July 28, 2023
Greetings from Jackson!!
Hello friends and family BGW3C! We have been having the BEST conclusion to our past two weeks, full of rock climbing and playing in Jackson. Let’s get into it!
Monday, we made the trek from Idaho back to Wyoming. We feasted on naked juice, cereal, fruit, and pop tarts and jammed out to Taylor Swift. John and Towles made great headway in the cow game, and we of course had to play “Time of Our Lives” for Graham. We got to Jackson and had sandwiches in the park while Watty started up a game of touch football. We then had town day in Jackson! The kids got surveyors, and the girls and boys both got matching bracelets. Henry tried some Huckleberry ice cream from the famous Moo’s. Everyone got shirts and stickers to commemorate their awesome trip! We hung out in the park, and even got to see the nightly Jackson shoot out. John and Graham found a pet caterpillar they named Victor, and Luke, Felix, and Henry got some VERY silly balloon animal hats, that unfortunately popped when we stopped for fries at Jackson Drug.
We then set up camp at our home for the next three days, with a beautiful view of the Tetons! Matt cheffed up some burgers with Caesar salad and potato salad (Henry’s favorite) and everyone sat in their crazy creeks for a family meal. LODs Chloe and Towles lead us through an awesome Moonup, which we ended up doing in the van thanks to a very flash rainstorm, and then everyone went to bed with the soothing sounds of light rain on their tents!
The kids woke up to chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and then it was off to rock climbing day one. Today our Exum guides took us through climbing school day one, where we learned proper technique, and then tried it out on the mountain with a multi pitch climb and a repel. We took the gondola up Teton Village, and had some amazing views, and even better climbing. Sarah Mac was so speedy up the wall, despite only being able to use 9 of her fingers! WHOOT! And we were SO proud of Chloe for overcoming her fear of heights. What a great start to the day! After, we took the kids for surprise milkshakes to celebrate, and then started with our Iron Chef completion.
Both teams worked hard to create an amazing meal with a limited budget. On team 1 we had Georgia, Grayson, Watty, Graham, Towles, and Luke who made an amazing dinner of steak, potatoes, and carrots over a fire. And on team 2 we had Weiler, Chloe, Sarah Mac, Felix, Henry, and John who made an authentic beef taco with homemade guacamole. After some amazing meals and long deliberation, we finally decided that the team two had just barely won over team one. The night ended with deserts made from both teams and a sunset Moonup before another day of climbing.
The next morning, everyone headed to Teton National Park were met our guides and took the boat across Jenny Lake. LOD Graham helped Matt with surprises for the final Moonup as everyone climbed and rappelled multiple pitches at the base of the Grand Teton.
After climbing everyone had the chance to shower before changing into funny outfits and heading to Picas for our final banquet dinner. At Picas, all 14 of us sat at one large table and shared our favorite stories and memories from the past two weeks over some burritos and Mexican cokes. After dinner came the biggest surprise of the trip.
The kids had seen the signs for the Jackson Fair and were ecstatic when we pulled in. But that wasn’t it, there was one more thing coming as we approached the rodeo arena: Extreme Medieval Jousting. For the next two hours everyone cheered loudly as knights in full armor faced off against each other in a real life jousting event. After the jousting was over, everyone headed towards the fair ground where we rode multiple carnival rides before heading out for our final Moonup.
At final Moonup, everyone’s ultimate peaks, valleys, and horizons were shared and the group discussed the funniest story they got from the trip as well as their favorite moment on the trip, with a custom tent shaped cupcake cake that had the words Big Wild written across it. It was a great way to end the trip, the bittersweet feeling of ending the trip faded as everyone got in the van and fell asleep as we approached camp.The next morning after braving a lightning storm and some tough weather, everyone arrived at the airport, checked in, and boarded their planes after final goodbyes. It has been such an amazing trip and we all, leaders and kids, are so grateful for the opportunity to get to roam around Wyoming together.
Casey and Matt
July 24, 2023
Greetings from road in Washington! We just got off of the Snake river in Washington after rafting through Idaho and Oregon on the Snake and Salmon Rivers.
Starting last Thursday, we left the beautiful lake town of McCall and headed towards the Pine Bar put in outside of Riggins to get geared up and start out float down the lower salmon. After getting sorted into two boats the group started heading down the river towards our first rapids. After some splashy class 2 and 3 whitewater, everyone braved a cliff jump before eating some lunch. After lunch, everyone got back on the rafts and headed towards camp for the night. Once at camp for the night Graham taught the rules of mafia to everyone, and everyone proceeded to play for the next couple of hours. After mafia, everyone had a burger dinner provided by the guides before our LODs Luke and Chloe led our guides and us in an our first river Moonup.
Day 2 of rafting was our big rapid day hitting two class four rapids as we got closer to the confluence. Everyone took turns riding the bulls as we splashed through the rapids, with Georgia even getting wet and safely recovered thanks to Henry. In-between rapids, Towles and Watty took turns blasting each other from opposing boats while everyone swam to stay cool in the hot desert. After setting up camp everyone hung out in the water on the beach and played various games to stay cool in the water. Weiler became the voice of reason in many mafia games, as John and I tried to stir the pot and confuse as many people as we could. After a lasagna dinner the group did another riverside moonup led by Watty and Felix.
The next morning the group got up bright and early to make it to the confluence of the Salmon and Snake rivers for lunch. After finding some super cool columns of Basalt everyone took turns jumping off the highway on into the river. Grayson and Towles jumped off maybe 10 time each before everyone hoped back on the rafts. After a quick lunch, all the rafts tied together at the confluence of the rivers and the group headed down the Snake River in a mega-raft. Once at camp, everyone played in a spikeball tournament before Watty, Weiler, and Towles competed in a diving competition strictly judged by Sarah Mac from the shoreline. The night finished up with a deeper Moonup than usual as it was our last night on the river before everyone fell asleep looking at the amazing stars.
That brings us to today, after many rapids, splash battles and delicious meals we are back on the road heading east back to Wyoming. The next couple of days are going to be jam packed and we can’t wait to share them with y’all!
Until next time,
Casey and Matt
Luke- Thank you for sending me on this trip, I’ve had a lot of fun!
Graham – Thanks for sending me on this trip, so far I’ve had fun, just went white water rafting, can’t wait to see you in 4 days
Henry- Thank you mom and dad for sending me on this really fun trip we just finished white water rafting and I had a blast! See you guys soon!
Towles-hey thank you for sending me on this trip I have made many new friends and have had a amazing time.
Felix- Thank you so much for sending me on this trip! I’ve met lots of great new people and just finished rafting
John- Thank you mom and dad for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip! It has been really fun see you soon!
Grayson- Hey mom and dad, thank u so much for sending me on this trip. I have met so many new friends! Love u and see u soon!
Watty- Hey mom and dad thank you so much for sending me on this trip. It has been so fun and I have done so many new cool things. Love u and see u soon.
Chloe-hey mom and dad thank you so much for sending me on this trip! It’s super fun and I have met amazing people and had amazing experiences. Love you can’t wait to see you!
Weiler- I am having the best time on this trip! I am so grateful to be here with all of these amazing people and making new memories. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I love you and miss you so much and I can’t wait to tell you everything.
Sarah Mac- Hey mom and dad thank you so much for sending me on this trip! It has been so fun and I have met amazing people! See you soon!!! Love and miss y’all!
Georgia- thank you guys so much for sending on this trip and pushing me out of my comfort zone! I have had so much fun and meet so many awesome people. Can’t wait to see you!
July 19, 2023
Hello parents and friends of BGW3C!! We have had a BLAST on our backpacking trip. After three days of beautiful views, hiking, and playing by the lake and river, we are all safe, and headed back to civilization. Let’s get into the awesome adventure we have had!!
Day one LOD’s, Watty and Felix led the packing and prepping for backpacking. Matt cooked us eggs and bacon for breakfast, and we feasted before getting on the road. Our guide JJ met us at the trail head, and we embarked on our journey. We hiked four miles through forests, boulder fields, and two alpine lakes! At our first lake, we learned how to purify water, and then we set up camp by Bolton lake, with an awesome view of some peaks! Weiler, Chloe, Luke, Henry, and John jumped in the water, and everyone hung out by The Rock (TM). For dinner, Grayson, Sarah Mac, and Georgia cheffed up some chili Mac (chili on the side), and Watty led clean crew! What a leader!! We had a great Moonup full of laughs and reflection, and then a great sleep under the stars. We could even see the Milky Way!!
The next day we slept in (whoooot!!!) and Henry, Felix, and Chloe cheffed up a breakfast of cooked apples and pineapples with sun butter, and some sausage on the side. Johnny HOUSED some fried summer sausage, and everyone enjoyed a relaxing morning hanging out at camp. We then brought our water and fly-fishing equipment and embarked on a day hike to a nearby creek and meadow. We played in the clear water, hung out by the sandy beach, and Watty, Towles, and John fished. All three of them caught fish. Huge day! The trio also invented the rock game, which everyone then joined in on. After a great afternoon in the sun, we hiked back to camp, and started on dinner. We arrived back to camp to discover that our giant Bug Out had been blown over by the wind. The group worked quickly to put it back up, which is no small task. Graham and John worked on the outside poles, and a highlight of laughter on the trip was seeing Towles on Watty’s shoulders adjusting the top tent poles, while Grayson back spotted. Everyone was cracking up!!
Cool crew queens Grayson and Sarah Mac led dinner, with help from Watty and Towles (cheese master). Everyone enjoyed a hearty meal of chicken fajitas with corn salsa! Weiler then scouted out a great place to Moonup, and LOD’s Towles and Sarah Mac led us through a great Moonup. We were treated to an amazing sunset, so bright that the sky reflected pink off the lake!
The next morning, we had a breakfast of oatmeal, before taking down camp and hitting the trail. LOD’s Grayson and Henry set the pace, and we made great time. Matt and I surprised everyone with a shower and swimming party at the local aquatic center!! Felix showed off his front flips off the diving board, and Towles and Watty started a king of the court game of water basketball. Henry showed out with his water polo defense, but the cousins ended up dominating the court (pool?). After playing in the water, and all cleaned up, we grabbed burgers and fries at a local restaurant, and had a great afternoon! We then made the drive back near Jackson, where we are camping before our road trip to rafting tomorrow! Grayson and Henry got everyone organized into groups to unpack and organize after rafting, which this group made quick work off, even stopping for multiple random dance parties, and impressive performances by Georgia and Chloe. Graham, Luke, Felix, Henry, Chloe, Weiler, and Georgia started a giant game of spike ball, while Towles, Sarah Mac, and John volunteered to clean everyone’s bowls!!
We are so excited to get to rafting tomorrow and can’t wait for even more adventures. The group is full of great people, even though we are all some pretty terrible dancers. More to come after rafting!!
Casey and Matt
Felix- This trip is so fun thank you for signing me up! See you soon!
Luke- This was such a fun trip so far, and I’m excited for rafting, see ya soon!
Graham- Good so far, excited for white water rafting, can’t wait to see you!
Towles- Hey! Good so far, we have hiked in the back country and went cliff jumping the first day, hope to see you soon!
Henry- Hey guys this trip is really fun so far thanks for getting me on the trip! And see you guys soon.
John- Hi guys, the trip is really fun, miss you see you soon.
Watty- Hey having so much fun, we have gone hiking and fishing, and are going rafting soon. See you soon!
Weiler- this trip is amazing! I have met so many fun people and I’m having so much fun. I love you and miss you!
Chloe- This trip is incredible and I’m so happy that you signed me up for it! I have met some really fun people and I miss you see you soon!
Georgia- I am having so much fun! Miss you all make sure to send this to Izzy! I have a sunburn on my nose and checks but I am still having a blast! See you soon! Pet poppy for me. Also, so menu bugs!!!! Love you!
Grayson- Hi Mom and Dad! I am having sooo much fun!!! Hope u had a great time in Jackson Hole! Tell Wm and Ellie I said hi. Love you!
Sarah Mac- Hey Mom and Dad! I miss y’all, but I’m having a blast! See y’all soon and tell Caroline I said hi! Love you!!!!
July 16, 2023
Greetings from the road in Jackson!
It has been an eventful start to our adventure in Wyoming. Airport day was bright and sunny, just like y’all’s kids! Luke, Graham, and Watty were out first to arrive, and after a few flights, a couple of airport drop offs, and two (2) missing duffle bags, we were ready to head off!
The group headed to our first camp site to learn how set up tents and get settled in before and afternoon adventure. After learning the basics of tents the group split up and race to set them up, the girls were able to win over the boys thanks to the help of Georgia, Sarah Mac, and Chloe. After the race the group geared up for a short hike to a cool rock on Phelps Lake to jump off and into the frigid glacier water. John, Watty, and Towles were some of the first to brave the height and jump in, followed soon by everyone else in the group. Weiler was the cold water champion, and the girls made sure to document the gorgeous views on their Go Pros.
On the hike back, as I led the boys down the trail, we spotted a black bear off in the distance. After a minute or two of loudly saying hello to it, it strolled back off into the woods. Such a cool sight from a distance!
After the swim the group headed back to camp stopping first by the airport to safely secure Felix and Henry’s bags, and we played a game of Tipps. Towles and Luke were our winners. Then by Pinky Gs pizza to get some dinner for the night. During dinner, we watched the sun set over the Tetons, and then shared a camp fire with BGWA! Then it was Moonup and off to bed, with lots of excitement for the journey to come.
This morning, Leaders of the Day Weiler and John helped us lead the group in tent take down procedure, and I made a breakfast of bacon, French toast, and berries. We then headed off to our first activity of camp, fly fishing! We met our fly fishing instructors at their hut along the Snake River, and learned the basics of bugs, casting, and setting. Towles, Watty, Chloe, and John played a game where they took turns “catching” me to work on their set.
We had lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies, and then headed out onto the water. We split into groups, and wandered around the beautiful river, with the Tetons in the background. Weiler, Sarah Mac, and Chloe took a great from fishing to do some swimming, and Grayson and Watty both caught a fish! We all got in a lot of good practice to bring with us on our next activity section, backpacking! We can’t wait to update everyone on our fish progress after that.
Your kids are awesome! We have already been having the best time, and it’s only day two. We will be spending the next few days backpacking through the Wind River Range, and it’s going to be a blast!
Casey and Matt
July 14, 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!