July 2, 2022
Hello from the highlands of Iceland!
We had an incredible sea kayaking expedition with some of the best weather that Anna and I have seen over here all summer! Everyone did great on the water, and really got the chance to hone in some of their kayaking skills. We’ve continued to have an awesome trip, and the group has really meshed well together!
After we wrote to you all on Tuesday night, we got to experience one of the most amazing sunsets we’d ever seen – there was even a DOUBLE RAINBOW to top it off! All of this was on the backdrop of the coastline, creating a view that felt like it was straight out of a painting. Although it was a little late into the night, you can never miss a chance to take a beautiful sky in, and Mary Stanton and Helen were especially keen on capturing the moment with an awesome group picture! Shortly after we went to bed to get a good night’s rest for our sea kayaking trip.
We woke up early on Wednesday morning and fueled up on a breakfast of champions – cocoa puffs – before heading off for the sea. Once we got to our drop-in point, we met our guide Maggie (who is the most legendary kayaker in all of Iceland) and he briefed us on a few safety lessons before heading out on the real thing. Sunny skies and blue water gave us the most beautiful day of the summer yet, and we had a nice trip to our island with little current to row against. Davis showed off some of his crew skills in races against his friends along the way, and we made it to the island after about two hours. Once we got to the island, the group unloaded the kayak’s and set up camp on a beautiful little island. Margaret, Joe, Sophie and Christopher T helped Maggie cook some Icelandic lamb stew over a wood fire – they should be able to treat you all to some once they’re home! After dinner, the group played a massive game of capture the flag across the whole island. Christopher D used his sneaky tactics to hide his team’s flag in an impossible spot. Lilly was our team’s secret weapon as she sneaked up and down the coastline without being tagged. The game ended in a stalemate after about an hour of competitive play, and we relaxed by the water as Ford “skipped” the biggest rocks he could find. We headed back towards our camp, and Maggie had marshmallows and chocolates for us to make some smores by the fire put. After our bellies were full, we had a beautiful moonup with a sunset painted sky over our heads. Afterwards, we played our group’s new favorite game “Shmodus”, and SJ and Ford got to serve as the “Sir Master Game Master Sirs” for a couple of games full of belly-laughing – you’ll have to ask them about how to play when they get back! After a long, beautiful day on the island, we headed to our tents to sleep – it was an AWESOME day!
Yesterday we woke up on the island to a beautiful morning and cooked some oatmeal to warm up as the sea currents brought some wind to the island. After breakfast, we loaded our gear back into our kayaks and were on our way back to the mainland after a great. Trip. The trip back was even easier than the trip there as the wind was at our backs, and we were back to the drop-in spot in no time. We loaded the kayaks back up on the trailer, and then made some lunches before heading on our way.
After the kayaking trip, we headed up to a hut in the highlands of Iceland to warm up after the cold waters that the seas had to offer! Upon arriving to our cozy hut, everyone got settled in and were treated to the best meal of the trip yet. Our guide Aron cooked up some incredible grilled lamb on the grill, and we had potatoes, mushrooms, and a salad to accompany it – it was quite the Icelandic spread! Afterwards we got some much-needed relaxation and hung out in the hut for the rest of the night. We had a great moonup followed by some laughs and great conversation, and then headed off to bed after a busy couple of days.
This morning we woke up at the hut and made some yogurt and granola for breakfast. After packing up lunches and tidying up the hut, we headed on our way for a day full of adventure. Our first stop was at a desert oasis in the highlands. After driving through miles of volcanic rock, we arrived at a small spot in the desert full of flowers, waterfalls and a river running through the entire thing. We enjoyed a lunch break there, and then headed off to our next – Viking huts! We got to see a replica of one of the first Viking settlements (circa the year 1100). After walking around the hut, we continued on our way to our campsite around the highland area and set up tonight by a beautiful river. Britton led the group in setting up the kitchen tent (that looks more like a circus tent than anything) and Aron cooked us up some hot dogs shortly after. After dinner, Harry led the whole group in a very competitive game of hacky sack, and we had our moonup under pink skies shortly after. Right now, everyone is heading off to their tents to get a good night’s sleep in anticipation for our trek tomorrow!
Thank you all for keeping up with our travels! We’re having a great time, and have had some incredible weather that we hope continues for the rest of our trip. Hope you all are well, and we look forward to updating you everyone after our trekking section!
Briggs & Anna
I am having so much fun, love you all! Looking forward to seeing everyone in Maine!
I meet Bjorne vogenharden bloodfist on a ship an he told me the phrase “klaratulambid” -harry
The guitar man and hippie girl take me on adventure after airport. Flies annoy me. Otherwise pretty good. -Daviss
Hi Mom, Dad, and AP! I’m having so much fun here and finally got a puffer! I can’t wait to see y’all when I get back and tell y’all so many stories about the trip. See you soon! -Margaret
Hey, I am having so much fun here! Can’t wait to tell you all about this trip and see y’all soon. Love y’all. SJ
Hey guys, Iceland turns out to be quite a cold trip but I’m having so much fun! There is two people on the trip that kind of know us. Helen goes to saint Mary’s and played field hockey with her and then ford knows Hugh and he says they are besties. Life is good love y’all. -Mary Stanton
Hi, I miss you guys but I am still having a fun time! I’ll tell you all about it when I get back, love you – Britton
Hey everyone I’m having fun in Iceland. It’s way colder than I thought it would be here, but it’s bearable. I’ve had a ton of fun so far and can’t wait to see you guys. I miss the dogs. I love you all. – Joe
It’s really cold and I don’t miss Will. Everyone here is nice and the counselors are great! See you soon-Chris 1
Hi, I am having so much fun and meeting lots of new people. Can’t wait to tell you guys all about it. Tell Bennett HBD for me. Miss you guys. Love, Lilly
Hey mom, dad, Hadley, and Monty! I am having so much fun but it is very cold here!! You guys would love the hiking!! Everyone is so nice and I have made lots of new friends! Please give Monchichi lots of hugs and kisses for me! Love you guys so so so so so so much!! See you soon, Helen
Hi Family! I am having so much fun in Iceland, it is incredible but very chilly! Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity, I am meeting so many amazing people! Can’t wait to see you soon I miss and love you! Give Hope lots of kisses from me – Sophie
Hey mom and dad this trip has been balanced between very fun and kinda sad, mostly because of the books that I have been reading, however my group has been great and and the counselors are amazing. Also Iceland has been very pretty, see you guys in a few days.
June 28, 2022
Hello from the southern coast of Iceland!
We have been having the best time getting to know your kids, and we’ve been having a lot of fun in the process. Tonight, we’re camping at a farm along the coastline, and were just treated to a great meal of lasagna by our hosts. We’ve been having a great trip so far and can’t wait to tell you about it!
Sunday morning, we met up with the kids at the Keflavik airport. Everyone was a little jet lagged from a long day of travel, but ready for all of the adventures to come. Sophie came off with a Lego ship that everyone had made at the JFK airport, and we packed our bags and the ship and headed off for the blue lagoon. Once we got to the blue lagoon, everyone was really surprised by the natural colors of the water. It was a cold first day, so everyone was eager to get in the warm waters of the lagoon. Helen, SJ and Britton were especially excited to find the steam room where they got some much-needed relaxation. We hung out at the lagoon for a couple of more hours and ate some lunch before heading off to the Lava Cave tour. We had a great tour guide who told us all about how lava flow had created the cave as we walked further and further into it. We even got to witness what complete darkness looked like for a couple of minutes once we were all the way into the cave – we haven’t gotten a lot of it since! It was a great tour, and once it was finished, we headed back to our hostel in Reykjavik for some much-needed Domino’s pizza! We had an early night as everyone was still a bit tired from their travels, but we had a great first day in Iceland!
The next day we woke up early and ate some breakfast at the hostel before heading off for our rafting trip. It was a pretty chilly day, but everyone braved the cold to head down the East Glacial River. Even though it was cold, everyone got into the water, and Mary Stanton was even the first person to lead us off the jumping spot. Christopher D was inspired by the bravery, and even chose to float down one of the tamer rapids on his back. Our day consisted of many rafting games, and after much resistance the group even talked Ford into taking a dip in the river as well. Josiah even got the chance to lead as a rafting guide for his boat and was able to steer the boat to shore at the end of the trip. Rafting was a big success, and once we got back to the rafting HQ, everyone took a dip in the hot tub where we solved some confusing riddles posed by the group. Lilly and Christopher T were especially entertained by the riddles, and even solved one of Moondance’s hardest ones. After our rafting trip, we packed up the van and headed to the highlands to find our camp spot for the night. Upon arriving and setting up camp for the first time, our guide Aron cooked us some great tacos and a short hike after dinner. After walking up to one of the nearby peaks, Margaret and Harry led us in our first moon in the outdoors. We headed back down to camp afterwards and Harry and Daviss led some group hacky sack before turning it in for the night to get ready for a busy day ahead.
This morning we woke up and had a hearty breakfast before starting off on our hike in the highlands. We had great weather throughout the morning, which isn’t always easy to come by here, so we were eager to get the most out of our day! We packed up our lunches and began to hike up one of the larger peaks nearby. We gained lots of elevation, and even trekked through some snow patches. This ended in a pretty amazing lunch spot, overlooking one of the most geologically diverse places in all of Iceland. After lunch, we hike back towards camp after a great day hike. Upon arriving, we packed up the bus and headed on our way towards the coast. We had a beautiful, long drive today, and even got to stop along the to see a beautiful waterfall, and then to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where we stood in-between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. We continued our way to the coast and arrived at a beautiful camping spot tonight. We just finished our dinner and are heading out to a secret hot spring that only our hosts know about to do our moonup!
We’re excited to begin our sea kayaking expedition tomorrow and are looking forward to a great rest of the trip after that! Thank you all for keeping up with our travels, and we look forward to updating y’all again soon.
Briggs & Anna
June 26, 2022
Hello Iceland Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Iceland. 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!