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Trip Updates

California 2A • June 26-July 9, 2021

Goodbye to the Kiddos!

July 10, 2021

Hello from the San Francisco Airport.

First, to our kids: You are so very loved. From the sincerest place in our hearts, Austin, Taylor, and I are so grateful that you each came, conquered, and left with a new appreciation for yourself, one another, and the outdoors. It is so evident that we 15 embraced the Spirit of the Moondance. You are enough. I love you!

We had an awesome final few days in Cali! On our twelfth morning, we woke up decently early, packed up camp, ate a great pancake breakfast, and headed for Point Reyes National Seashore! Established in the 1960s as a national seashore, Point Reyes is a vast area of protected seashore northwest of San Francisco which features humbling cliffs and even a 150-year-old lighthouse. Once we entered this park, the crew had their eyes glued to the rolling hills, wide deltas, and wildlife. As we drove to an estuary, three bucks ran across the street and cattle grazed just past our sweet Bessie! Later, we visited a beautiful canopied drive that felt as if it were in a movie…Eliza and Gigi were consistent in their claims that The Sound of Music was filmed here, while O’Neal, Spencer, and Wolfie were trying to pry the answer out of me (no movie was filmed here kiddos). Then, we headed for the beach! Lila sprinted out onto the sand as we all shriveled up in our layers. It was quite windy this afternoon with little sun. We said our goodbyes to Point Reyes and headed for our O.G. campsite in HMB!

Along the way, we made a few decent pitstops. Our first was at Muir Beach off HWY1. Here, we ate lunch and spent some more time on the beach. I have a vivid memory of Shepherd and Laura climbing massive boulders on the coast of Muir Beach and dancing, while Land and Margaret identified some remnants of a massive sea creature…likely a whale. After lunch, we pushed forward on the windy HWY1 listening to the top jams of our two weeks. Then, the moment we had all been waiting for, we drove across THE Golden Gate Bridge!!!! During the 2 ½ minute drive across, we listened to “a splash of water malone,” our group’s Soundcloud anthem. After a drive across the bridge that quite literally dropped Spencer’s jaw, we drove about an hour more along the coast to arrive to our beloved surf towns of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. Once we arrived, we set up camp and chilled with several games of Mafia and sleeping bag wars. Later, we surprised the crew with a crazy Moondance Adventures CAL 2A Iron Chef competition! Divided in two teams of six, our crew quickly planned a meal in ten minutes. As the judges, we interviewed both teams to learn more about their dishes. Team A prepped a pasta Bolognese dish (Nugs to Lila and Margaret for ensuring the pasta dishes would not burn, Nugs to Land and Sascha for bringing great energy to this team, and Nugs to Spencer and Shepherd for exhibiting fabulous EB through supporting the other team), while Team B prepped a fried chicken and fries dish (Nugs to Gigi for her recipe, Nugs to Wolfie for working with the frying oil and gas so patiently, Nugs to O’Neal for getting his hands covered in egg and flour for two hours, and NUGS to Eliza and Lula for cleaning the entire kitchen). We three judges thought both dishes were very impressive, but Team B was crowned victorious during Moonup! Life is good.

We woke up the next morning and headed to meet our instructors from the start of our trip to squeeze in one last morning of surfing. How else could we end this trip in Cali?! Once to Pacifica State Beach, we suited up and lathered ourselves in sunscreen…it was hot and sunny unlike HMB! After half an hour catching waves, some of our crew decided to get out and have a sand war. Initiated by Spencer, half our crew was having the best time with the simplest of things! Gigi, Lula, Margaret, and Eliza had a super fun time playing in the crash zone of the waves, while Spencer paddled out to catch some waves with instructor David. Laura, too, had practically a private lesson with instructor Gary! While the crew surfed, I surprised everyone with pizza as they got out of their wetsuits and booties. Bellies full, we headed back to camp to carry out some Moondance traditions. After showers, we thrifted crazy ‘fits and popped some tags! Lula, Gigi, Margaret, and Eliza bought dresses and Land and Spencer rocked out the Hawaiian fit. Decked out, we headed to BANQUET in Burlingame, CA! After a fantastic dinner, we headed back to our campsite with golden hour, ran to the beach, and caught the last glimpse of the California sun dip beneath the HMB horizon together…hugging and crying…in our crazy outfits…in front of other onlookers…I love this group!

We headed into a very special, heartfelt final Moonup led by LODs Lila and Eliza. Afterwards, we all stayed up a bit later than normal…sleeping bag fights, watching for shooting stars, showing each other The Big Dipper, and reminiscing on a spectacular adventure.

I write this now after you all are gone. Know that we love you, we will always be here for you, and we will see you soon. Thank you for making this such a special adventure, kiddos. Love yeeeeeew!

Hey Neighbors!

See you soon.

Signing off,

Chuck Blanton, Austin Trammell, and Taylor Byers


A Rip Roaring Time on the American River!

July 7, 2021

Hey Neighbors (if you know, you know)!

Chuck here. I’m writing to you on the road! Our crew had a great two days here in Cali on the Lower Fork of the American River; we all wish we could run those rapids again.

We started our ninth day a little later than normal. We caught some extra (much deserved) ZZZ’s, had a delicious breakfast of fruit, bagels and Nutella, and granola, played two games of Mafia (narrated by Spencer and Gigi), and then threw on our swimsuits! After our Morning Huddle led by LODs Laura and O’Neal, we hopped in Bessie the van to head to AO, our rad outfitters for the next two rad days on the river. Sunscreen applied and Nalgenes full, we met our energetic raft guides Hayden, Reece, and Emily! After a quick briefing, our crew headed to the river; I was with the girls and Austin and Taylor were with the boys. Laura and Gigi braved the front on my boat, while Spencer and Wolfie captained the boys’ boat. In no time, we were off and floating!

To put it short, Hayden said our energy on the girls’ raft was “unmatched.” Sascha, hands down the comedian and enthusiast of our raft, was nicknamed “Sasch” by Hayden and said “Hey Queen” to every (single) person on the river. Also, she introduced the video game theme to our raft with “New Fear Unlocked,” “Level Up,” and “New Character!” Eventually, Margaret, who was positioned in front of Sascha, gave into the “Hey Queen” lingo and started complimenting bystanders on the shores of the river for their floaties (dragons, not dinosaurs), pink rafts, and dogs. As we followed our fearless pacesetters Laura and Gigi down Class I and Class II rapids, Lula and Lila could not stop cracking up about “Hey Neighbors” as they reminisced on an awesome adventure we’ve had together as a family so far. Hayden did a great job at remembering our names, especially with an Eliza, Lila, Lula, and Laura all on one raft! Personally, I believe the timing of our rafting section on this trip is perfect. Our group has come so far from Day 1 – it feels like nothing short of a discombobulated, sidesplitting family – and the food that AO serves us is mouthwatering.

We stopped for lunch on the side of the river: sandwiches, AO style! Delicious, multi-layered sandwiches with a fresh pickle, potato chips, a refilled Nalgene, and dried mango on side…what else could you ask for? Spencer went back for seconds while Laura had upwards of ten slices of mango and apricot! In no time, we were back on the current and en route to “The Gorge” section of the river – Class III+ rapids – for the remainder of our afternoon. Lost Hat was our first-Class III rapid. I watched as the boys’ boat initiated a paddle high five just before the big wave drop into the narrow canyon! Soon after, we braved two other Class III rapids and Shepherd and O’Neal practiced their ‘paddle slam’ – a flat hit with the paddle on the water that generates a loud BANG – to celebrate their successful maneuver of the rapids! As we finished our raft about two hours later, Sascha continued to make our boat laugh with her unfiltered comments during our final float down the water. Reece and Emily told Austin and Taylor that Land did an extraordinary job with listening to their paddle commands and that he was one of the strongest rafters on their boat! What a morning and afternoon we had!

We headed to camp to meet our AO guides once again – this time for dinner! We played four or five rounds of Mafia (narrated by Laura, Gigi, and O’Neal), showered (!), and rested after a super active time on the water. Hayden, Reece, Emily, and some other AO guides rang the dinner bell and the crew ran over to a feast of delicious chicken and steak, roasted peppers, salad, garlic bread, and two pastas. The food was so great that Spencer called one of the other AO guides, Wyatt, “valid” once to his face and another later during the Nug Jug in Moonup. After dinner, the whole crew joined AO in their kitchen to help with dishes. This group has blown us away with their excellent EB (Expedition Behavior)! Stuffed with brownies and lemonade, we headed into Moonup to discuss the most exciting moments of our lives and share compliments regarding those sitting on either side of us in the circle. It was super cool hearing what everyone had to say! As Austin, Taylor, and I headed to our tent, the group laid out on Wolfie’s tarp to stargaze and spend precious time with one another before heading to bed. J

We woke up this morning with the sun and a fresh platter of fruits and coffee cake from AO waiting for us after we broke down tents and packed our duffels! Following this delicious appetizer, we had breakfast sandwiches with tea. Lula, Land, and Lila had Hayden choose their teas, while Laura and Spencer enjoyed an English Breakfast. Everyone said the tea soothed their throats and reenergized them for a great day of whitewater kayaking on duckies!

Once at AO, we met our guides and headed upstream via bus! One nap for Lila later, we arrived to our put in point and paired up for tandem duckies. Reece gave us a quick lesson on how to maneuver these duckies – they were new for all of us – and we were off! After a smooth paddle down some Class I rapids, team Lila and Wolfie and team Spencer and Eliza practiced flipping their boats and returning to the initial position. We arrived to our first major rapids, Barking Dog and Old Scary, and we all had a blast! Shepherd and Sascha got caught on a large rock, Gigi and Laura, too. O’Neal and Gigi fell out and Reece and I gave them an “Uber ride” back to their desired drop-off points to Margaret and Eliza with their duckies. After another great lunch, we spotted a Bald Eagle resting in a tree on the riverbank! It was fascinating for all of us, but Land and I were particularly engrossed by the beautiful bird. We finished the morning with Class II “Highway” – this was a trip for all of us! I’m 99.9% sure each of us couldn’t hold ourselves from laughing and smiling the whole way down. Go whitewater kayaking on a ducky!

Now, we’re on the road to Olema, California! Tomorrow, we explore Point Reyes National Seashore, have some fun at the Golden Gate Bridge, and return to our first campsite at Half Moon Bay. Full circle moment coming soon! We’ll hit the swells once more and hug each other a little tighter…

We’re soaking up each moment while we can! Can anyone slow down time?

Until then,
Chuck, Austin, & Taylor


Happy 4th!!!

July 6, 2021

Hello from the American River (on the fourth)!!

 

After a GREAT Moonup to end Lila’s 13th birthday (she said it was the best she has had yet!), we hit our ground pads at our new camp on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

 

After a quick, delicious meal the next morning, we threw on our suits, sunscreen, and water shoes to starting our kayaking section on Tahoe! We drove an hour around the perimeter to the northernmost point of the vast lake as the sun glistened. After a brief lesson on generating rhythm and speed with tandem kayaks, our group splashed into the magnificent Tahoe blue water with our guides Alissa and Brian! Oh, this morning was such a blast… After Shepherd quite literally guessed the exact length and circumference of the lake, Wolfie, Spencer, Land, and O’Neal held another beat battle. Simultaneously (yes, simultaneously), Gigi and Eliza capsized, surfacing with laughs and giggles! After we were all back in our boats, Sascha and Laura engaged everyone is a splash war – YEEEEW (if you know, you know)!!! Later on in the day, we docked our trusty boats on a beach to rest on the warm sand. While we rested, the boys found some crawdads and Laura made an arena for Larry, one of our crawdads the crew named after SpongeBob. Accompanied by several kayak races (which Lula and Lila consistently won), we soon headed back to our starting point to be greeted by the most delicious, appetizing sandwich bar known to man prepared by no other than Margaret and Chuck. Bellies full, we headed to camp and rested for the afternoon, playing (the quite addicting) Mafia. The group is starting to learn each other’s gameplay and how they play when they do and do not have a role in the game; it’s quite entertaining to watch! Oftentimes, Laura and Spencer are throwing out accusations as detectives, so it’s epic to see them run a game as co-Mafias, too. We continued our Mafia antics over dinner (seriously, we ate our chicken quesadillas in our Crazy Creeks with eyes closed), and then headed into Moonup, where LODs Margaret and Lila asked us about where we see ourselves in 10 years and mistakes that changed our character. We headed to our tents with appreciative hugs and laughs, as well as an unbearable amount of excitement for SUP the next morning!

 

Eggs, bacon, and bagels with cream cheese to start this awesome morning on Tahoe. YEEEW! We headed back to the northernmost point on Tahoe, grabbed our paddleboards, paddles, and lifejackets and headed into the water to start SUPin’! LODs Sascha and Wolfie bravely led our crew along the shores, while Spencer and Laura played around with the GoPro. Taylor was the first to fall in, but Wolfie (and the rest of our crew) wasn’t far behind! Once we paddled for about an hour, Margaret and Lula suggested we group our boards together for a group tan. We soaked in the sun’s rays, drifted in, paddled back out, drifted in…repeat. After a much-needed relaxation float, we were impressed by Gigi’s lung strength and her ability to swim and grab my glasses (thanks to the clear Tahoe water, too)! Sascha, Laura, and Land were determined to get me in the water. Countless times, they would strategically direct me towards large waves and I would, indeed, flop into the refreshing Tahoe water. After a great morning on the water, we treated the crew to ice cream in Tahoe City! One nice Porta John and two scoops of ice cream later, we headed back to camp. Laura, Eliza, and O’Neal helped set up a tarp for cover as it started to rain. KEEP IN MIND: It never rains on Moondance! We had such a blast. Laura was particularly helpful in recommending where to tie which knot and to which tree, rock, or tent stake. Later on in the afternoon, we had an awesome cook crew (Wolfie and Sascha) to prep Spaghetti Tacos from the show iCarly! Throughout dinner prep, cook crew would come up with creative hints to share with the group that would test their wits to guess their meal. No one came close! After a great dinner, we had Moonup and Mafia.

 

“Firework” on repeat – All. Morning. Long. IT’S THE FOURTH! After two great days on Lake Tahoe, we are heading to the American River to start our rafting section of this adventure. However, before we packed up, LODs Lula and Shepherd smeared patriotic tattoos onto our faces and hands – Land’s tattoo assortment was practically symmetrical across his body! Eliza surprised everyone with American shades and red, white, and blue necklaces, too. As the crew celebrated, Austin, Taylor, and I cheffed up a delicious American Breakfast. Soon after, we packed camp and hit the road! With Tahoe in our distance, we cruised to the American River blasting a fabulous queue of music once again. Once to our new campsite in Lotus, California, we threw our suits on, blew up two massive beach balls, and walked just 50 feet to the river! This was too fun. We swam for almost two hours! Tonight, we are going to celebrate the United States of America! We’ve got a great meal planned – burgers, hotdogs, mac and cheese, watermelon, cupcakes, and Hawaiian Punch! Lila is going to show us all her unpopular “salt on watermelon” duo, we’ll report back on that. We’ll check in after our time on the American River!

 

We are happy, well rested, and eating good. What more could ya ask for!

 

Peace and Love,

 

CALI CRRRREEEEEEEEEWW

YEEEEEEEEEEW


California Dreamin' Under the Stars!

July 2, 2021

Howdy from the west coast!

 

Austin, Taylor, and I cannot believe our group met just six days ago. We’ve squeezed some form of fun into every waking second of our days. We’re not even finished with week one!

On day four, we woke up with the sun to eggs, bacon, and bagels! After cleaning our bowls and dishes, LODs Sascha and Shepherd held Morning Huddle, and we headed to meet our outfitters to climb in Southern Yosemite. Tobias and Daniel were ecstatic to guide us to our rock face for the next two days, but I think Laura, our pro climber, was even more excited! We grabbed our helmets, harnesses, and shoes and headed up to our wall! It was about a five-minute walk. After we watched Daniel lead climb our two routes, Tobias told us more about the type of climbing we were doing – slab climbing. After Laura’s demonstration of how to tie the Figure 8 knot, Shepherd was the first to take on both walls! O’Neal made it up the left wall in 48 seconds – what a natural. We all made it to the top of at least one of the two ropes; this was a super fun morning!

After our morning climb, we danced in some rain, swam, and played some games. Among the favorites were “Alibi,” “Dinner Party,” “Poison Dart Frog,” and “Change The Beat”! Later on, we had our cook out and some post-dinner shenanigans with eggs… Land and O’Neal came out victorious, Wolfie and Shepherd were in close second, though.

We closed this awesome day with a great Moonup from Sascha and Shepherd. I invited everyone to join me on the tarp and sleep under The Big Dipper, The Little Dipper, and a handful of shooting stars. Most of the crew was outside in no time!

After a great night of rest out on our tarps, I woke up the tarp group and offered everyone to a sunrise swim in the lake! Laura, Wolfie, Spencer, and Shepherd threw on their suits and jogged to the chilly, refreshing water with me! We waded for half an hour, watched the sun rise, and headed back to camp to get dressed for our second morning of climbing.

We headed to the same rock face, but hiked ten or so minutes further to an upper wall with Tobias and Daniel. This rock face was much more technical and higher than our first day of climbing, but everyone was excited to get their harnesses and boots on to climb on! Laura was so excited that she asked Tobias if she could lead climb the face (she wasn’t able to, but was the first to get on the wall). While Laura zoomed up the left route, Wolfie was maneuvering a crack climb on the right! All of us had a chance to get on the wall again; even Eliza conquered her fear of heights. After a great morning of climbing, we headed down to the base; Gigi had a fun time! On our descent back to camp, we ran into cattle on the road. It was most our first times seeing cows run!

After lunch at camp, we told everyone to hop in the van to go see a waterfall. Instead, we surprised the group with MILKSHAKES! Spencer settled for Nutella, while six or seven of us went for OREO. After a delicious treat on this hot day, we headed to hike and dip into Willow Creek at Bass Lake! Sascha, Gigi, Wolfie, Spencer, and Shepherd initiated a seaweed fight, while Laura and Margaret chilled out and played with the sand.

Once back at camp, I worked on a pasta bar for dinner with LODs Gigi and O’Neal and the rest of the crew played several games of Mafia. Spencer and Land were successful in fulfilling their mission as Mafia! After a great dinner, we had an even greater Moonup. Gigi and O’Neal asked us about our scariest moments and foods we’d be able to eat for the rest of our lives. We packed our day packs for the next day and then got into our sleeping pads and bags to prep for a big day!

We woke up to LILA’S 13TH BIRTHDAY!!!

Today was awesome! Laura helped Austin, Taylor, and I ring in thirteen years the only way: silly string. We grabbed two cans, snuck up to Lila’s tent, and woke her up with “Happy Birthday” followed by an abrupt attack! After a quick breakfast, we broke our tents and packed lunches for our hike to Vernal Falls. With a decorated van (“13” gold balloons and a “Happy Birthday” banner), we headed for Yosemite.

On our drive in, we had a great queue of music. Every single one of us sang “Classic” and “Firework” at the top of our lungs as we waited at the park’s entrance. We had other cars rolling down their windows to pump their fists and even a few grandparents dancing with their grandkids! Shoutout Taylor for the stellar aux performance, the recommendations from Shepherd, and the enthusiasm from Land and O’Neal in the back row! As we continued through the park to Yosemite Valley, I heard a ton of oooh’s and wooow’s from LODs Lula and Spencer in the front row. This place is pretty cool.

Once we arrived to our trailhead, LOD Lula headed the pack and LOD Spencer followed. We trekked to the base of Vernal Falls in about a half hour, refilled our water bottles, and then hopped on the Mist Trail. This was insane! We walked up steep slabs of stone underneath Vernal Falls for about a mile. Eliza and O’Neal pointed out the rainbow visible in the fall’s mist. Our final ascent to the mouth of the waterfall was a tight climb against the slab of rock. Water dripping and dropping, Land took a “shower” as we paused to let hikers descend. By this point, Lila had received a handful of birthday wishes from strangers (thanks to her birthday balloon we tied to her pack)! Once we made it to the mouth of Vernal, we all sat on our packs and ate lunch on a huge slab of granite. During lunch, two squirrels came up to Shepherd’s feet, but thanks to the 7 LNT Principles, we respected wildlife (#6) and let them be. Also at lunch, Gigi shared that this was her favorite day so far and that she was dreading it earlier. Hiking is sweet!

We hopped on the John Muir Trail, or JMT, and sent it to the Valley in under two hours. Sascha found a stick and dubbed it as a trekking pole and Shepherd exhibited great EB (Expedition Behavior) by carrying her pack! Once we made it to the Valley, Wolfie  and Margaret spotted a mama and baby black bear in the woods. We stayed our distance, but stood in awe of the wildlife – Yosemite’s present to Lila! Once we got to the van, Austin and Taylor surprised Lila with a Moondance celebration of brownies, candles, and a birthday bag full of goodies.

Now, we’re heading to Lake Tahoe for the next few days! Little do the kids know, but we have more birthday celebrations in store. One of Lila’s favorite meals is a hamburger, so we’re surprising all with In-N-Out on the road! It’s going to be a great night.

We’re livin’ in the moment, everyone!

Until next time,

 

The Cali Creeeew!


Surfs Up From The West Coast!!

June 29, 2021

Helloooooo from the west coast!

 

Airport Day

We started our adventure at the San Francisco Airport where we eagerly awaited the arrival of our twelve new students! Chuck picked up the first load of students from a Charlotte flight, and then our adventure was off! Land, O’Neal, Lila and Shepherd hopped off of their flight, grabbed their bags, and made their way to the meeting point at the Delta Baggage claim where Margaret had just been dropped off. Next, Austin greeted Lula with a smile at her gate as the rest of the group at baggage claim got to meet Sascha, Laura, Wolfie and Spencer. At the airport, our group of ten was high energy and enthusiastic, but we were waiting on the arrival of two other students, Gigi and Eliza, whose flight wouldn’t arrive until later that night.

 

After gathering all the students’ belongings, we headed to our first campsite-Half Moon Bay. The beautiful campsite boarders the beach and has a big field for games. As we pulled up to the campsite blasting music, all the students jumped out of the van with huge smiles on their face. We immediately set out lunch, and all the students enjoyed Hawaiian role sandwiches with cheese-itz and fruit. Next, Austin and I taught the students how to set up their tents properly. After watching a demonstration, all the students got with their new tent groups and began the process.

 

With five new tents set up, we all decided to run to the beach and explore the coast. Shepherd, Spencer, Laura, Wolfie and I all ran into the freezing Pacific Coast water and jumped waves while Lula, Margaret, Sascha and Lila walked down the beach. We quickly changed clothes and then decided to play a game of musical crazy creeks where Laura’s true competitive spirit came out. Later, Spencer taught a really fun card game that got the whole group involved. We quickly realized that Land had fallen asleep in his tent and Wolfie decided that we should wake him up by sending one person into the tent at a time. Land woke up and then we got to enjoy a dinner of warm pizza and Caesar salad. Soon after, Chuck pulled up to the campsite with our final group members, Gigi and Eliza! The whole crew bombarded the van, and enthusiastically welcomed them. Gigi and Eliza brought the group a treat, and then we started our first MoonUp!

 

Austin, Chuck and I went over our expectations of the trip and then introduced them to all of the fun traditions that we would do every night. We then chose the new leaders of the day, Laura and Wolfie, who were chosen for their great attitude and inclusiveness. After MoonUp, the students crawled into their tent for a good night of sleep before our first activity.

 

Day 2

Surf’s Up!

 

Today we slept in a little and enjoyed a breakfast of cereal and muffins. We fueled our bodies for the day and then put on our swimsuits. While everyone was still changing, Land, Wolfie, Spencer, and O’Neal showed off their freestyling capabilities- Wolfie’s signature sound was AYEEE and Land’s was MMMMM. We laughed as we enjoyed their creativity, and then all piled into the van to surf. As we drove down the coast for the first time, all of the students’ mouths were wide open in amazement of the beautiful cliffs and seashores. When we arrived in Pacifica, the kids jumped out of the car to go to the bathroom one more time, and then they slid and wiggled their way into their wet suits. Shepherd ended up putting his on backwards and Spencer got the special neon blue suit. After suiting up, we grabbed our boards and headed to the beach.

 

Our instructors, Allen, James, and John taught us about currents and positioning on the board. After a safety briefing, everyone ran into the water and jumped on their boards! Lula and Gigi immediately popped up on a wave and showed the rest of the group how its done. O’Neal quickly stood up on his board with Shepherd right behind him. Eliza, after falling multiple times, caught her first wave and threw her hands in the air out of excitement. As a whole, the group caught on really quickly and had a great attitude about the day!

 

After a great day of surfing, we went back to the campsite and played a game of kickball. The LODs, Laura and Wolfie, helped us make grilled cheeses and tomato soup which was perfect for the cold weather. We bundled up for an early MoonUp and then were off to bed.

 

Day 3

With a big day ahead, we woke up early and packed up our tents for the first time. Chuck, Austin and I talked about taking responsibility for group gear and then we did one final sweep of camp. Afterwards, we had a morning huddle and then drove ALL the way to Yosemite. On the way there, Chuck played a game called “My Cows” with Land and Eliza while the rest of the crew jammed out and got to know each other a little better.

 

After a couple gas station stops, we were finally ready to enter the park.  Once we reached the gates of Yosemite, we drove about 45 minutes into the park to find the perfect lunch spot. On the drive in, we went through a tunnel and when we popped out of it, we had the best view of Half Dome, which Laura was really excited about. We drove through Yosemite Valley and then ate sandwiches at the foot of El Capitan which was one of the craziest views yet. After lunch and site seeing, we took the kids to the gift shop and then hopped back into the car to drive to our new campsite.

 

When we got to our new campsite, the kids built their tents all on their own, without help from the leaders. While they were doing that, Chuck, Austin and I made the tastiest fajitas that we served with a side of chips and salsa. After everyone had licked their plate clean, we washed dishes and prepared for MoonUp.

 

The LOD’s, Eliza and Land, put a lot of thought into MoonUp and really challenged the rest of the group to be vulnerable. The questions that they asked were “what is your biggest fear?” and “what is your most embarrassing moment?” Everyone had an opportunity to share, and afterwards we all really leaned into living in the moment as a group. After a great MoonUp and full bellies,  everyone crawled into their tents for a great night of sleep.

 

Until next time,

Austin, Taylor and Chuck


All Have Arrived!

June 26, 2021

Greetings California Families!

The group arrived safely in San Francisco today, and they are off on their adventure! One more student is arriving late tonight and they are all excited to greet them! We have heard from our leaders that the trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.

Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Eliza
  • Gigi
  • Land
  • Laura
  • Lila
  • Lula
  • Margaret
  • O'Neal
  • Sascha
  • Shepherd
  • Spencer
  • Wolfie

Staff