July 28, 2023
Greetings from the sweet state of Wyoming! The past few days have been action packed to say the least. Since you heard from us last, we have traveled, fly fished, and backpacked in the Wind River Range. We have had an absolute blast.
On day 10 of the trip, we woke up early and headed to Twin Falls, Idaho. While Charlotte and Emma helped Elise cook French toast in the park, Sally and Lucy made friends with some local kids. After breakfast, we explored a local craft fair that was happening in the park. We saw lots of cool art and met some amazing people. One vendor even gave the kids a wooden toy puzzle! Then the group headed to explore the rest of the city. We went to the farmers market, walked in some shops, and met more Twin Falls locals. After our awesome local food stop, Taylor and Michael suggested that we should play indoor golf, so we picked up our stuff and went to play some golf. Emma crushed the golfing games! We then went to the local thrift store and picked up some killer outfits before driving back to Jackson to go to the rodeo! At the rodeo, Wham and McLean tried their very best to win fan of the night, but sadly they didn’t give it out that night. Taylor also had the epic opportunity to get in the arena and chase some sheep. We ended the night by heading to camp and having a short Moonup.
On day 11, we woke up and once again headed to a park to make breakfast. This time we made eggs, toast, fruit, and bacon. We enjoyed a chill day in the park packing and getting ready for backpacking. Once we were all packed, we hit the road and drove to Pinedale to go fly fishing. Sadly, no one caught any fish while we were fishing; however, we still had a blast. We loved riding in the drift boats and seeing the beautiful scenery. After our evening fishing, we drove to GROW to get a good night’s rest for backpacking.
Day 12 is the start of backpacking! We woke up early to hit the trail and we made great time. Thomas, Michael, and Reese were the Trail Blazers of the group today as they set an amazing pace! We hiked 7 miles, the first 5 miles the group hiked in 2.5 hours! The next 2 miles was an uphill battle, but everyone championed the incline! After we set up camp students Wham, McLean, and Taylor set out to fish and caught 25 fish!
Day 13, second day of backpacking! Everyone enjoyed some much-needed rest as everyone could sleep in as late as they wanted to. Olin continued fly fishing lessons with Charlotte and Myers on the lake by camp, Charlotte caught 4 fish in back-to-back fashion! After a chill morning, we set out for an easy day hike to lost lake! The kids enjoyed a charcuterie board by the water with a great view of the wind river range. After the hike back, Reese caught 2 fish on the fly!
Day 14 is the last day :(. The group woke up early to hike back down the van. The group made it back earlier than expected which allowed for time at the Pinedale Aquatic Center. Everyone got some much-needed play in the pool after 3 long days of hiking. The kids enjoyed the water slide, rope swing and lazy river, even Max best Elise and Olin in clue! It was truly the best ending to an awesome trip. Afterwards we traveled back to Jackson for our banquet at Dornan’s for pizza and dairy queen for dessert! The pizza was amazing, and the blizzards were an amazing surprise.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank y’all so much for sharing your kids with us for 2 weeks on our Big Wild trip. We cannot wait to see the amazing people they become. We hope to see them all on another Moondance trip next summer!
Olin and Elise
July 22, 2023
Greetings from the Salmon River! Today we hit the river with the intent to go 20 miles; however, we couldn’t find a beach to camp so we ended up going just over 30 miles! We went on a variety of rapids including a class 4, Snowhole, along with stretches of still water where we listened to music and bonded. Myers, Wham, McLean, and Charlotte had a great time jumping into the water off of a overhanging log. Emma had a great time riding the bull! After a very long day on the river we settled down on a beach and set up camp. Our Leaders of the Day (LODS), Lucy and Sally, made the group an amazing appetizer of Charcuterie Boards. Thomas and Olin continue to add to their handshake! Max, Taylor, Reese, Michael, and the rest of the group had a great time bonding on the beach after Moonup!
The next day was our first full day of rafting on the Salmon! Today’s rapids ranged from classes 2-4! The boy’s boat with Olin and the girl’s boat with Elise worked together as teams to get through these rapids smoothly, and out of the water! At lunch, the raft guides taught the kids how to set up a raft slide that was a hit! Taylor kept getting launched! Michael and Max had a great time swimming down a class 2 rapid! Lucy and Sally had a ball cliff jumping! Reese, Charlotte, Emma, and Myers took a nap on the raft. When we got to our beach Thomas made a putt-putt course for the guys. Wham and McLean tied, but McLean won in the two-hole playoff! For dinner, our raft guides made us pork chops which everyone loved! To close out the day we slept under the stars and had many shooting star sightings!
The next day we woke up again well-rested and had some delicious pancakes and set out for the river once again! We stopped at Cherry Creek where Taylor and Micheal cooled off under the water. The groups paddled up until lunch, where we had sandwiches, chips, and cookies! We then strapped all 4 rafts together and put the motor down for the party barge! After a shorter day of travel, we arrived at our final beach. Waiting for us there were some turkeys that McLean and Wham chased! Sally and Emma picked blackberries at the orchard for everyone to snack on! Lucy, Reese, and Charlotte had lots of fun playing volleyball on the beach! Myers was the winner of the tug-of-war balance game! Max and Olin had some great talks on the beach and Thomas continued to put a smile on everyone’s face! After dinner, Olin and Elise taught the group how to swing dance! The day was closed by an amazing Moonup that was led by the question “Who is the biggest influence in your life” and closed out by a paragraph read by Elise!This morning we woke up early, packed Chicken Caesar wraps for lunch, and headed to the takeout! Once we got off the river we headed into McCall, Idaho, and went to Ice Cream Alley and to the Salmon Raft HQ where we got hats and all types of merchandise. We are stoked to finish the trip strong with backpacking and fly fishing!Sending love from Idaho!
-Olin and Elise
Now some notes from your kids…
McLean- Hey guys, I miss y’all! I’m having the best time, everyone is so nice! My favorite part so far was reading my bible at the top of rock climbing, the view was beautiful. I’ve met so many great people! Thank y’all so much for sending me here! I can’t wait to see y’all! Love you guys!
Wham- Hey, I’m having the best time ever. I have met some of the most awesome people here. I am missing y’all so much. My favorite part about the trip is making all these new/amazing friends. Also, Thomas’s golf course was so much fun. The views here have been amazing. It’s just showing how beautiful God’s creation is and is bringing me closer to him. I Love y’all so much, and can’t wait to see y’all!
Thomas- Hey Mom and Dad, I’m having an amazing time here! Everyone is really nice and are participating in everything with me. My favorite part so far was probably the long car ride with my friends. I miss you guys every day but I’m still having a blast.
Sally – Hi Mom and Dad, I miss y’all so so much, but I’m having the BEST time ever! We’ve done so many awesome activities but my favorite has been the rafting so far. I have met so many great friends and we have all become so close which makes for the most special friendships. Being in the mountains has been such a treat and the views here are so amazing! I can’t wait to tell y’all all about everything when I get home. Love you guys!
Myers – HEY FAM!! I really miss y’all but I’m having such an awesome time here! Everyone is super cool and different. How’s Telluride mom? Tell everybody I said hi! How’s it goin with the hot tub dad? Tell everybody I said hi! The views and scenery are just spectacular! I have too many favorite parts so I guess you’ll just have to wait until I’m home to hear them. It’s going by way to fast but can’t wait to see you guys! I think this is right… how’s pretty kitty ? LOVE YOU GUYS!❤️✌️
Charlotte – Hey guys!! I miss y’all sooooo much, but I’ve been having such a great time here. I’ve met some of the nicest people ever and we’ve all gotten so close. The views are stunning and I’ve gotten lots of cool pictures to show y’all. My favorite part so far has been rafting and staying on the beaches along the Salmon River. The staff was awesome and the food was so good. This trip has been going by way too fast, which makes me sad, but I can’t wait to see you guys soon! Love you so much and can’t wait to here about your trip ❤️❤️
Emma- HEY GUYS!! Missing y’all so much but having the best time ever! We’ve done so many cool things here that I’ve never done before and the destinations and scenery are out of this world beautiful! I have so many favorite parts of this trip it’s hard to tell just a few but rafting and bouldering are two of my favorites! I’ve made so many new friends and everyone we’ve met so far has been so awesome. Everything’s going by so fast and I don’t want to leave! I’ve loved camping and seeing the stars at night! Can’t wait to see you guys and tell you all about the trip love you so so much!💗💗💗
Taylor- Hey mom and dad! I miss you both so much but I’m having the best time. Rock climbing on the first couple of days was awesome and so fun. Sleeping on beaches on the side of the river while rafting was really cool. We’ve seen lots of animals like deer and crawfish and picked berries from an orchard. I’m really excited to go backpacking in the next couple of days and can’t wait to see y’all when I get home. Love you and hope you have fun in Greece!
Michael- hey mom and dad! I am having so much fun but I miss you so much. I had so much fun rock climbing in the Grand Tetons and it was high up. We got to go cowboy camping while white water rafting and we slept on beaches every night. It was so much fun and some of the rapids were very big. We have seen countless dear, fish, and birds and we even caught a crawfish. We also got to pick lots of berries in an orchid on our last night on the river. I am very excited about going backpacking for the next few days and I can’t wait to see you again. See you soon!
Max- Hey mom and dad! This trip is so awesome! I miss you guys so much. We have done so much, First, we did rock climbing and it was so much fun. I went super high and then repelled over a cave. After that we took a car ride to rafting. It was four days of great food, music, and views. We cowboy camped under the stars on the beach. Now we are heading back to fish and backpack. I’m excited to see you guys and Abba and Annabelle. Love you guys!
Reese- Hey besties! We have done so many fun things. So far we have been rock climbing, water rafting, cliff jumping and many other things. Rock climbing was so hard for me but I’m glad I did it. Water rafting was so fun; we spent 4 days on the salmon river and on the beach’s. We have leaders of the day and so far I’m the only person who has got nominated twice by my peers, Which I’m so happy and grateful for. Everyone here is so nice and I have such good bonds with all of them- we are already talking about a reunion. Love y’all, y’all are the best parents ever!
Lucy✌️Hey mom and dad!! I miss you all so much but am having such a great time. It is so pretty here and I can’t wait to tell y’all everything I’ve been doing. I went rock climbing which was so fun even though I was a little scared at first. We’re on our way back from rafting and it was so so fun! I rode the front of the raft and cliff jumped (it was a lot like the Idaho river trip). Can’t wait to see y’all! Love you ❤️❤️😀👋🦋🙀🎊🐶
July 17, 2023
Greetings from beautiful Wyoming!
The group is in high spirits as we have finished some phenomenal climbing in the Tetons and now we are preparing for rafting! The kids have enjoyed getting to know one another over cards and spikeball, after two days they have become very close with one another and work well together! On the first night together we swam in Jenny Lake and ate pizza from a locally famous restaurant called Pinky G’s! On the first full day of our trip, we climbed in the Teton village! The weather was beautiful for climbing, there was hardly any clouds in the sky! Mclean conquered his fear of heights and did a great job on the rock! Max, Wham and Taylor did a really hard repel to a climb at the end of the day, it was great to watch a group take on a challenge so early into the trip. Throughout the day Thomas was constantly filled with excitement and was extremely outgoing in getting to know the group, he is a joy to have on the trip! After our day of climbing we had a town day, the girls got silly balloon hats while the boys shopped around for cowboy hats and belt buckles. For dinner, Max and Myers made breakfast for dinner, which all the kids enjoyed! On day 2, we ate some breakfast burritos and headed back to Exum for our second day of climbing. This time we were climbing in the national park at Hidden Falls. During the day, we were split up into smaller groups so that we could do some more advanced climbing. After being challenged, Reese did a killer job and made it to the top of the mountain! After we finished climbing, we hiked back to Exum. When we got back, Sally and Lucy asked if we could swim. We then all jumped in Jenny Lake again to cool off after a long day of climbing. We then headed back to camp where Michael and Charlotte crushed some spike ball. Emma and Wham whipped up some Mexican food. The boys loved whams chicken and Emma’s guacamole! After dinner, we went to this really sweet spot along the snake river to watch the sunset and have Moonup. Now we are on the road again and headed to the next part of our trip, rafting! Morale is high and we are loving spending time together in our van aka “Sheryl the white barrel!”
Sending lots of love!
Elise and Olin
July 15, 2023
Hello Big Wild Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Jackson Hole! 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!