July 29, 2022
One last howdy to all Big Wild C families from Lina and Joseph for the final update from our incredible adventure out west!
Wow what a great end to our two weeks and to the summer, we truly could not have asked for a better group of students. From the beginning they were all so excited to make the most of the experience and become friends and that only strengthened as the trip went on.
By the time we finally got to Jackson after rafting in Idaho, we were tired but we were more excited that we could be together and play around outside of a van! Almost immediately when we got to the Gros Ventre campsite outside of Jackson, Gray got everyone started giving each other shoulder and back massages to loosen up after all the paddling and squished seating in the van. Then after a Mac n Cheese dinner and s’mores on a wonderful fire built by Hunter, we went to bed to get up early for climbing the next day.
We got to our climbing site in Teton Village early to get the most climbing we could. Our Exum Mountain guides led us on the ski gondola all the way up the mountain to a perfect slab for learning the basics. Then we moved to doing a beginner multi-pitch climb which everyone cruised through especially Zach and Sophia. Zach, despite being nervous about the heights, absolutely thrived on the rock wall. He was really good and figuring out how to work through another solution to a route when one didn’t work. Sophia had been itching and excited to climb since day one and she’d been practicing on anything that she could find and when she finally got the chance she was a natural! Smoothly climbing up every route with no problem, she was super quick going up the wall! After the multi pitch, our guides set us up for a short rappel which Gray and Madeleine bravely jumped to be the first to try even though the prospect of rappelling off the cliff really scared them.
After our day of climbing we went into the downtown part of Jackson to visit stores and experience the town. We got a quick pizza snack at Pinky Gs and everyone bought souvenirs for themselves and family. Emma Kate inspired all the girls to get matching sweatshirts so that they could all remember how good and close of friends they all became on the trip.
For dinner after our town day, we had an iron chef style cooking competition where we split the Group into two teams to make an appetizer, entree and dessert all to be judged by us leaders. Hunter was the team captain of the team who won, but Finn, although he was was the head chef of the losing team, made the most impressive dish by crafting a cheesy pasta sauce from scratch and making everyone fall over laughing the whole time with his hilarious chef voice!
The next day we got up early again for more climbing at a really cool spot below the Grand Teton called Boulder City. There was a crack in a boulder called “the worm” at this spot that was only just big enough for a person to squeeze through like a caver. Although Finn was the first one to try to fit through, Fielding was the first one to successfully wiggle himself through the small hole in the rock! Fielding along with Cate, who also squeezed through the worm, really impressed us with their climbing talent because they totally crushed all the routes they tried (and the tried a lot) after feeling too nauseous from the altitude to finish the full course the day before. Turns out they didn’t even need the extra practice before the hard routes! And these routes were super tricky, one route was only completed by a few and even the guides admitted that it was really hard, but Chase, with the determination of multiple tries, was the first one to complete it! It seemed like everyone had a really fun time at this site of fallen rocks below at the foot of the mountains, Hunter climbed every single route he could until his arms were noodles and said it was the best day of the trip! Brody showed exceptional tolerance to adversity by climbing with a super inconvenient cut on his big toe, but he didn’t let this hold him back at all. He crushed some of the hardest routes the boulders could offer and didn’t complain once! And Zadoc set the record for climbing one route in only 13 seconds!!
We got our last good look at Wyomings beauty in the Teton Range before beginning our drive to Salt Lake City to camp. Before we settled in to camp we made a stop at a super good restaurant called El Matador in Ogden UT for our last dinner Banquet together. We loved seeing how much the group loves being together and all of the jokes and connections they’ve built with each other. This has been a really special group of kids and for our last moonup we came together as a little family for the last time. This has been the perfect end to an amazing summer and we are so very grateful for the opportunity have led met and made friends with this amazing group of students. Goodbye for now but here’s to hoping we see each other again soon!!
Lina and Joseph
Emma Kate: Thank you mom and dad for this amazing opportunity! I had so much fun and I’m so grateful I got the chance to do this! I love y’all so much! Thank you!
Madeleine: Thank you for sending me on this trip! it is something i will never forget and i’ve had the time of my life! thank you so much!
Sophia: Mom and dad thank you for allowing me to go on the trip I had a great time!
Zadoc: this has been the best trip ever! i am so grateful that you guys let me go. i love you and i’ll see you very soon.
Brody: Thank you sooooo much for sending your son on this camp. He is so nice and funny.
Zach: Thank you Mom and Dad so much for sending me on this trip it was amazing and I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in such fun activities and meet so many great people.
Fielding: Thank you so much for letting me go one this trip. It was the most fun I’ve ever had and I am so grateful for you!!
Finn: Thank you so much for sending me on this trip!
Gray: Thank you mom and dad for this amazing opportunity! I had so much fun and I’m so grateful I got the chance to do this! I love y’all so much! Thank you!
Cate: Thank you soooo much for sending me on the trip!!! I had the best time ever
Hunter: Hey, I just wanted to say thank you so much for sending me on this trip. I had sooo much fun and it was an amazing experience. – hunter
Chase: Thank you so much for letting me go on this amazing trip! It was so much fun and I am SO grateful for it!!
July 25, 2022
Hey howdy hey Big Wild C families!
It’s Lina and Joseph again with a post rafting update. Wow what an adventure! We finally got the chance to float down through the beautiful basalt canyons of lower gorge of the Salmon River in Idaho. We set off on our first day of rafting with our guides from Wild River Adventures, Melissa, Trysta, and Chloe for a 20-mile day. After a good day of paddling, we pulled off to camp on a very steep beach where we had so much fun rolling, running, and jumping into the river below.
The next day we had delicious pancakes for breakfast before staring out on the river again. The weather was perfect for the whole trip, and it was so sunny that we did a lot of swimming and swimming games. There was one game where we spun the boat while one person tried to balance on the front and Hunter was by far the best at thus one. Fielding and Madeleine were definitely the best duo for Trust, which is a game where two people link paddles and lean as far back as possible. And then Cate showed us all up at doing backflips with her perfect form off the front of the raft. Whenever we stopped for lunch, Gray was always the most eager to put together the complicated rolling tables that the raft guides used. At our beach campsite that night, Brody and Zach were super helpful and had a ball digging a hole in the sand for the dishwater. They had so much fun that they dug a hole every night! These two were also a hoot, entertaining us all with their funny banter and pretend Wii tennis game.
Our next day of rafting was super special because we made it to the confluence of the Salmon and Snake rivers. It was also a day full of huge rapids, which the crew paddled through like expert teams. Finn was always a favorite to have in your boat because of how he made everyone’s day by keeping us smiling and upbeat with his massive “Yee-Haws”. Sophia was also a hoot because she was always using a really goofy Australian voice, which our guide Trysta really connected with. Both of the rafts were full of laughter and smiles!
Our campsite today was on the Snake River, and it was the coolest one of the summer with our own little swimming cove from a nearby basalt boulder fall. Chase helped take lots of stunning pictures here with fantastic lighting. Then everyone got together as the day was winding down to make friendship bracelets together. Emma Kate was running around helping and teaching everyone how to make them for each other. The guides fixed us an extra special lasagna dinner and pineapple upside down cake for dessert before the best night of sleep yet underneath a sky full of stars.
The next day was our last day of rafting and after packing up camp and having our last breakfast on the river we set out on the Snake River. Because there are so many dams on the Snake, the water had hardly any current, so we paddled ourselves out the last 15 miles. Zadoc was an absolute unit in staying strong and paddling hard for our raft through this entire section. When we finally got to the take out, it was a relief to see our van and finish with paddling, but we were very sad to say goodbye to the river and our amazing guides. We are now on our way back to Wyoming for the much-anticipated rock-climbing section in Jackson Hole. We have a fantastic group who is getting along incredibly well and growing closer with each day!
Update you soon!!!!!
Lina and Joseph
Here’s some shoutouts from the kiddos!!
Brody: yooooo, what’s up POG family. The white-water rafting was really fun, and we are in the car all day today to get to rock climbing. I can’t wait to see y’all and play with Iezzi, I just want to play call of duty and eat Mexican.
Madeleine: hey! I miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see y’all soon! White water rafting was so much fun and the food they made was so good! The backpacking was tough but once we got there it was fun! We got to swim a lot and the water isn’t that cold! I love y’all!
Zach: Greetings family. I have learned a lot on this trip especially about living in the moment. I have been in 6 different states on this trip and I can’t wait to tell you. Dad, I learned how to double haul during a fishing lesson and I caught 9 wild brookies. White water rafting was also a lot of fun and it is a surreal experience sleeping under the stars. We are rock climbing tomorrow and I have made a lot of friends. I can’t wait to see you guys in I guess 3-4 ish days. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Love, Zach
Emma Kate: hi! I miss y’all! I am having so much fun on this trip! I have made so many new friends and we are already planning a reunion for next summer! The first day we did fishing and it was fun but kinda hard but we only did it that day. Then we did backpacking which was hard but so worth it when we got there. We hiked up hill for 6 miles for a total of 5 hours. After that we spent a day there and hiked back down the next day. I fell and rolled a little down the hill but I’m good now, just a little scraped up. Then we drove to Idaho and started rafting! It was so much fun and for sure my fav part of the trip! I have been living in the moment and it’s been tough but I love it. We went to an aquatic center for showers and got to swim and played basketball! We made a friend and it was super fun! Having a blast! Thanks for this opportunity! Love y’all, Emma Kate
Sophia: Hi! I miss y’all so much, I am having a great time. We are on the way back to Wyoming after rafting for rock climbing. Rafting was super fun and the food was really good. Backpacking was also fun, we got to swim and climb the rocks around where we were camping! It was cool to learn about the fishing stuff even though I was not very good at it. I am super excited for rock climbing and I think it will be my favorite part. I can’t wait to see y’all and play with Izzy! Love, Sophia
Hunter: Hey, I hope y’all are doing well. I am having a ton of fun. We just finished rafting and it was AMAZING. Backpacking was also sooooo much fun. Anyway I can’t wait to see you and the dogs. Tell Ava I hope she had fun at her camp too. Love y’all.
Gray: Hi!! I miss y’all sooooo much! I hope everything at home is going well, tell the dogs I miss them. I am having such a blast, backpacking was sick and so was white water rafting. Now we are going to rock climbing and I am super pumped! I can’t wait to see y’all. Love you all, Gray.
Cate: Dear whoever in family is reading this, I miss y’all so so so so much. I am having so much fun and we just got done whitewater rafting. it was so much fun and less scary than West Virginia. I survived backpacking and didn’t even complain about the long hike (I have faced my fear of long hikes). We are driving in the van to Jackson Hole to go rock climbing. I hope mom and luke had fun in TN if y’all went and mom had so much fun at the beach. Hill and Liza i miss y’all a lot and I have so many things to tell you. I am thinking about junie and of course miss lake. Give them the biggest hug and kiss for me and tell merk I love + miss her and I say hi bby g. Love you all!!!! Thanks for letting me come here. Goodbye ps mother I have yet to see a moose but I hope to see one in Jackson and dad excited to see any weird new creations you have made at the house. Luke better be taking good care of dyeds and my bed
Chase: Hey Mom and Dad! I miss y’all so much but I am having the best time!! We have just finished white water rafting and now we are going to Jackson Hole. Tell Big Daddy happy birthday and that I love him and am so excited to celebrate at the beach!! Also give kirbichers a big hug for me! Tell Caroboo and Hannah to have the best time at camp! Thank you for letting me go on this! Love y’all so much! See y’all soon
Zadoc: Yo! This trip has been a blast and I’m sad it’s almost over. The relationships I’ve made with the group and leaders here are pretty special. I will definitely miss them. I hope to get with them another time this year. We have fly fished, backpacked, and white water rafted. We are headed to go rock climbing as our final adventure. I love y’all and can’t wait to see the whole family.
Fielding: Hey parents, this is the most fun I’ve ever had, white water rafting is the best thing we’ve done so far. I can’t wait to see y’all and watch some TV and eat some chipotle. May I please like 70$ on my green light to bring back a souvenir. I love y’all and can’t wait to see y’all. Love Fielding
Finn: Hey mom and dad! This trip has been awesome it’s the most fun I have ever had I have made so many new friends! We have been backpacking and rafting my favorite so far has been the rafting! We are driving to Jackson hole right now to go rock climbing I am so excited! I have so many amazing stories and pictures to tell and show you guys! I love and miss you guys so much. I can’t wait to see you guys!
July 21, 2022
Hey hey from Big Wild C, it’s Lina and Joseph!
It’s been a great start to the trip so far. We started our trip from Salt Lake City, UT to Pinedale, WY with a chatty first drive with lots of throwback tunes. Zadoc was a huge help for us leaders in helping set a fun, goofy tone for the group that has endured since the airport. We shared our first night together at GROW Ranch with some yummy pizza. Our first full day was filled with fly fishing lessons from Rendezvous Anglers. We learned so much about how to set up our fly fishing rods, how to cast, and all about the different types of bugs. Brody’s favorite part was learning about how different bugs can make such a difference in fly fishing! After fly fishing, we went to Boulder Lake to practice our new skills. It began to rain but it didn’t stop us from taking a quick swim and eating a yummy lunch. We headed back to our campsite to prep for our greatly anticipated backpacking section. Our backpacking section could not have gone better. Zane, our guide from GROW Ranch, led us on 6-mile hike to Big Sandy Lake. Wow, what a sight to behold! But we didn’t stop there, we still had a mile left uphill to our campsite on Blue Lake. Hunter looked out for, helped, and encouraged the group on the ascent. On the ascent, Madeleine caught an altitude nosebleed in the middle of crossing a creek but she was so very cool and collected about it that she made it through and all the way up with no problems or complaints! It was tough but we made it and immediately went swimming. Fielding didn’t leave the water and swam around the deep blue lake that we had all to ourselves. Zach showed off the new skills that he learned at fly fishing from Kaylin, our guide from Rendezvous Angler. While showing off his double haul cast, he caught six fish in the process! For dinner that night Gray and Emma Kate stepped up and helped cook backcountry ramen and vegetables for our hungry group.
The next morning we spent a lazy day fishing, swimming, and hanging around our beautiful campsite all day. Sophia proved to be an already competent rock climber as she enjoyed scrambling all over the exposed granite at the base of the mountains around us. We also played a whole lot of games this day, and one of the highlights was Finn who moderated our first game of mafia and had everyone rolling back laughing when we played silent football. Fielding was also a great source of entertainment because on two separate occasions he broke out into a singing and dancing performance for the whole group. We had a really good Moonup to end the day and the next morning we got up all together and headed down from the mountains. This hike was much easier than going up but we were still so exhausted and overjoyed to see the van where we shared a life-giving watermelon. Most of us were moving slowly towards the end but Chase stayed strong and kept right up front with our guide Zane and was waiting at the van for the rest of us when we rolled and stumbled in on our tired legs. The ride back to town was a blast and our leader of the day Cate led the group in singing along to every song that played. We got showers in Pinedale and then surprise pizza and ice cream as a post-backpacking treat. We stayed the night in at camp once more and got up before the sun to start our long-haul drive to Riggins Idaho for whitewater rafting. The ride has gone by super-fast and we even took a long break in Boise to play in a park while our van needed maintenance. We also had quite the fashion show at a nearby thrift store before getting back on the road. The end of the night and the first section of our trip there was a big game of beach volleyball at our Ponderosa State Park campsite in McCall Idaho and we are all going to bed with so much excitement for rafting tomorrow!
This is such an amazing group already and we are so incredibly happy and excited for the rest of the trip with them. We will be back to update you again on all the laughs and adventures after rafting!
Until next time,
Lina and Joseph
July 15, 2022
Hello Big Wild 3C 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 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!