July 1, 2022
Hello from Wyoming!
Our trip is off to a fantastic start, and we are so excited to finally all be together as a group! We were glad that everyone’s flight was able to arrive early enough for us to start our drive to Jackson Hole. After throwing all of our stuff in the Uhaul, we hopped on the road for our first van ride! You would think this group had already known each other for a week considering the volume level and energy of our first few hours together. Some highlights of this drive included starting our trip long road trip trivia game where everyone is given points to trivia questions that either James or Walker come up with anytime to win a grand prize. This got pretty heated, and we are looking forward to seeing the outcome. In addition to crushing the first few trivia questions, Ellie gave each person a fun nickname during our ride. Once making it to Wyoming, we celebrated our first night together with some delicious Pinky G’s pizza that disappeared in 10 seconds. We lucked out with an awesome campsite that has a great view of the Tetons and a perfect set of trees where the girls were excited to set up their enos. After learning how to properly set up a tent from their speedy tent expert leaders, everyone was fired up for the first night of sleeping outside. We ended the day with an introductory Moonup which is a special way for us to reflect on each day as a group. We all shared what we are most looking forward to on the trip and were ready to wake up for day 1 of climbing!
For the first day of climbing, we went into Teton village for level 1 of climbing school with Louise and Griffin as our first Leaders of the Day (LODs). We started the day off by riding up the tram then took a short hike to the rock face. Here we learned what the many climbing devices were called as well as the right way to communicate when climbing. We executed a few smaller climbs before moving into some more challenging ones. It was a great day and the weather couldn’t have been better! We did a caterpillar multi-section climb where we were all connected as a group making our way up the rock. Isabelle fearlessly led the group for the entire time up. The views were amazing, and everyone successfully finished the climb! We finished the day with a rappel and climb to prepare for our next climbing day. Even Will and Alex conquered the rappelling after feeling nervous about it at first but realized after doing it how fun it was. We were so proud to see the entire group crush a pretty challenging climb for many of the kids first time climbing on real rock. After climbing school we drove back to camp to hang out and relax. During free time, the spike ball net has caused extreme competitiveness. Ellie and Louise won 4 games in a row. This made the boys come and get James to be all time referee to keep the peace when the competitive energy was high. Safe to say they were all chapped about the loss. Later on, we cooked cheeseburgers that were delicious and the perfect meal after a long day of climbing. After cooking, we were very impressed that Worth, Griffin, Gray and Liam had volunteered to do the dishes for not only that night, but also the next two weeks. We are excited to see how long this lasts but love the courage they have to get their hands dirty! We cleaned up camp and headed to the Jackson Hole Rodeo. The kids had been talking about this all day and it was without a doubt the highlight of the day and trip so far! As leaders we were also pumped since we did not get to go to the rodeo on our first trip. We watched tons of bull riding, barrel racing, and calf roping while eating some popcorn and ice cream. Reynolds kept us all laughing during the rodeo as she stood up and sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” in order to try to win loudest fan at the rodeo and Liam caught a cool frisbee for us to use the rest of the trip. Everyone was bummed that the mutton busting section of the rodeo wasn’t happening that night because they all wanted to participate. The rodeo met our high expectations and was an awesome night!
Today, we had our second day of climbing school in the Tetons with Ellie and Will as our LODs. We started the day by making some bagels and bacon. We then drove to Jenny Lake to meet up with our Exum guides for the day. We grabbed our gear and headed to Inspiration Point where we would climb some much harder rock faces. We got to ride across the crystal-clear water of Jenny Lake on a boat that has a breathtaking view of the Tetons. The views from Cascade Canyon were also incredible and we all agreed it was a great spot to eat lunch! We all climbed a combination of four different routes and got to cheer everyone else on when we were not climbing. Liam and Reynolds confidently volunteered to climb first and absolutely crushed all of the different routes of ranging difficulty. Ella and Alex also blew us away as they scrambled up the hardest route that started off with a rock face slanted at a super difficult angle to get up. They both made it look easy and had the biggest smiles on their face when they reached the top. Mary Grace also deserved the award for speediest climb as she would get to the top faster then anyone else in our group! We finished the day with a 100 foot rappel overlooking the entire lake. Overall, climbing school has been an absolute blast and a great way to start the trip off. Not only are the Exum Guides the best of the best, but also this group of kids are climbing superstars!
After another spectacular day of climbing, we headed back to camp for dinner. Burritos were a huge hit, and we will definitely have them again. We then headed into Jackson for a walk around downtown. Will and Gray grabbed a milkshake while everyone else got some cool Jackson merchandise. The girls got some home-made ice cream from Moo’s and Jackson merch as well. We ended the night by going to watch the sunset over the Tetons at a famous barn. The entire group slept under the stars and Griffin spotted at least three shooting stars. We cannot wait to raft the Salmon and spend the 4th of July on the river! We cannot wait for the fun to continue and to make more memories together on our next section of the trip.
Off to Idaho,
Walker + James
June 29, 2022
Hello Big Wild Families!
The whole group arrived safely in Salt Lake City yesterday and today they are on their way to their first activity. 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