July 24, 2022
Farewell Colorado Trailblazers!
We’ve just sent off our wonderful crew of adventurers back home to share tales of the trails with friends and family. We’re all sad to see them go but reminiscing on the incredible times we’ve had together! Here’s what you’ve missed:
On the morning of our second rafting adventure, we all woke to the roaring river calling our names. For breakfast, we stuffed ourselves full of loaded breakfast burritos, fruit, and some refreshing orange juice. Once everyone was fueled up, sun screened, and properly fitted, we loaded the van and headed off to meet our guides for the day! At the rafting headquarters, our crew got all their gear on and listened intently to the safety briefing. We then started our journey towards to amazing Royal Gorge! The road seemed to grow higher and higher as the canyon below us sunk more and more, until the river wasn’t visible.
When we arrived at our starting point, everyone got a little refresher on paddling and then we were off! Claire and Leena started boldly in the front, taking on the chilling waves like champs. Our first rapid, Spikebuck, did not disappoint, sending a huge rush of cold water over everyone and getting us quickly warmed up to the river. As we continued, the sun appeared from the clouds and the rapids shifted between class II and III. The heat was beaming so we decided to take a dip! Colten and Laura Grace were the first in the water, taking their chance to escape the desert sun. Leena was next, twisting and turning in the water “rotisserie chicken” style! Everyone drifted the rest of the way into shore for lunch. Our amazing guides prepared us a full feast to strengthen ourselves for the more daunting ride ahead straight into the gorge. We were all quick to pile back into the boats and throw on our gear, pumped for the sites in store.
The after-lunch route started slow, with familiar class II and III, but we knew what was soon to come. Ahead peaked huge waves tumbling into a staircase of water. The rapid, “Sunshine Falls,” was to be our first class IV of the day. Everyone braced themselves and opened their ears to listen close to the guides paddle calls. Walter held down the bow, setting a consistent stroke pace. Suddenly, we were in the tangle of waves getting tossed, turned, and spit out into a calm eddy. With relief, we all cheered with glee and gave each other a huge paddle high five! The experience was daunting but made everyone hungry for more! The river led us deep into the Royal Gorge, nestling us between thousands of feet or incredible pink granite. As the wall of rock grew, so did the water, throwing us into many more class IV rapids. Elvis, Vivian, and Millie all took turns at the front, leading their boat courageously along the rushing river. One after another came “Sledgehammer” and “Wall Slammer,” which challenged and excited our group.
Once through the thick of it, the water calmed, and everyone was itching to swim. Our guides led us to a good jumping rock, and everyone took advantage of the opportunity! Lilley was the first to take the leap with Claire, Forbes, and Henry following closely behind. Freshly soaked and feeling good, we paddled against the strong current back to our boats safely and continued our float. The rest of our ride was spent gently floating and filling the time with riddles and cheesy jokes. Finally, we reached shore again and hopped in a school bus to take us back to our van. Our crew, sun worn and tired, headed back to camp for a restful afternoon. At camp, everyone explored, rested, and ate up delicious burgers and watermelon. For dessert, we dined on fried Oreos and ice cream and prepped for an early Moonup, worn from the long day. Our leaders of the day, Claire and Colten, led an amazing Moonup, having everyone reflect on their favorite thing they’ve gained from this experience. With hesitance, every headed to bed in preparation for our last full day together.
We started our final day off with a breakfast of hearty Nutella pancakes and fruit! Everyone sat in a circle, soaking in their last moments all together and having a pancake eating competition. Once Henry was officially deemed the pancake champ, we all packed up and made our journey to our final campsite. The day was filled with plenty of quality time, gear cleaning, and airport prepping. Elvis, Millie, and Lilley assembled a team to scrub down the van while Leena, Claire, and Vivian tackled the dishes. Once the gear was sparkling, we cleaned ourselves in the shower and prepped for our banquet dinner. Before heading to our final feast, we decided we needed proper attire to fit the occasion. Off we went to the thrift store, picking out the wackiest outfits we could find to wear to the restaurant. Dressed to impress, we headed to dine on Mexican food and enjoy our time all together one last time. Afterwards, Laura Grace and Henry hosted our final Moonup in the rain where we all reflected on the goals we’d accomplished during this trip. The rest of the night was filled with chatting and giggles drifting into sleep, not so ready for leaving the next day.
This morning we awoke early and packed quick to make it to the airport. Everyone stuck close to each other, exchanging information, sharing stories, and showing pictures of their lives outside of Colorado. One by one, everyone boarded their planes, hugging the rest of group goodbye and wiping away tears. The energy around was filled with love and gentle sadness of having to part. We are so sad to see this wonderful group leave us, but we are incredibly thankful that we had this time to share with each other. Each member of our little family made every moment feel special, filling it with humor, love, and gratitude. We all agree that everyone in our group is bound for incredible things, shown through their strong leadership and the way they harness every opportunity. We cannot wait to see what they have in store next!
Kate, Jack, and Mac
July 24, 2022
Hello friends and family! Our crew is back in the front country after a 3 day expedition into the San Juan wilderness! We’re all shaking off the dust from our hidden forest escape and are prepping for another adventure rafting on the Arkansas River! Here’s what you’ve missed:
After a long day of dunes, driving, and backpack prepping, our crew took the opportunity to catch up on rest before backpacking! We arose, feeling well-rested and renewed, to finally pack our bags and head out to the woods. Everyone filled up on egg and cheese bagels before finalizing the list of limited items they would carry with them. Our group was quick to take down camp and master the method of stuffing. Before we knew it, we were prepped and ready to hit the trails. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, we decided to cancel our first day of backpacking. Despite the disappointment and lost day in the backcountry, everyone worked through the adversity and harnessed the day to its fullest extent! We are so proud of each and every member of this wonderful group for maintaining such positive attitudes. Rather than taking this as a loss, they took the day as a chance to deepen their connections with each other, rejoicing in good times and sharing stories of their lives outside of Moondance.
We started our little day off with a three course lunch of veggies, sammies, and, of course, a lunch dessert. Once everyone was stuffed, we all seeked escape from the blazing sun under the shade of some trees. Lilley, Walter, and Henry entertained everyone by painting elaborate pictures of their favorite movies which made it feel like we were in theatres on opening day! Millie, Claire, and Leena pumped out tremendous amounts of friendship bracelets all day to share with the group. The rest of our day was filled with stories and plenty of games of mafia. Vivian ventured to find more to do, leading a group to a tetherball she discovered! Before dinner, our group enjoyed surprise refreshments and fresh fruits to hydrate after a long day in the sun. For dinner, we all feasted on chicken pesto pasta! We stuffed our stomachs and settled into a starlit Moonup, led by Walter and Vivian, where we reflected on our favorite family memories. Full of gratitude and excitement, we headed to bed ready to finally head into the beautiful wilderness of the San Juan Mountains!
The next morning we arose more ready than ever! Our crew was feeling dialed in and ready to pack up our bags. With a full days of experience, everyone packed up quick and got their packs fitted to perfection. As we drove to our starting point, the roads grew winding, hugging the giant mountain walls. The desert faded away behind us and towering mountains grew before our eyes. Once we reached our trailhead, we got our backpacks fitted tight on our hips and started off on our journey. Forbes and Colten led our group with unbeatable stamina and a consistent pace. We travelled through bounding meadows into blooming aspen forests, filling the trek with giggles and plenty of stories. Elvis and Laura Grace held down the caboose, asking many questions and inspiring curiosity about the landscape. Finally, we reached our campsite which we would call home for the next couple of nights! Everyone laid to rest their tired legs and fill up on snacks. Once rested, we set up camp and worked to make our site feel like home. We then cooked a hearty pad thai meal to refuel and huddled up for our first Moonup in the backcountry. After filling up our nug jug with plenty of thanks and howling at the bright moon, we drifted to sleep listening to the sounds of crickets and a rushing stream.
On our second day of backpacking, everyone was awoken one by one by the rising sun. Everyone, with tired eyes and sore legs, huddled next to the whisperlites for warmth and ate a breakfast of oatmeal. As the sun climbed in the sky, we began to warm up and feel ready for the amazing hike ahead of us. Once the crew packed up some snacks and filled their waters, we headed off to Navajo Lake. The hike was gorgeous, but much harder than any we’d faced. It began with steady climbs through brushy meadows, but quickly evolved into rocky switchbacks. Though the trek was grueling, Leena kept our groups spirits high by providing consistent and inspiring encouragements! On and on we went, pushing our strengths to the limits and taking in the incredible views. As we rounded our last hill, a glassy glacial lake appeared over the horizon! We sprinted the remainder of the way and laid next to the water to regain our energy. After a lakeside picnic lunch, some decided they wanted to harness the swimming opportunities of the hidden lake! Vivian, Claire, and Leena were the first to take the leap, splashing into the freezing waters. Next up were Colten, Walter, and Henry, all shocked but feeling refreshed after their dip! After a little encouragement, Millie took the final swim, later expression how happy she was she took this once in a lifetime opportunity! Meanwhile, Forbes and Walter took the chance to rest and practice their fly fishing techniques. Once everyone squeezed all opportunity out of the experience, we waved goodbye to the lake and began our descent. After a quick jaunt back, we arrived at camp and cooked up a mac and cheese dinner with accompanying hot coco as reward for the group’s hard work! Millie and Forbes then led our Moonup, where everyone had the chance to individually tell what they appreciated about each other. With warm heart and tummies, everyone headed their tents and snuggled into their sleeping bags for the night.
The next morning, everyone was quick to get up, take down camp, and start heading back to the comfort of our faithful van. The path was lit by the morning sun and filled with sounds of waking birds and gentle streams. Halfway through, we decided to use the rest of our hike as an opportunity to meditate, so we separated 20 feet apart so everyone had their own time to think and reflect. We all took our own time to soak in our surroundings and reflect on our experiences together. Soon, we arrived to the end of the trail, greeted with high fives and congratulations for finishing! Everyone unloaded their packs and stuffed their duffels before piling into the car and heading back down the winding roads. On the way to our next campsite, we took a detour through Telluride to grab some burgers and shakes to celebrate Millie’s birthday! Everyone feasted, having worked up an appetite from our hike, and we headed back on the road. We travelled away from the mountains and into the canyons with the Arkansas River on our minds. As the sun was setting, we made it to our riverside campsite and started cooking up nachos! We topped off our meal with plenty of birthday cake and then gathered for another Moonup. Our leaders of the day, Leena and Elvis, promoted everyone to consider their goals for the next year. With our goals set and hopes high, we all hit the hay, dreaming about the wonders of the Royal Gorge.
We know your students will be home later today, and we will check back in one last time when everyone is in the air. What a great two weeks!
Kate, Mac and Jack
July 18, 2022
Hey there friends and family! We’ve just wrapped up an action packed two days traveling across the lovely state of Colorado and can’t wait to tell you all about it! After a thrilling time on the Arkansas River, our crew was ready to explore new territory, this time in the form of canyons and dunes!
Well-rested and full of excitement, our crew awoke prepped to hit the ropes course and take in gorgeous views from the zip lines. We fueled up with warm breakfast bowls and refreshing fruit before loading into the van. After a short drive and an intense pump up session, we arrived to the zip line headquarters to meet our wonderful guides. Our guides led us to the canyon and as we peaked over the hill and into the canyon, we found our ropes course nestled in the base of the daunting valley. The sight sent a quick shiver down our spines, but made us hungry to start already! We finally got fitted with our gear, and had a quick lobster claw tutorial, before making our way down the slippery slopes. The ropes course was rated similarly to ski trails, varying from easiest (yellow) to hardest (double black diamond). Everyone started off gently with yellows, moving through them with ease and precision. Once warmed up, everyone decided to challenge themselves with harder courses. Millie and Lilley took a step up in difficulty level, facing the green course named “Cougar”. Both were hesitant to push themselves higher, mentally and physically. Nevertheless, the girls crushed the green course, zipping across long stretches and balancing on thin beams far from the ground! Everyone proceeded to fly through the rest of the courses, ducking into tunnels and tiptoeing across tightropes. Henry and Walter wanted a greater challenge, so they wiggled their way up to the blue course, “Badger”. The course proved more winding than others, challenging their patience and physical abilities, but they quickly crushed it! As we started wrapping up our ropes course adventure, some wanted to tackle one final task before heading out for lunch. Vivian, Leena, Claire, and Laura Grace decided they couldn’t leave the ropes course until they conquered the black diamond! These black diamond courses stand high above the others and require specific strength and flexibility to accomplish them. The girls, understanding the challenge well, weren’t afraid to take the course head on! Vivian led the group bravely with speed, everyone following her footsteps carefully to remain balanced and on course. Leena kept close on her tail and one by one each girl followed, stepping with intention and expertise until reaching the final drop. Everyone rejoiced in their successes at the finish line and then headed out of the canyon to grab lunch and fuel up for zip lining!
After snacking on sandwiches, hydrating, and soaking in some much needed AC, we travelled back up the hill to our zip lining course. Our guides helped up switch out our ropes course gear for ziplining gear and gave us another quick lesson, this time on the lines. Everyone took turns practicing their techniques of hooking in, holding their L position, and braking and steering. Once warmed up, everyone sprinted straight to our first line, all pushing to be the first off the wall and over the beautiful canyon. Our guides led us through six different lines, including the very first zipline in the state of Colorado! The group had fun taking pictures on the lines, especially Walter who perfected the classic Spider-Man action shot. As we traversed the beautiful canyons, Forbes showed the rest of the group his skill and coordination, doing tricks and fun poses while in the air. After all of us had made it off the last (and longest) line, we traded our harnesses and helmets for seatbelts and snacks and headed toward our next campground outside of Great Sand Dunes National Park! As we drove, the mountainous landscape flattened into desertous terrain with sprawling sage brush and golden dunes peaking over the horizon. We arrived to our campsite as the sun fell under the mountainous piles of sand and lit up our campsite with the warm glow of dusk. Everyone was quick to set up camp while Millie, Forbes, and Vivian whipped up a delicious dinner of quesadillas for our hardworking crew. We all filled up and gathered for an open and refreshing Moonup led by Colten and Leena, our leaders of the day. Finally, everyone piled in their tents for an early night in anticipation of our early morning dunes adventure!
The next morning came in a flurry, as we all rose in the dark and shuffled straight into the van. Everyone started quiet and groggy-eyed, but were awoken by van jams and star jumps to warm up our bodies and brains. Now awake and more excited than ever, our crew stepped into the sand and began the long journey up to catch the sunrise. The hike began flat and calm until we reached a towering wall of sand. Colten and Forbes led the ascent up, guiding our group up, down, and across ridges. Laura Grace and Henry, our leaders of the day, held down the caboose with entertainment and excited energy. As we climbed up in switchbacks, the sky began to lighten and our pace became hurried. We reached our final stretch as the clouds in the East turned lavender purple, pushing everyone to hustle to the top. Once we finally reached the summit of High Dune, everyone cheered with feeling of accomplishment and took a break to watch the sun rise over the mountains. As the sun rose, so did everyone’s energy and, after a candy bar breakfast surprise, everyone was off on the sand boards. Lilley took the first turn, soaring down the steep slopes and tumbling gleefully into the sand. Elvis, Forbes, and Colten explored lower ground to make a massive masterpiece in the dunes below. Everyone got their chance to race down the slopes, whether on a board or on foot, soaking in the wonders of this natural beauty. As we made our way down, Leena and Claire rode the rest of the way down together, flying into the air after hitting a small bump and landing down in a tumble. Once everyone got a taste of the sand (in the most literal sense) we travelled back to the van to empty our shoes and head back to camp. Back at camp, everyone feasted on warm m&m filled pancakes and packed everything up. We waved goodbye to the dunes and started our journey towards the wonderous San Juan mountain range.
On the drive, everyone jammed out to throwbacks and caught up on much needed rest. Before too long, our crew built up an appetite, so we hit the town of Durango for burgers and a little town exploration! Everyone got the chance soak up their final taste of civilization before we move into the backcountry for the next couple of days. Once our crew was loaded with knick knacks and Coloradoan souvenirs, we started our move to our next campsite. At camp, everyone rested their bones, playing cards with a jumbo deck and finishing off friendship bracelets to share. We ended our day with a meal of Mediterranean bowls and a light-hearted Moonup reflecting the gratitude we feels towards our friends and families. Now, we’re off to bed, feeling extra excited to prepare for our 4-day backpacking expedition which begins tomorrow!
Dear Mother and father,
I am ever so great full for you all allowing me to go on this trip. In the very near future the 3B Colorado trail Moondance campers will travel on a backpacking expedition through the great wilderness. Sending my best regards to the residents of the Bone Family.
Dearest of Parents,
I am forever in your debt for allowing me to take part on this expedition. As of this morning we have gone to the phenomenal sand dunes and surfed down them. Tomorrow we will be partaking in backpacking for four days. I send you my highest of regards.
Hello mother and father,
Thanks for sending me here to this camp it has been tons of fun and I’ll tell u all about it when I get back. PS the ray-bans I found are called gun smoke, they wouldn’t let me get them so I’ll get some when I get back
You are the best parents ever, from Forbes
Dear, Mom and Dad
This camp is awesome and I am so grateful and I just want to say thank you and I will tell you all about it when I come back home PS you guys are the best parents ever and I will see you soon
Thanks for being great, Colten
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you so much for sending me to Moondance!
I absolutely love it here, and will definitely go next year!
And mom, you’ll be happy to know that the only things I’ve bought are water bottles (because I forgot mine) and food. I will tell you guys all about it when I get back!
Mom & Dad,
Thanks so much for letting me go on this trip! Yesterday we went ziplining, and they had great views. This morning was gorgeous, we woke up super early and hiked up the sand dunes this watch the sun rise and then surfed down them. It has been absolutely amazing here, and again thank you so much! Tell Sirius I love and miss him! Same to Tripp, Bowen, Betsy & Berkeley please!
Dear mom and dad,
Thank you so much for letting me come to Moondance! I love it here I’m so grateful that I’m here right now! This morning was so pretty I am so excited to go backpacking tomorrow. It has been amazing here and I’m having so much fun and I miss y’all so much I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you so much for letting me come to Moondance! I bet Kaki and Julie Anne are having a great time too. Tomorrow, we start our backpacking trip. I can’t wait! I love and miss you both! I hope you had a happy birthday and will see you soon!
Love, Laura Grace.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I am having so much fun on this trip! Thank you so much for sending me on this trip, I have met so many new friends! Tomorrow we start our 4 day backpacking trip! I can’t wait, but using the bathroom is going to be hard in the woods. The food is so amazing and I can’t wait to see you guys out in California! I’m going to tell you all about it! Tell Lucas and Mathew I said Hi! Love you so much – Vivian
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you so much for letting me go on this trip! I am having so much fun. Tomorrow we are going on a 4 day backpacking trip in the back country’s. The food is so good and I can’t wait to tell you all about the trip when I get back!
XOXO- Claire Zt
Dear mom and dad,
Thank you so much for sending me on this trip I’m having a blast! The food is so good and right now we are playing cards. Tomorrow we start the four day backpacking trip in the back country. I’m kinda scared to use the bathroom in the middle of the woods but I’m still excited! Thank you so much for sending me on this trip I can’t wait to tell you more when I get home
Dear COT3B Parents,
We all want to thank you so much for sending your wonderful kids on this adventure with us! Each and every member of our group plays an essential part in connecting our little loving family. Everyday we envy their curiosity and are inspired by their energy and spirits. We are ever so grateful to have the opportunity to share this experience with them!
Kate, Jack, and Mac
July 17, 2022
Hey Colorado Trail 3B parents, this is Kate, Jack, and Mac coming to you from the beautiful Arkansas River!
After an awesome night of welcoming Forbes and celebrating Henry’s birthday, we woke up well-rested and excited to head out rafting. We had a delicious breakfast of cheesy eggs and hashbrowns that provided great fuel for our adventure on the river. In order to waterproof our gear, we traded backpacks and duffels for dry bags. Claire did an amazing job packing her bag and spent time lending a hand to the rest of the group, showing them what to bring and how to best pack it. We had a quick drive to the rafting center, where we listened to some of the group’s favorite pump-up songs, Tik Tok by Kesha, Lady Marmalade by LaBelle and Gaslighter by The Chicks. As we unloaded, the van, the kids were all business, loading up dry bags and getting the rest of their gear dialed in. Leena and Vivi kept the group entertained while we waited on our guides with an intense game of the schoolyard classic, Duck Duck Goose. After grabbing paddles and helmets, we loaded up the bus and headed to our put-in.
The bus ride took us through the charming town of Buena Vista and out into the Coloradan countryside, where we drove along the river and through some awesome tunnels carved through the state’s iconic red rock formations. We took the rafts down to the river, where Lilley showed her strength and positive, can-do attitude by helping the guides haul the rafts down to the river. Before we knew it, we were headed down the river. Our voyage started out with the Miracle Mile, a mile of pretty technical class III rapids. However, they were no problem for us Moondancers since we had Forbes in the front of the raft, paddling us through even the most challenging whitewater. After the Miracle Mile, we entered a calmer portion of the river. While the adrenaline level was lower, Elvis did a great job of keeping the group occupied, helping to solve the guides’ riddles and providing interesting and informative fun facts (watch out, Jeopardy Teen Tournament)!
We had a delicious lunch of croissant sandwiches on the riverbank, where the group refueled and rested for the afternoon. We continued rafting for another hour and a half, going through some of the most thrilling rapids of the trip. This time, Millie was the adventure seeker, taking the helm and encouraging the group to stay focused on paddling. Our group cruised through complicated waters with ease, taking hits of chilling water from all sides. Finally, we arrived at our beautiful campsite set alongside Brown’s Creek and nestled under towering walls of granite. While our guides cooked us an amazing meal, everyone set up camp and took to exploring the new terrain. Henry led an expedition up the huge rocks, taking in a bird’s eye view of the rushing river and getting a sneak peak of the rapids ahead. Down below, Laura Grace crafted bracelets for our crew and worked to solve the riddles that puzzled us all day! Everyone came back together to feast on delicious tacos and brownies for dessert. We sat for the night sharing stories and gratitude during Moonup, led by our leaders of the day, Claire and Forbes. After “sending the pulse,” we piled into our tents and drifted to sleep by the sounds of the river.
This morning we awoke with excitement to feel the rush of rafting once again. We filled our bellies with bagels and cream cheese and soaked in the morning light before gearing up for the water! We tightened our helmet straps, threw on our PFDs, and we were off! Our second day of rafting started strong with the daunting “Zoom Flume” which sent us flying off a cliff of whitewater! After an initial chill from the water, everyone quickly warmed up and were ready for more! Claire and Millie bravely took to the front, facing the harsh waves head on. We moved through our route rapidly, dipping into waves and twisting and turning through rapids such as “Staircase” and “Widowmaker.” Once we were all soaked and full of glee, we floated into shore, unloaded our boats, and hopped into the school bus back to the rafting headquarters.
On the bus, we rejoiced in our successful rafting and newfound paddling skills. When we made it back, we all took quick showers to wash off the river residue and grabbed some popsicles to cool off from the blazing sun. Clean and pristine, we headed back to camp to get some well-deserved rest. At camp we played cards, climbed rocks, and enjoyed each other’s presence. Mac took a group to the river for a fly-fishing lesson and a rock skipping session. Colten and Walter took quickly to the task, whipping out their lines like experts. Lilley and Henry entertained our cook crew with laughter filled stories while cooking up a stir fry dinner. Everyone rushed back from the river to fill up, loading our bowls and topping off the dish with plenty of yum yum sauce. Vivian and Elvis gathered the group for Moonup, asking everyone “if you could relive any moment of your life, which moment would you choose?” Some chose their first tastes of certain foods while others chose moments of peak adventure. After filling up our Nug Jug to the brim, we all joined for a group “Om” before heading to bed, where we would all dream of the adventures of zip lining and ropes course to come tomorrow!
Here are some shoutouts from everyone!
Henry: Hi mom and dad thank you for letting me go on this trip, say hi to Margaret and Anne Carlen for me, Love Henry
Elvis: Hey mom and dad, I’m having a good time here, we went white water rafting earlier, and it was really fun! Tomorrow we zipline. Say hi to Izzy, Van, Leaf, and the fish. Love, Elvis
Colten: Hi mom and dad I’m having a great time and white water rafting was awesome and make sure to say hi to Camden, Kinley, and Rex. Love Colten
Forbes: Hi mom and dad I’m having ton of fun and have made tons of friends tell Gidget I said hi and I love her and dad tell Mallie I said hi and I love her. Love y’all so much and can’t wait to see u when I get back. – Forbes
Walter: Hey mom dad and Sally I am having a great time on the Moondance trip and have made lots of friends. I just finished white water rafting today and I am going Ziplining tomorrow. Say hi to Mac and Buddha! – Walter
Leena: Hey mom and dad I’m having so much fun here and I met so many friends. We went white water rafting today and it was so fun. We went rock climbing and it was so fun I’m so excited to go to ziplining. I miss you so much and I’m so happy I came. Tell Ella we all miss her! Love, Leena
Millie: Hi mom and dad I’m having so much fun and I have met so many friends!!!! Today I had so much fun while white water rafting and two days ago while rock climbing. Tomorrow we go ziplining. I miss you so so much and tell Edward and bubs hi and that I love and miss them so much – xoxo Millie
Vivian: Hey Mom and Dad! Moondance is so so much fun! We went white water rafting today and the rapids were so fun! Yesterday, we went rock climbing on real rocks! The food is so good and I have made new friends! I miss you guys so much, see you in the California airport! Tell Eda and Lucy I miss them! -Love Vivian
Claire: Hey Mom and Dad! I have met so many new friends. We are having so much fun! Yesterday we went rock climbing and it was so fun! Today we went white water rafting (slafting) and we had so much fun! I am really excited to go to the sand dunes! – XOXO Claire ZT
Lilley: Hey Mom & Dad! I’m having a great time here! So far white water rafting has been the most fun, but I’m also really excited for ziplining. The food here is absolutely amazing! Hope y’all are doing great and having fun at home! Tell Sirius that I love & miss him, and also Tripp, Bowen, & Betsy. Love you! – Lilley
Laura Grace: Hey Mom and Dad! I’m loving Moondance! I made it to the top of two rock climbing sections and we just finished white water rafting. We do ziplining tomorrow, and I can’t wait! I also want to do the sand dunes, but we have to wake up early. I love you! -Laura Grace
Until next time,
Kate, Jack, and Mac
July 14, 2022
Hey there from Colorado! We’ve finally gathered our little crew in the Wild West and are off on our tour of the great state of Colorado!
On the first day, we arrived at the airport giddy with excitement, ready to meet every member of our awesome group! One by one, each person hopped off the plane and joined our pack with nervous excitement. As our group grew and grew, the airport became overwhelmed with a flurry of hellos and quick bonds. Once our group fully formed, we jumped right into the van to drive to our first campsite! The drive flew by with loads of sing alongs and stories, and before too long we were there! At our new site, we gorged on a pizza dinner and started learning about how to set up our homes for the next two weeks. Everyone took quickly to the lessons, setting up their tents in record time! We all shimmied into cozy clothes, not used to the chilly Colorado nights, and rounded up for our first Moonup! Under the stars, we discussed “what brought you here” and filled our Nug Jug with small anecdotes of gratitude. Full and exhausted from a long first day, we all headed to bed ready to start our first activity: climbing!
The next day we arose quickly, snacking on fruit and granola bars in the van, rushing to get to our first climb! The drive was long and turning, dipping into valleys, and running across ridges. We watched the sunrise over the peaks, waking everyone and warming them up for an exciting day of climbing. Once we found our climbing site, our guides fitted us with protective harnesses and helmets and briefed us on how to climb safely. Our crew was fitted like professionals and were ready to perform like it too. Henry was the first to dive in, sprinting straight to the wall to get roped in. With speed and agility, Henry sped up the wall, touching the top with ease. Leena was next to approach the wall, this time with caution, but once she gained a footing she was flying! Leena owned the routes with gymnastic-like lunges and stretching to reach hard holds. Now feeling warm, everyone followed suit and jumped straight into climbing! We were so impressed how everyone gave climbing a try, even if they had initial fears. Millie hit her first route with slight hesitation but killed it and went further than she thought she could! She wasn’t quite done, as she was inspired to push further and make it up more of the route on her second round! Throughout Vivian rarely touched the ground as she moved route to route, conquering them all with speed multiple times! Once everyone got their fair share of climb time, we rested our bodies and filled our stomachs before thanking our guides and heading out. On the way to our campsite, we stopped in Crested Butte to grab ice cream in celebration of all of the day’s successes. With a satisfied sugar tooth, our group headed home to our campsite in a valley of grand mesas. We set up our tents at our site and decided to explore the area, eventually finding a lake to take an afternoon dip in! Everyone hopped in, washed off the desert dirt, and cooled off from the blazing sun. Claire and Leena were the first to dive in, showing off impressive twist and splashes in the water. Walter and Colten floated to deeper waters and walked along the shore to skip rocks. Everyone, refreshed and soaked, headed back to camp to start dinner. Our cook crew, Leena, Lilley, and Colten whipped up a delicious and elaborate meal of chicken fajitas. We all filled up and settled into our starlit circle for Moonup. Our leaders of the day, Millie and Henry, led a Moonup filled with giggles before we all hopped in our sleeping bags, ready to hit the walls again the next day!
This morning, we awoke to the smell of chocolate chip pancakes in celebration of Henry’s birthday! The morning was full of happy birthdays and anticipation of the amazing climbs we would find today! We packed up camp quickly and started our journey towards the gorgeous Taylor Canyon. At our new site, we grabbed our harnesses and strapped on our shoes and helmets, now a familiar task to all. We walked through the canyon, crossing over the hill to find a daunting wall of granite. The wall was steep and carved with thin crevasses that would serve as our holds. This climb made yesterday’s look like a warm up! Nevertheless, everyone flocked to the wall to get the day started! Henry started us off once again, crushing each route one after the other! Laura Grace took her turn up the face, using her patience and precision to swiftly dominate the route. Claire followed closely behind, this time stretching to find tiny holds and hoisting herself to the tippy top. Between climbs, Lilley entertained our crew with riddles that made everyone’s brains work. Walter decided he wanted to take on the hardest route. He began slow, still finding his footing and forming his plan of attack. After some examining, he got his pace and made it all the way up! Elvis felt inspired and took on the route next to Walter, racing him to the top! Everyone took on the wall with their new expertise and motivation to try all routes, no matter how hard! Tired and hungry, we took a quick riverside lunch break to rest and recover. We then set off towards the Arkansas River to set up our camp at a cozy site on its banks! Once we reached our new campsite, the crew took the afternoon to play card games, share stories, and make friendship bracelets. We all took a trip down to the river to get a sneak peek of where we’d be paddling tomorrow. Everyone admired the passing boats and skipped a few rocks before racing back to camp to feast on spaghetti prepared by Millie, Elvis, and Claire. We finished off our meal with some birthday cupcakes and our final happy birthday sing along for Henry! As the sunset, our van pulled around the corner with the final member of our crew, Forbes! Everyone greeted him warmly and we moved straight into Moonup, where he got to soak in the energy and love of our little family. We’re so happy to have everyone all together finally! Now, we’re off to bed to get a good rest before hitting the rapids in the morning!
Kate, Jack & Mac
July 11, 2022
Hello Colorado Trail Families!
The whole group arrived safely in Denver today and is on their way to their first campsite. We have heard from our leaders this afternoon 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