June 27, 2022
The one with the airplane.
And on day 14, we said goodbye. These past 2 weeks have been absolutely incredible. What a way to kick off this summer! Although we sent out a trip update yesterday, we wanted to leave y’all with a few last words.
First, THANK YOU! We are incredibly grateful that y’all shared your daughters with us for part of the summer. What a special group! They are a kind, bold, determined, and seriously funny bunch.
While this morning was quite emotional, we had such a fabulous last few hours together. The girls woke with the sun, and we scooted out of camp in record time. Since we were ahead of schedule, we stopped for coffee and breakfast sammies. Definitely the move! Windows down, great jams, and some silly GoPro vlogs filled the van. While waiting for all the girls’ planes to takeoff, I was hit with a wave of emotions. It’s not often that strangers turn into best friends in less than 2 weeks.
Greer, Elise, Sawyer, Martha, Sophie, and Kathleen – if you’re reading this, remember that you are so strong and incredibly capable. This trip was physically demanding, but y’all absolutely crushed it with grit and grace.
That’s all for now. Catch y’all on the flip side.
Olivia Yabroudy & Will Sargeant
June 27, 2022
Olivia & Will again! We had such a successful mountaineering section and are so excited to share a few highlights!
On Wednesday morning, we were up early so we could drive into Seattle to pick up some mountaineering gear from REI. This was a great opportunity for some people to find another warm layer to bring while climbing Mt. Baker. The other day, Sophie snapped her utensil trying to scoop the Nutella, so she bought a titanium one to avoid another broken spoon (one that Nutella was no match for!). Back in the car, everyone took a little snooze, so when we stopped for ice cream on the way to our new campsite, they all woke up groggily surprised. At camp, we quickly packed our backpacks for our next adventure and jumped back in the van to grab another surprise meal. Kathleen told our waiter it was Sophie’s birthday, so after eating our fair share of chips and salsa and clearing our plates, the entire restaurant sang “Happy Birthday” in Spanish while Sophie wore a sombrero.
The next day, our mountaineering guides met us at camp after breakfast, and we followed them to the trailhead. Our LODs, Sawyer and Greer, reminded us that we are all strong, capable individuals and to just have fun with our climb! The hike up was pretty hard considering we were wearing bulky mountaineering boots (think ski boots but heavier) and had heavy packs. Our amazing guides, James, Charlie, and Lily lead us to camp and helped us get settled into our homes for the next three nights. They even let us use their fancy 4 season tents which kept us extra toasty since we were sleeping on snow! Martha and Elise provided entertainment before dinner with an intense game of cards. The sunsets on Mount Baker are truly breathtaking. Just as the sun begins to dip behind the mountains, it casts a magnificent light on the rest of the range. Everything was glowing various shades of pink, orange, and yellow. Our sweet guides joined us for Moonup, and we all fell asleep dreaming of the summit.
On Friday, we all went to mountaineering school! We waited for the snow to soften a bit before jumping into some lessons which meant we could have a leisurely breakfast. Our guides gave us some tips on how to walk with crampons, and we all learned how to walk attached to a rope. Most importantly, we learned to use our ice picks to help us go into “self arrest” or “team arrest” if we slipped on the glacier. Martha wasn’t afraid of kicking some snow around and showed off what she had learned to the rest of the group. After refueling with some lunch, we practiced our skills by sliding down a hill and then quickly stopping ourselves. We all got our skills checked off, so we played in the snow until rolling into an early dinner. To save time, we each tried various rehydrated meals from Backpacker’s Pantry. Elise shared some of her vegetable curry with a friend, and Sophie loved her lasagna so much that she thinks she’ll eat the same thing in the front country. We went to bed while it was still light out because we had wake up supppppper early to begin our ascent!
Saturday morning rolled around before we knew it, and we were ready to make our summit bid!! What a day. We woke up before the sun rose and started up the mountain. It was quite chilly without the warmth of the sun, but the movement of our bodies kept us warm. We climbed and climbed and climbed, slowing winding our way up the mountain. Every time we turned around we could see more of the beautiful landscape of Washington. After a few hours, we finally reached the top of Mount Baker. Celebratory snickers for the win! We all hung out on top of the peak to take pictures and rest our legs. From the top, we could see Canada, parts of the Northern Cascades, Mount Rainier, and so much more. With a great sense of accomplishment, we started our way down the mountain again. At this point, most of the snow was soft, so we were able to skate and slide down sections of the route.
It’s hard to believe that today is our last full day. It definitely feels like we’ve known each other for way longer than 2 weeks. After hiking back down the mountain, we changed into comfy shoes and said goodbye to our amazing guides. They were truly the best! We drove back into Seattle, dropped our gear off at REI, and headed to our final campsite. Although it was pretty early, we were super hungry from all of our adventures, so we loaded back into the van and demolished pizza and pasta for our banquet night. Our waitress seemed to have known we were a hungry group because she kept bringing us bread! Back at camp, we packed our bags, took a well-deserved shower, and began our final Moonup. The girls set up a mega tent and decorated the tent poles with glow sticks. We love hearing them chatter and laugh as we fall asleep! We’ll check back in tomorrow with one final trip update!
Olivia and Will
June 22, 2022
Hi again!! We just finished our 5-day backpacking trip in Olympic National Park!
Our first day of backpacking was a bit rainy. With a lot of mileage to cover the group was carried by Kathleen’s positive attitude. We also had a little meet up with a black bear on the trail. The next day we gained a lot of elevation. Everyone pushed through with amazing persistence with the help of Sophie’s great compass skills. On the third day of our backpacking trip, we attempted to day hike further up the mountain but decided to turn around due to hazardous technical trail conditions. We decided to have a great lunch by a waterfall and rest our legs for the journey ahead. That night, we ate tons of pad thai noodles with veggies cut by our very own designated vegetable cutter, Greer!
Our last day in Olympic National Park called for an early morning wake up so we could get moving and prep for our trip to REI tomorrow to grab some gear for Baker! The kids were so great about the early wakeup call and got the camp cleaned up in record time. Oatmeal fueled our 5-mile hike, and we were practically running to the parking lot. As we neared the trailhead, Sawyer shouted, “Look guys, I see a car!” It was almost as if they’d been in the woods for months. We stopped off at a local spot outside of the park for lunch, and we all demolished burgers, fries, fish sticks, and more! After getting to camp, Elise and Martha miraculously still had the energy to go for a run. They crushed these hills!
5 days and 35 miles (give or take) is a big deal! We are so proud of every single one of these girls for completing such a wild route with such great attitudes and excitement.
That’s all for now! Onto our next adventure…. But first, some shoutouts!
Sawyer – “Happy late Father’s Day, Dad. Happy early birthday, Mom. Say hey to Haston & the dogs. Love y’all!”
Greer – “Hey guys! We’re having a grander. Don’t worry, I’m warm! Love you, miss you. See you soon!”
Martha – “Happy Fathers Day, Dad. Say hi to the twins! Love you! I’ll see you in ATL!”
Elise – “Happy late Fathers Day, Dad. Tell Poppy & Maple I miss them! Love you!”
Kathleen – “Hey guys! Happy 30th anniversary! Shoutout Tanzania. Please make sure my bearded dragon is fed. Don’t forget me at the airport. Love y’all so much!”
Sophie – “Mom, don’t forget my list. You’ll be proud that I’m expanding my palette. Tell Hobbs hi. Love y’all! Miss y’all!”
June 17, 2022
Olivia and Will here checking in from the West Coast, and we have so many highlights from the past few days!
After meeting all the kiddos in the Seattle airport, we drove out to Westport which is right on the beach. There was so much chatter and laughter on our ride out there – we just knew this was a special group of ladies! We learned how to set up some tents, ate pizza from a local spot, and then had our first Moonup on the beach. A combination of long flights and jet lag had Kathleen in her sleeping bag before the sun went down.
The next morning, we had a great breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, and fruit. Martha and Sawyer cracked the entire 18 eggs. Everyone demolished breakfast which was great fuel for our big day of surfing. The conditions were pretty gnarly – big waves and cold temps. Thank goodness we had great instructors and full body wetsuits.
The next day we woke up ready to conquer the surf once more. We slipped into our wetsuits and headed to the beach after a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and bananas. Elise displayed some impressive skills on the board. We all celebrated our success out a group swim. After wrapping up a quick lunch we headed to our next location in Olympic National Forest. The drive to our new campsite was absolutely stunning. Views for days. In between cat naps. Once there we prepped for our back packing section. We had a great dinner where Sophie expanded her pallet discovering her love for pesto, and everyone loved Greer’s special gluten free pasta! We ended the day by joining some seals at the bay for a breathtaking sunset.
We love our little fam so much and are so glad we still have so many days left with these kiddos!
June 14, 2022
Hello Olympics Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Seattle. The trip is off to a great start and headed to their first campsite, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventures.
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!