux

Iceland is fun and cool. I’m having great time. -Peter

Hi mom and dad I am having fun

Thomas

Hey mom and dad I’m having so much fun and everyone is super cool. The leaders are awesome. Every day has been great and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

-William


Sunny Skies and Hiking Miles!

July 1, 2019

Hello friends and family!

We write to you today from the amazing Thingvellir National Park. So far we have had nothing but fun times, good weather, and great friends. We have already travelled near and far, experiencing some of the coldest waters and seeing some of the most amazing views.

After recharging with breakfast at the airport, we were on our way with Biggi, our guide for the next two weeks. Our first stop after the overnight flight was a relaxing session at the infamous Blue Lagoon. Cater led the pack with the traditional Icelandic silica mud mask, keeping it on for the entire soak. We had some fancy slushees and shared our excitement for the adventure to come.

Next stop, lava caves! After a delicious lunch of sandwiches, fruit and chips, Biggi led us down into the depths one of the longest caves in Iceland. This cave was formed between one thousand and two thousand years ago during multiple eruptions. We explored this historic site with our headlamps shining bright and were amazed with just how dark it can get when we turned them off. William decided to venture the farthest, until he was army crawling into the smallest nook, hoping to find one of Iceland’s hidden people, otherwise known as elves.

After exploring the rest of the cave, it was time to head towards home for the night, Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavík. The afternoon was spent taking some much needed warm showers and playing card games. We finished the night with lots of pizza and our first Moonup. Following our first Moonup under the 24 hour sunlight, the boys headed to a nearby park for a game of soccer with some local boys. Boy, did we not know what we got ourselves into! Fortunately, William led the charge scoring most of our goals on the field.

After a good night’s rest, even under the unfamiliar bright skies, everyone was eager for our first full day of adventure! We packed up our belongings, ate a delicious breakfast, and headed to the river for a day of rafting. After layering up with our wet suits and spray jackets, the group was ready to take on the glacial rapids. Our crew had two boats each headed by our very first LODs (Leader of the Days), Claudia & William. These two were the first to feel the shock of the piercing cold water when we hit the first rapid and they took it like champs! Before we knew it, nearly halfway down the river, the group was lined up for a cliff jump into the freezing waters. After the majority jumped, we all agreed the thrill of the jump and the shock of the cold water was a sensation we will never forget.

Following cliff jumping, we hopped back aboard the rafts for the second half of the river. Before we knew it, some seriously intense raft battles were going on between our group’s rafts. While we floated down the rest of the river, Peter began jumping from boat to boat tossing our group into the water. A competition had begun and soon enough everyone in our crew had been successfully dunked into the glacial waters. Zoe and Margaux were even able to jump in with an Icelandic man from another raft, it was hilarious! When arriving back to the rafting site, we were able to warm up with hot showers, the sauna, and some delicious hot coco. Finally, after a fun and savage day on the river, we were ready to head to our first camp in the mountains!

While on the way to our first campsite, we were able to make a quick stop at one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls, Gulfoss. After arriving, the kids jumped out of the van and weaved through the crowds of tourists in order to find a perfect spot to see the famous landmark. Coleman was amazed at how fast the water was moving and even began to toss rocks in to see how quickly they would disappear into the huge currents. After many photos, we were ready to hit the road.

Kerlingarfjoll, our home for the night, was a beautiful campsite along a river with a view of snow topped mountains and a close by glacier. The group watched a quick tutorial by the leaders on how to put up a tent and then it was their turn. Everyone caught on quickly, Sarah and Claudia were the first to have theirs up! With tents up, we enjoyed a warm meal of soup, potatoes, and grilled cheese. We finished the night with Moonup under the clear skies as we passed around chocolate cake and reminisced on all the moments we have already shared.

After our first night sleeping outside, we enjoyed a warm breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, granola, and hot coco. Soon enough we were embarking on our first day hike led by our very own LODs, Cater and Zoe. Cater led the group and Zoe held the caboose, as we walked under the sunny skies to our first hot spring nestled in the snowy mountains. After crossing rock, snow, and grass, we made it to the Hot Spring Valley where we took off our backpacks and enjoyed our sandwiches. Soon enough we were cruising on back to our campsite as we told stories, played games, and got to know each other on the trail. When finishing, everyone was feeling accomplished by the mileage we had just covered and the sites we saw. Olivia was thrilled with how good she felt after her first true hike and expressed her excitement for the trek!

With tired legs, we hit the van for our next campsite. We jammed to some tunes and looked out the window at all the beautiful views. We were excited to arrive at our next campsite in Thingvellir national park. When arriving, a soccer game of boys vs. girls began. Anna Sloan showed the girls how it’s done leading them to a nice W over the boys. We tossed up camp and enjoyed a crowd favorite of burgers and Iceland’s famous Hamburgósa (hamburger sauce) for dinner. Jack, Thomas, Coleman, and Peter were on clean crew for the night where Jack and Thomas taught the group how to use salt when cleaning a cast iron pan. Since it was such a beautiful night, we went on an evening stroll to a spot where Game of Thrones was filmed, super cool! We finished our walk with a Moonup under the sun led by our LODs.

Today we are headed for the coast with LODs Mary Regan and Peter leading us on our sea kayaking adventure. We have been truly lucky with the weather thus far and hope the sunny skies stick around. As leaders, we are blown away with this group and our trip so far. Talk to you after kayaking, over and out!

Temple & Nick


Safe Arrival in Reykjavik!

June 28, 2019

Hello Iceland Families!

We heard from our Leaders that the group has arrived safely in Iceland. They were headed out for their first activity this morning, and the trip is off to a great start.

We can’t wait to hear more from their adventures. Stay tuned!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Anna Sloan
  • Cater
  • Claudia
  • Coleman
  • Jack
  • Lily
  • Margaux
  • Mary Reagan
  • Olivia
  • Peter
  • Sarah
  • William
  • Thomas
  • Zoe

Staff