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Colorado River 2B • June 26-July 9, 2021

A Sad Goodbye in Salt Lake City

July 9, 2021

Yesterday was full of adventure!! We woke up for our final full day together ready to tackle wonderful Park City. But first, we needed to have a good breakfast to fuel us for the final day. M&M Pancakes did just the job. With everyone ready to go, we hopped in the car and drove four and a half hours to Park City. Caitlin, Pippa, and Pope sat front row and thoroughly entertained the rest of the van with singing and dancing. Before heading into Park City, we first had to drop our trailer and bags off at the campsite. At this point in the trip, everyone is super comfortable just sleeping on the ground outside, so we didn’t have to set up a single tent!

Once we got into town, our first order of business was to clean our home, the van. To be completely honest, it needed a good cleaning. And that’s exactly what it got! Reed and Souren spear headed picking up the trash while Natalie and Pope organized the vacuuming. Almost a full hour later, our home looked brand new. After that, we went and picked up some water and then went to the City Park in downtown Park City to hang out for the day. For our last night, it only made sense to wear attire dressed for the occasion. Per tradition, we went to a local Park City thrift store where each of us were on a mission to find the most ridiculous outfit. From Wyatt’s head to toe Iron Man suit to Pope’s iconic black and purple strapless dress, we were dressed for success. Also, a pivotal moment occurred in that Caitlin finally got her cowboy boots.

All showered and wearing our most ridiculous outfits, the streets of Park City weren’t ready for our showing. Nostalgia already in the air, we had an incredible feast at a local pizzeria. Not quite stuffed, we searched until we found the best ice cream shop. Within the first couple of minutes, Lucas was ready to defend his ice cream flavor of choice, vanilla, to the plethora of mint chocolate chip fanatics. The sun was beginning to set and it was time for one last van ride. Leah’s song choice of Wagon Wheel and Sohana’s stream of Beyoncé fueled the car with energy and preemptive sore voices from belting out every word! Even with an early start tomorrow, everyone was not ready to tire down. Our last Moonup was one for the books: “where are you most yourself?” Everyone went around and shared sentimental moments before our early bedtime for the airport. Before we knew it, it was 5:30am and we woke up to a moose! Scurrying into the car after the ooohs and ahhhs of our moose sighting, we strolled into the airport with plenty of time. The immediate phone number exchange led to tender goodbyes and promises to visit each other soon.

We are so grateful to all of the parents for allowing us to have this group for two weeks in Utah. We truly had the time of our life with each and every student and couldn’t be more grateful for this experience.

Love,

The Colorado River Crew


From Moab to Zion to Bryce!

July 7, 2021

 

Happy belated fourth!!

The smell of eggs and bacon wafting over the tents got everyone up in a timely manner. We had a big breakfast with cold watermelon as it only felt right on a hot July 4th morning. Soon enough, our troops were packing up camp to get on the road to Zion. The food coma set in for the first two hours and I don’t think we saw the whites of Pippa’s eyes again until lunch. After sandwiches midway through the drive, we got a second wave of energy. Wyatt giving his all in the back for Zac Brown Band got the crowd rowdy. We of course had to stop at the Cedar City Walmart to clear out the remaining 4th of July decor. We arrived to Zion around 5pm in matching blue and red tie dye muscle tees. Leah and Wyatt did an impeccable job as leaders of the day as we were in and out of the grocery store in record speed with all the quintessential cookout goods. We arrived at our campsite and decked out in all our new swag. Caitlin and Pippa were the artists as everyone was involved in spelling out “America” with paint on our stomachs. Burgers and corn on the cob were enjoyed by all and we went to bed happy. 

 

With an exciting day ahead of us, we had to wake up early to meet our guides for our hike of the Narrows. The girls wore the tie die tees and the boys all rocked their Hawaiian shirts. Everyone looked AMAZING! We were walking in the river all morning and into the afternoon. Souren, Sohana, and Pope were the only lucky ones that accidentally fell in while traversing the rocks in the river. It was such a beautiful day and quickly became one of our group’s favorite activities. After we got out of the river, we decided we needed to rest and cool off. Honestly, we all needed a shower as well. So we drove to a ranch resort outside of the national park where we enjoyed a pool day and showers. It was so relaxing and the perfect ending to a long hike. After the pool, we wanted to test everyone’s pizza making skills and decided to all make individual pizzas for dinner. Lucas proved to be quite the genius when he suggested we use a Dutch oven to melt the cheese better. Overall, it was a great day filled with laughter and views that will always stick with everyone.

 

With no alarm set, the group was alive and well around 8am for the breakfast line. The sight of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios expedited the wake up process. The morning started slowly as everyone ate their cereal along with finishing last night’s activities. Natalie and Leah beaded bracelets while Lucas and Wyatt threw the frisbee across the campsite. Needless to say, this would’ve been an ideal camping stock photo. Sleeping bags and tents were shortly packed away into the U-haul before we embarked on our town day! Caitlin was dead set on finding cowboy boots for the Bryce Canyon rodeo. Caitlin and Pippa led a movement to bop around stores in quaint Springdale, Utah. Unfortunately, the state of Utah does not have an ample supply of cowboy boots. Alas, hungry and still lacking cowboy boots, we went to Oscars cafe for lunch. This delicious local Mexican restaurant had some of the best quesadillas and nachos that were gone within minutes. Still enjoying the sunny day, spirits were high and we continued to peruse the town. We stopped in a quaint gallery of local artists then to a small store where Pope got stickers and a classic Zion T-shirt. It was now time to drive to Bryce Canyon. The drive itself was a hit as Caitlin and Souren battled over music requests, yet everyone was still singing at their maximum capacity regardless of the song choice. A quick pit stops at Ruby’s general store for groceries and then we were making a new campsite our home. A nice pasta dish was had for a late dinner and then we had a wonderful Moonup. Pope and Reed asked us which life lesson we all wanted everyone in the world to know. This spurred on many great conversations about forgetting and moving in from mistakes and loving and being kind to other people. It was a great night. 

 

It was a crisp 60 degrees when we woke up this morning, which was a trip low!! It allowed everyone to sleep a little later. Reed and Lucas still consistently were the first ones up and helped set up breakfast. Our eggs, oatmeal, and watermelon breakfast was enjoyed. Caitlin was happily stuffed after her gourmet oatmeal bowl.

 

We packed lunches and went on a hike!! The beautiful landscape of Bryce Canyon left everyone in awe. Wyatt led the group up the hike and we all enjoyed the view at “Inspiration Point.” We found a picnic table in the national park and ate our sandwiches and goldfish. After exhausting ourselves on a steep hike, a relaxing afternoon at the campsite was a necessity. Cards were played with Souren playing background music for the players. We went to the grocery store to get the ingredients necessary for our dinner of grilled chicken Caesar wraps. Pope masterfully grilled the chicken while Natalie and everyone else helped mix the salad. Tonight we are going to enjoy the Bryce Canyon Rodeo before we head on to Park City tomorrow. 

 

We are incredibly sad this trip is coming to end but are so grateful for these kids and everything they have added to this spectacular trip. We are going to finish strong!! 

 

Until next time,

Col2B 


Dear Moab: U-Tah, U-Tah Best!

July 3, 2021

Hello from Moab!! After getting off of the river, we have thoroughly enjoyed three action packed days in the great town of Moab. After going to the grocery store to stock up on some dinner materials, the group came back excited to cook our first meal together. Caitlin absolutely killed cooking our quesadillas. The night consisted of throwing the football, talking by the river, and laughing A LOT! The next morning we woke up and went into the town. We explored Main Street and walked in different shops all around town. All the girls bought matching “I love Moab” hats and have consistently worn them ever since. It gets hot early here in the desert, so we felt like it was necessary to go ahead and get ice cream mid-morning.

After a good morning exploring the city, we spent the second half of the day doing a wonderful hike in Arches National Park. This hike just so happened to be the famous Delicate Arch! This is the arch that is on the Utah license plate! Everyone did so great on the hike. We were so proud of how they handled the heat and the length of the hike as well. It was about a 2 hours round trip expedition, with amazing views at the top. Colten and Wyatt led the way to the top with amazing speed. After the hike, we were all pretty exhausted so we decided it would be a good idea to go grab our bathing suits and head to the local pool here in town! It was so nice to feel the air conditioning and swim. Pippa and Pope quickly organized a game of silence that everyone loved. This day ended with another peaceful night at the campsite. At Moonup, the group continues to get to know each other more and more and we are encouraged and thankful for the vulnerability and courage that everyone shows. After Moonup, we decided to play a couple rounds of Mafia. Sohana proved to be a worthy mafia in the game successfully killing off most of the group. It was a great game to end the night. 

We woke up early this morning because we had a fun activity to do – rock Climbing!! We met the guides to get fitted for shoes and harnesses and then we followed them to the rock! They set up four routes for us to try out, each having different levels of difficulty. Leah and Reed were amazing!! They successfully completed each route with an immense amount of skill. We went back to our campsite for lunch. PB&J’s were had by all with fresh fruit. After resting up a little bit, we went to a local hike that leads to a beautiful swimming hole. It was a nice refresher to feel cold water hit our feet. At the swimming hole, we played Hot Seat. This is a really fun game where one person is on the hot seat and everyone else asks question after question for five minutes at a time. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each other a little bit better in this fun way. The group is really starting to thrive and it is so fun watching them grow closer! After the swimming hole we stopped at the general store and got cold drinks and a frisbee. Only the essentials! We headed to a shady park and drank our cold drinks and enjoyed throwing the frisbee. Wyatt can sling a disc! Even though everyone was tired, it was nice to rest in the grass and get some energy back. Instead of heading back to the campsite, we said c’est la vie, let’s go out to eat. Pasta Jays fulfilled our Italian cravings with extravagant pesto gnocchi and margherita pizzas. Needless to say, we were going to sleep well.

We quickly hurried back to the campsite to grab our crazy creek chairs on our way to Dead Horse Point State Park. This gem of a state park has easily the best sunset we have ever seen. We all circled up on top of a hidden peak watching the sunset (and sharing a box of Oreos of course) in awe of our incredible view. We then transitioned our scenic experience to our mid trip Moonup. The leaders of the day, Souren and Natalie asked the group “what are you going to miss about the trip so far?” Aside from the majority of answers containing the people and scenery, we had some specific noteworthy answers. Believe it or not, Lucas will actually miss waking up at 6am. Another jam session in the van on our way home left everyone ready to go to sleep upon arriving at the campsite.

With a similar wake up call on this early sunny Saturday morning, we went canyoneering! Our exciting day began with crawling through the canyons and rappelling approximately 100 feet. Wyatt and Lucas showed us the ropes (pun intended) when eagerly rappelling down first. Around 1pm, we were wheels up from canyoneering with stomachs growling. After returning our canyoneering gear, we found ourselves at the Moab food truck park where everyone got to indulge in a variety of local restaurants. From the panini food truck to the shaved ice stand, everyone got a second wave of energy. 3pm in southern Utah is not exactly breezy, so it was Pool time! Faces stained from cherry sno-cones, everyone jumped in the pool smiling from ear to ear. Another great day in the books for the Colorado River. We are looking forward to trying Colten’s specialty dish tonight, a spin off Alfredo that he swears by. Hopefully we can rally our top of the line sous chefs, Pope, Leah and Souren to add some input.

Our last night in Moab has everyone nostalgic of our phenomenal last three days and excited to embark on our journey to Zion tomorrow. 

All the best,
Louise and Baker

Lucas: Utah rocks! Miss you guys, see you soon!

Leah: Hi Mom and Dad! I LOVE rock climbing. I did all 4 climbs two days ago.

Souren: Hi mama and daddy, I am having so much fun and making many new friends!! can’t wait to see you guys soon!

Wyatt: Hey! I am having so much fun! These people are awesome. Miss you, see you in 6 days!!

Pippa: Miss you guys! Don’t be too miserable without me. I love Louise and baker so much.

Reed: Hi Mom and D! I’m having so much fun! It’s beautiful out here in the desert. Tell Grandpa I miss him!

Pope: Miss you! I rappelled 100 feet today!! See you soon!

Caitlin: Dear fam, Don’t have too much fun without me. I’m so excited to do the narrows in Zion!!

Sohana: Dear fam, this has been so much fun and I can’t wait to see you soon!

Natalie: Dear fam, I am having so much fun! Moab was so cool. Can’t wait to see you guys soon!

Colten: Dear Mom and Dad, I’m having so much fun!


Colo-RIDE THE RAPIDS-o

July 1, 2021

Hello and welcome to the Colorado River trip! It is our honor to be coming to you live from the great and mighty state of Utah! This spectacular crew has had an unbelievable, bea-Utah-ful 5 days rafting downstream from Moab, through the Cataract Canyon, and into Lake Powell. Hold on tight and saddle up, here we go!

 

Our story begins as all great legends do – at the Salt Lake City International Airport baggage claim. Louise valiantly navigated this sprawling travel hub, scooping up unaccompanied minors left and right as our dream team assembled for adventure. With zero missed flights and full bellies, COL 2B set forth into the mystic – Moab bound! Caitlin spearheaded the musical jams on our road trip, and as majestic walls of red dirt canyons enveloped us several hours later, we descended upon our first riverside campsite. A successful travel day like this called for celebratory comfort food – hello pizza! This crew learned how to set up tents quickly and settled in for, you guessed it, some well-deserved rest.

 

Dawn came quickly and with palpable excitement, we embarked to the river put in! We boarded our four rafts and took off down the flat waters of the Colorado river in barge formation – with all the vessels connected and chugging forward by motor. These first two days were all flat water, which gave us ample time to take in the astounding beauty of our extra-terrestrial backdrop. These canyons are absolutely stunning. At every turn, the Mars-like canyon rims left us speechless. The raft guides were full of surprises and our group matched their energy every step of the way! At our first lunch break, we discovered they had brought a dry-bag of instruments! Imagine our surprise when Souren picks up a rogue trumpet and proceeds to serenade us with Christmas carols! The musical talent continued to abound, with saxophone melodies from our guides and then a full on a cappella ensemble from Leah, Caitlin, and Pippa. From Taylor Swift to Guns N Roses, these girls provided boundless musical entertainment for our team. Go ahead and get excited, their upcoming breakthrough double-platinum debut album, “Spash!”, is coming soon to an online streaming-service near you.

 

Fear not, for music was but one component of the ceaseless entertainment on board the S.S. Edward Abbey. 21 questions knocked back hour after hour of contemplation and debate. After Louise’s thought-provoking example, Colten blew minds left and right with his “clown nose” round. Black magic, green glass door, and name games kept everybody’s mind’s sharp. In the meantime, our river guides – turned culinary aficionados kept our bodies fueled with meals unrivaled by anything seen on a river ever before. They were slingin’ delicacies like Hawaiian chicken, Breakfast sandwiches, taco salad, steak and rosemary potatoes, and dare I say, even STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, at every meal. Needless to say, we felt like royalty on the river.

 

Even before the rapids, we still put our work in on and off the river. Day 3 brought with it a midday summit hike to the top of the canyon rim! We experienced a stunning desert abounding with wildlife such as lizards, deer, turkeys, and hawks. Reed and Wyatt put the extra mile effort in, hustling at the front of the pack to explore deep into the canyons. We discovered ancient petroglyphs, centuries-old granaries, and a renewed sense of accomplishment fueled by pushing our horizons.

 

At the end of each flat water day, we pulled into surreal beachside campsites each more beautiful than the last. After these long days on the water, the real games began. Lucas, Reed, and Pippa taught the group new card games like ERS and spit, and everybody put a concerted effort into their pursuit of hackey sack prowess.  We slept under the clear Utahan night sky, watching shooting stars and listening to the river rush by instilling a humble gratitude for this incredible journey we are on. Moments like these touched us at our core,  reminding us of the powerful, natural beauty of this world. It was the perfect build up to our big day of rapids still to come.

 

On Day 4, this Moondance group conquered 29, yes, 29 ferocious rapids in the Cataract Canyon. We awoke to a true blessing – overcast skies and a cool river breeze! For our 100+ degree adventure so far, there was no greater gift to receive. The boys took first ride on the paddle boat, with everybody else powering through rapids locked-armed on the gear boats. Natalie, Sohana, and Pope decided to take a swim on Big Drop 2, persevering through the waves and emerging victoriously on the other side. In fact, Pope’s ear to ear smile underscored just how much she loved the adventure! We paddled long and hard, riding and overcoming the peaks and crests of class III and IV rapids! Just when we thought this day couldn’t get any better, we arrived to our best beach campsite yet. The river guides opened up one last surprise, costumes!, and we proceeded with the Caitlin and Colten – orchestrated Olympics on the beach! Natalie and Pope beat out Pippa and Sohana at horseshoes, while Wyatt and Reed brought down the house in ultimate frisbee. Finally, a unique twist on tug of war brought out the groups’ muscles and brain powers. It was undoubtedly a day for the books. With full bellies and content souls, we wrapped up this joyous day as tradition would have it, under yet another constellation-filled sky.

 

This multi-day whitewater rafting odyssey has already become a trip of a lifetime. We cannot think of a better, more fulfilling way, to kickstart this groups’ dynamic. We have relied on each other, overcome challenges, and witnessed the raw beauty this desert has to offer. In doing so, our group has become a community already, and for that, we send our most sincere gratitude to you parents. We are amazed each day by our students, their zest for life and their excitement for each other. And with that, we are off! Stay tuned for our episode, as we embark to Arches National Park and more adventures just waiting to be had.

 

All the best,

COL 2B


Safe Arrival in Salt Lake!

June 26, 2021

Hello Colorado River 2B Families!

The whole group arrived safely in Salt Lake today, and are off on their adventure! 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

  • Caitlin
  • Leah
  • Lucas
  • Natalie
  • Pippa
  • Pope
  • Reed
  • Sohana
  • Souren
  • Wyatt

Staff