July 27, 2022
Since our last update we have left Wyoming and made our way through the great state of Idaho! We spent 4 days rafting the salmon river, catching some awesome rapids, and learning about the unique geology of the area! Our awesome guides Masen and Jack were able to show us their own personal favorite spots along the river and took us to a natural limestone cave on our last day of climbing! The sun was bright and shining on us all throughout rafting, but we have no sunburns and a few new Chaco tans! Anna and MC have given leader SEP a run for her money on the Chaco tan she’s been working on all summer long. Pierce, Sandy, and Quinn are sporting some awesome water shoe tans too. After our first day of rafting, we set up camp on a beautiful beach between two mountains in the canyon. We were all exhausted by the sun, especially KT and SEP who took a swim through time zones earlier in the day (we cross through mountain time zone to pacific on the river)!
Jack, our guide who worked in a Michelin star restaurant and is the reigning champion of the Riggins Dutch Oven Cook-off, cooked us some delicious meals. Owen, Quinn, and Campbell were great helpers and impressed Jack with their chopping skills! Guide Jack was so grateful for Owen’s help throughout our time with him that he took him fly fishing on our last morning! Although they didn’t catch anything, I know they had fun! Olivia kept busy with her friendship bracelet making queue, and even started making rings! They’re adorable. On our third day the group got together to give leader Ben a haircut! Thanks to the boy’s knowledge of life in the barber chair, we were able to give Ben a sick mullet that we hope he will continue to rock throughout the year!
We picked up a soccer ball before starting our rafting trip, and aren’t we glad we did! We spent a few good hours on the beach playing “keep it up” and Sandy really showed off his athletic skills with his daring dives and serving abilities. Katie may take up a career in volleyball after this session! Each night we slept under the stars on the beach and laid in awe of the stars before going to sleep. We were able to see dozens of shooting stars, satellites, and even the milky way! Jack was in awe of the planets, and star struck () by the milky way every night. It truly was incredible. Once we finished our trip on the river, we headed to Glenn’s Ferry, ID where we celebrated Ben’s birthday at the town pool enjoying some popsicles under the sun. While our trip is coming to a close, we are treasuring all the final moments we have together. We sure will be sad to have to leave each other soon!
July 26, 2022
We are out of the backcountry, showered up, and headed north to Jackson, Wyoming! On to climbing we go!
Once in Jackson, we headed to our campground! Our Leader of the day’s, Anna and Owen, whipped up some delicious fajita bowls. These bowls included an assembly line of chicken, rice, beans, salsa, cheese, lettuce, and hot sauce. Man was this meal a perfect filler upper before we started climbing early the next morning. SEP and I woke up the kiddos with some delightful music the next morning. We were on our way to Teton Village, as we planned to meet our guide at the Ranch lot in Teton Village. We took the Bridger Gondola up and started climbing the rocks of the ski mountain. Owen, Pierce, and Sandy rappelled down and climbed back up- everyone was so impressed! In the afternoon we did an incredible pitch climb up a flat slab of granite. Campbell and Olivia persevered and reached the top of the mountain! After a tough day of climbing everyone was tired! We returned to our campsite and relaxed before we headed to Jackson to explore! In town, Sandy and Pierce bought hilarious shirts, Quinn bought a hat, and the girls splurged at the lululemon pop-up shop. We ate a delicious dinner at Cutty’s and enjoyed our time together at the Jackson Hole Rodeo! Watching cowboys get bucked off horses and bulls was very entertaining! KT and MC were living their best life there! We finished the day off with a great Moonup and got some much-needed sleep. We were ready to climb in Grand Teton National Park the next day!
We arrived at Exum HQ in the National Park early the next morning. We were assigned five guides and split up into small groups. These small groups were assigned based off skill levels. Each group climbed up different pitches throughout the day. Jack really stepped up as a climber! We finished the day of climbing off with rappelling as a big group. Everyone did so well! Once climbing was completed, we devoured some delicious ice cream and purchased more “goodies” in downtown Jackson! We returned to Gros Ventre campground and Sandy and Katie Perry whipped up some delicious quesadillas.
We are now in pursuit to Riggins, Idaho for some awesome rafting. These kids are amazing! Best way to finish up our summer with these kiddos!
Ben and SEP
Below are some words from the kids:
Campbell: hey guys! I hope y’all are having fun in Boston and don’t miss me too much. Can’t wait to see you guys soon. I’ve been having a lot of fun out west and am going rafting tomorrow. Love and miss yall. Campbell. Btw don’t be mad cause I already spent all the money … my b.
Olivia: hey y’all, how’s the dog? I miss her a lot. Give her some love from me. I’ve made all the guys string bracelets. Eliza, I cannot wait to see you. I miss you a lot. The rodeo was so fun, and it made me want to be in a rodeo for barrel racing. Alrighty, bye mother, father, Eliza, and Phoebe!
KT: hey y’all! I am having the best time!!!!! 😉I have the most fun group and counselors!! And mom and Sullivan I found y’all’s notes in my bag! Miss friends so much and can not wait to see y’all! Ok sis!
Owen: what’s up family, having a pretty sick time. Talk about it when I get back. On a 10 hour car ride from Jackson hole to somewhere in Idaho. Love Owen
Bloedon: hey mom and dad, I’m having a great time. I got a cool shirt. I won’t wear it to school!!!! Love you guys!!
Quinn: Hey mom and dad. I miss you guys. I’m having a great time. Love Quinn
Sandy: hey mom and dad, I’m having a good time. I got a cool shirt, and we are on a 10 hour car ride now. Love Sandy
Jack: Hey mom and dad, I’m having a great time. I’ve seen 2 moose. I’ve got a lot of cool clothes. Miss yall!
Anna: Hey family! It’s ram jam. I’m having the best time ever. Miss you guys like crazy! Tell Parker and sunny I say hey! Missing Parker and is insane duo. Happy late birthday dad. Hope you had a great day. Can’t wait to see y’all. Love you
MC: hey y’all! I’m having so much fun and it is so pretty! Tell George I said hi and that I miss him. We are about to start rafting. Miss you guys and love y’all.
Katie: hey yall! I am having so much fun. Right now we are headed to Idaho for rafting. Miss yall and tell Mabel and hairy I say hi! Love Katie.
July 20, 2022
Hello Big Wild families and friends!!
We have returned from the backcountry and have had a blast in Wyoming so far! We began our trip by driving from Salt Lake City to Pinedale, Wyoming, where we enjoyed an amazing pizza dinner for our first night together. By the time we got to our first campsite, the group had already bonded strongly and did a great job entertaining themselves in the car ride to camp!
On our first full day we headed to the river to get a lesson in all things fly fishing! MC and Anna were naturals with their casts and MC blew our instructors away with her quick ability to learn knot tying! Owen was already well versed in his fly-fishing skills but was excited to learn about the bugs and critters found in the local Wyoming rivers to determine which flies to use. After our lesson, we went to Fremont Lake— a crystal clear alpine lake minutes away from the town of Pinedale, where the group cooled off in the water and ate chicken Caesar wraps. Jack showed his bravery by enduring the cold water to sit on a rock in the lake and take in the stunning panoramic view!
Once we returned to camp, Olivia gave Steve Harvey a run for his money as she led us in a heated Family Feud card game. After a few rounds of cards and some football on the field, we prepared for backpacking by learning how to “Leave No Trace” in the back country and how to pack a backpack! The group picked it up quickly! After enjoying a meal of burgers and watermelon, Quinn helped us collect wood and kindling for our first campfire! We sat under the stars around the fire and enjoyed each other’s conversation until it was time to go to bed. The next morning, we all packed up our backpacks and hit the road to our trail head and start backpacking! It was Campbell’s 15th birthday, so we surprised her with a pancake breakfast and a bottle of sparkling apple juice which we popped at the trail head! She is so easy to celebrate, and having a birthday gave the group amazing energy as we began our hike. Olivia and Jack were great Leaders of the Day and lead us on the trail like naturals!
Once we got to camp, we made personal pizzas and hiked up the hill to take in a gorgeous sunset over the mountains. The next morning, we enjoyed a breakfast of oatmeal and peanut butter to fuel us up for our day of hiking! Sandy, Pierce, and Owen had gotten up early and scouted out an amazing place for us to swim, fish, and explore together. Our leaders of the day, Quinn and KT, led us seamlessly to a pristine valley full of wildflowers with a perfectly clear stream running through. Pierce was the first to jump in the water and the whole group followed! We were all a little shocked by the cold water but grateful nonetheless to share an afternoon of swimming and laughter.
As we dried off in the sun, Jack, Quinn, and Owen fly-fished and Sandy and Pierce climbed up the hill to take in the full view of the valley! It was an amazing day. That night, KT and Quinn cooked up a delicious spaghetti dinner and we enjoyed another beautiful Wyoming sunset over the alpine lake we camped by. After dinner we all packed in the bug-out where all of us slept together! It was so fun to sleep under the stars as a group as we fell asleep sharing stories and laughing. Katie kept the group laughing with her endless stories and sense of humor. She is such a gem!
We woke early the next morning to pack up camp and head out of the backcountry. While we were sad to leave, everyone was excited to take a well-deserved shower! We have had an INCREDIBLE past few days together. The group absolutely crushed backpacking. We are headed to Jackson where we will spend the next 2 days rock climbing! Everyone is super excited, and I know the group is going to do so well!
Stay tuned for the next update 🙂
Sarah Elizabeth (SEP) and Ben
July 15, 2022
Hello Big Wild Families!
The whole group arrived safely in Salt Lake City today and 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