June 26, 2022
Wooooooo! Rafting was so unbelievable!
The weather held off for us, so we were able to cowboy camp every night. What is cowboy camping? Cowboy camping is when you are sleeping under the stars all together! Each night cowboy camping, we listened to the majestic voice of Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to us – Everyone loved it! We woke up the next morning and devoured some delicious M&M pancakes courtesy of our wonderful guides. We were on our way! Spirits remained high for the whole entire trip. We arrived at Box Elder Campsite in Brigham City, Utah. With the trip ending soon, everyone wanted to spend as much time as possible together and make the most of the remaining time we all had together. We did just that! We thrifted, ate a delicious meal at a family diner, and ended with a heart whelming moon up. People shared, laughed, connected, and cried at our last moon up. We began the trip as acquittances but ended great friends. This is why Moondance is magic. This is why Moondance is so special. No other experience in my life was able to connect to 14 amazing humans in such a short period of time. The students grew in newfound ways in which they realized attributes they never knew they had!
BGW 1A: thank you for all of the memories, laughs, and lifelong friendships. We hope to see all of you guys soon!
June 23, 2022
Hello from Idaho!
We spent the last 4 days on the beautiful Salmon River rafting and sending some wild rapids! We loved our guides Matt and Catfish who made us some incredible meals on and off the river. Some of our favorites were French toast breakfast with Sausages, Lasagna, and Chicken Caesar wraps! Evan, Isaac, and Ella loved “riding the bull”, which is sitting at the top of the raft through the river. Tolly and Grace put their cooking skills to work in helping with dessert each night. Some of their creations were pineapple upside down cake and strawberry shortcake! They were delicious! While our first two days were pretty cloudy and on and off drizzles, the sun came out hot and bright for our last day on the river and provided us some great sunbathing and spike ball time. Morgan has already finished 3 books and has been lending other books out for others to enjoy!
On our long car ride from Jackson to McCall Idaho our group started Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which everyone has loved. We are about halfway through the book and have been listening to a chapter every night before bed, which puts us right to sleep! Elliott and Trey have been crushing spike ball and were undefeated until Ray and Evan beat them yesterday! It was a sight to see. Lia got to put her rowing skills into practice on the river. Our guide Matt let her steer the boat on the last day! SEP led the group in some afternoon yoga at camp on the last afternoon at camp, and Collier taught others how to do a headstand! As Leader of the Day, Campbell helped prepare a delicious lasagna dinner and set up s’mores for us to roast around the fire! We hit the road this morning and headed to Glenn Falls, Idaho which is an adorable small desert town. We spent the afternoon swimming and playing games, definitely working up an appetite worthy of an ice cream dessert!
Signing off for now! Tomorrow, we head back to Utah and start our goodbyes 🙁 we are sad to leave each other but grateful for such an amazing trip and new friends!
June 19, 2022
We back! What’s up once again from Wyoming!
After tolerating adversity in the Wind River Range. The kids were treated with a warm, well-deserved shower in Pinedale, Wyoming. Man was that shower refreshing! We washed off all our demons from the Winds and headed towards Jackson! The drive was picturesque, as the Winds were towering over us to the left and the Tetons looking stunning to our right. The drive was long, but it sure did feel short with our fun riddles and great conversations.
Jackson! We arrived at a beautiful campsite on the Gros Ventre river with a once-in-a-lifetime view of the Tetons. We devoured some delicious pizza from Pinky G’s (voted best pizza in Jackson) and enjoyed the sunset. Lia and Campbell were massive fans of the Guy Fieri pie! Yummy, yummy! Morgan and Trey led a great Moonup to end the day in which we discussed roses thorns and buds and bonded over past experiences. Elliott read us a great quote from the Moondance journal. We had to get up early the next day to climb, so we got a great night’s rest.
Ella and Isaac were eager to show off their climbing skills! They did not disappoint! Exum Mountain Guides were the real deal! The likes of Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia), Paul Petzoldt (founder of NOLS), and Jimmy Chin (Oscar winning director) have all taught and climbed with Exum. We hiked two miles parallel to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park until we came upon the location as to where we would be bouldering. Bouldering helped us learn the basics of climbing! We trekked over to where we would be ascending. Ray, Evan, and Campbell flew up the climb. The guides were so impressed! Everyone was so excited to get back at it tomorrow. The guides were so great with the kids and experienced!
We were up and at’em the next day! Spirits were high! Woooooooo! The guides had a harder climb prepared for us on day two! We arrived at Exum in the National Park early that morning. Instead of hiking to our climbing location, we took a boat across Jenny Lake with incredible views of The Grand! The weather the past two days was A-1. We ascended a 5.72 rated climb! Ella, Isaac, and Collier skyrocketed up the flat slap of granite, young Alex Honnolds! It took a lot of moral support from the group, but Tolly and Grace overcame their fear of climbing and heights and ascended as well! We ate a delicious lunch at the top as a group and enjoyed the great view. After lunch, we rappelled down the granite. Man, did we feel like James Bond! We ended the day with a shopping spree in Jackson and a scrumptious family style dinner at a local joint called Cutty’s!
We are on our way to Idaho to finish our trip up with rafting! Stay tuned ladies and gents!
June 17, 2022
Hello from Wyoming!
We have had an amazing 5 days learning to fish, backpack, and brave the cold together! A few long car rides have given us some great time to get to know each other and sing and dance to music as we admire the beautiful scenery. It has been so fun getting to share each other’s favorite songs!
On day 1 we left Salt Lake City and travelled to northern Utah to set up our first camp! We were blessed with a beautiful sunset and a breathtakingly bright moon to end our first day as a group. We woke up the next day with egg moon muffins and made our way to Pinedale for a fishing lesson. Evan was eager to show us his skills— now we are all master anglers! After our lesson and lunch on the river we made our way to our next campsite between the mountains and among the sage brush. After a cookout of burgers, hot dogs, and watermelon, we put on our pajamas and howled at the full moon above us! Isaac took the cookout trophy after eating 5 hot dogs! What a champ!
The next morning, Ray and Ella made a delicious breakfast of sautéed cinnamon apples with peanut butter and Nutella to fuel us up for our first day of backpacking! After packing up our camp and loading the backpacks we made our way to the trail head. Upon arrival we were met with some light flurries, which turned into full on snow as we kept hiking! There were about 4 inches of snow that came down on us while we hiked. It sure was cold but everyone kept up a great attitude as we southerners laughed at the thought of snow in June. It was the most snow Collier had ever seen! Once we got to camp, we were able to make a fire and Ramen noodles to warm everyone up. Thankfully the sun came out to melt some snow away and we enjoyed a yummy dinner of personal pepperoni pizzas!
The Wind River Range tested our strength with below freezing temperatures the next morning. After a breakfast of hearty oatmeal, we decided to stay at camp until it warmed up. During our morning at camp Tolly and Grace learned how to play rummy, Campbell and Lia enjoyed a long stroll, Elliott and Trey scoped the streams for fish, and Morgan caught up on her sleep! Once again, the afternoon sun peeked out after lunch, and we geared up to hike to a nearby lake to fish! We were pleasantly surprised by the picturesque scenery— an alpine lake surrounded by mountains! We shared a wonderful afternoon fishing by the lake and snacking on trail mix. Eventually we headed back to camp to cook up a spaghetti dinner which we ate around the fire. As the sun began to set the temperature dropped again and we curled up in our sleeping bags for a well-deserved night’s sleep.
On our last day of backpacking, Lia and Elliott cheffed up an M&M pancake breakfast for us. What a treat! After devouring our delicious breakfast, we packed up camp and hiked out back to our van. The sun was shining and smiles were abundant! Although we were sad to leave the Wind River Range and retire our backpacks, we were excited to get back to our campsite on the ranch and try to spot some Elk grazing at dusk!
Next we will be rock climbing in Grand Teton National Park! Stay tuned for more updates to come 🙂
June 11, 2022
Hello Big Wild Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Salt Lake City. The trip is off to a great start and headed to their first campsite in Wyoming, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventures.
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!