July 29, 2023
The past 48 hours have consisted of many lasts: our last night with our guide Antoine, our last moonup, our last game of death sack. Each one was bittersweet in its own way as we are sad to be leaving this beautiful country but happy we’ve had the opportunities to make such good friends and lasting memories.
For our final day together in Bergen, we were blessed with sunshine and blue skies, a rarity in a city where the locals told us it rains over 300 days a year. We arrived in Bergen via speed boat ferry from Davik. The total trip was around 4 hours, and we got some great views of the fjords through the huge windows that lined the main cabin. We ate breakfast on the boat where JN and Amanda Cabrera tried the amazing pancakes and Amanda Cashman ate her final Norwegian waffle. Around 1 hour into the trip, we had to say goodbye to our guide Antoine. He was a huge part of our group and everyone was sad to see him go.
When we arrived in Bergen we dropped off our bags and feasted on a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Then we walked around the main square where Bergen and Stanton grabbed some cool new shoes. Bergen is a beautiful city with unique architecture, beautiful mountains and lots of water. We walked around and enjoyed the change of being in a city after spending two weeks in the more remote parts of the country.
After walking off our full stomachs for lunch we decided to treat the group to some ice cream near the harbor. Juliana introduced the group to affogatos, a shot of espresso with a scoop of ice cream, while everyone else stuck to cones. Then we did some shopping in a super cool, modern mall where Bennett and Daniel bought matching shirts. Henry decided he wanted to get a haircut, and, although there was a bit of a language barrier between the barber and him, his new cut looked great!
For our final dinner together, we settled on a pizza place called Peppe’s Pizza. Although we had a big lunch, everyone was super hungry for dinner too so we all split a large pizza with a friend. John and Henry made their own masterpiece and finished it in no time.
After dinner we walked around and Luca took pictures of the group on his film camera while Greer took some shots on her Nikon. We picked a nice patch of grass near a huge pond for our final moonup led by Stanton and Amanda Cashman. Everyone shared moments of inspiration from the trip and was invited to give a genuine compliment to the person next to them. It was a great way to reminisce on all the incredible moments we’ve had on our trip and appreciate how the group has turned from strangers to friends. Then it was one last game of death sack and back to the hostel for bed. Thank y’all so much for sharing these special kids with us for this trip. We could not have imagined a better group!
Rachel & Travis
July 27, 2023
Bergen goes to Bergen tomorrow
The evening after exiting the backcountry spirits in the group were high! Excited to be showered and back in civilization everyone bonded over games after Moonup. We think that our experience in the backcountry turned our group into a little family. The house we are staying in with its adorable kitchen and homey living room makes it feel that way too! That night the kids stayed up way too late and were caught trying to make chicken quesadillas and mochas past their bed times. They were relieved to find it was Rachel who walk into the kitchen. Henry’s chicken was a little undercooked but Bennet made the perfect mochas for Amanda Cashman, Juliana and Bergen; John and Stanton were left with luke warm water. Then they were sent to bed.
The next morning, Rachel and Travis loudly woke up all the trouble makers by telling them to stop sleeping and pulling all their blankets off. Bennet, Juliana and Henry started on a hardy breakfast cooking up pancakes, potatoes, eggs and bacon. Bergen, Stan and Amanda Cash cleaned dishes while everyone else packed lunches. Travis used all the chicken Henry made for quesadillas in his lunch while everyone else stuck with the usual deli sandwiches. Afterwards We set out for a day hike up the highest peak of Davik. The hike was very steep however we luckily brought a speaker to ensure a mid mountain dance party. Luca, Daniel and Stanton were the first to the top where we all enjoyed our lunches, the view, and wrote our names in the book kept at the top for those who make it up there to sign! From the top we could really see the fjord in all its beauty and everyone reminisced on all the cool stuff we’d done since arriving.
When we got home Bennett, Greer, JN and a few others jumped in the fjord before a quick shower. Bennett is still working on overcoming his hatred for cold water but Juliana and Bergen loved the it so much this time they stayed an extra 10 mins! Nathan, Antoine, Rachel and Travis whipped up a mean barbecue followed by brownies with a fork cooked inside? (Whoops!) The night ended with a fun Moonup and an intense game of death sack on the lawn. Those who got out joined another circle of frisbee where Luca taught Amanda Cabrera how to throw it.
The following morning we woke up bright and early to get ready for an exciting day of via Ferrara. It is a climb of the highest sea cliff in Europe and Greer faced her fear of heights. The climb was difficult but everyone handled it with a great spirit. John said the bench in the middle of the climb where we stopped for a rest was by far the best place he’s ever eaten lunch. Amanda Cashman was the first girl to make it up the mountain and the guides said she handled the climb super well!
All of the kids can say this was one of the coolest things they ever experienced and multiple said it was their favorite day yet. On the way down the mountain all the kids thought their work was done, but the hike down was almost as tough as the climb up! Once we all arrived home the kids rushed to the super market and the showers. Now they are packing up their bags, cleaning the house and getting ready for the last day in Bergen, Norway. Bergen will finally be in Bergen!
All the Best,
Travis and Rachel
July 25, 2023
Halo! We are back in civilization! After two days of kayaking and two days of backpacking we settled in our little house in Davik for our last section of the trip. We can’t believe how fast the time has flown by.
Since our last update we’ve spent a majority of our time in the west on the banks of the fjords, but before we made it to the coast we stopped in Lom. A small Norwegian town right outside of Joteunheimen, Lom is home to the best bakery in Norway. Amanda Cabrera tried the kanel bolle, which is like a Norwegian cinnamon roll, and she loved it!
Meanwhile JN, Amanda Cashman and Bergen tried out the zip line that ran over the river in the center of Lom. After a group trip to the supermarket, we headed to NjordFjord where we caught a ferry that transported us to Davik. We spent the night on a sheep farm where we cooked burritos nestled in a nice barn. Amanda Cashman, Juliana, and Bergen had a dance party while they waited for dinner to be ready. JN, Greer, and Bennet were on cook crew.
The next morning we woke up, packed our tents and got ready for our first kayaking adventure. The water was gorgeous, the weather was perfect, and we kayaked 15 KM to a nice campsite alongside the fjord. Shortly after arriving, Luca and Bennet cooked up some amazing coconut chicken curry followed by some chocolate cake. After a few rounds of presidents and hearts, we headed to bed and woke up to another beautiful day on the water. After departing the campsite on day 2 we introduced the sponge game; whichever kayak ended the trip with the sponge had to polar plunge into the fjord. The game was so intense that Travis capsized Lucas kayak and then fled the scene leaving Luca in the water soaking wet. After a tight game, John launched the sponge at Amanda Cabrera and Travis who jumped into the fjord when the group arrived back on shore. They were quickly followed by Juliana, Greer, JN, Bennett, Amanda Cashman and Bergen who enjoyed the polar plunge. Juliana was able to stay in the frigid water for three minutes while the others hopped right out!
After a nice lunch break, we packed up and Stanton and Henry guided us towards our next campsite. Upon arrival to our beautiful campsite, we set up our tents and a quick mud fight in the lake broke out between Bennett, Henry, Daniel, Antoine, Travis and Rachel. Our amazing guide Antoine won! We then finished up our day by cooking pasta Bolognese on the beach which was delicious!
The next morning, we woke up to some nice oatmeal and headed to hike the off beaten path. Our hike today would take us off trail through the tall grass and bushes over a beautiful mountain pass. Although the journey was tough, everyone was motivated and positive despite the intensity of the forest. The boys attempted to push a massive rock off the mountain but were unsuccessful.
Once we made it to camp, we were greeted by rain and thunder storms, but we made the most of our trip and distracted ourselves with a game of wavelength. Stanton was the first to guess the correct number! JN, Travis, and Bergen shared their most embarrassing stories to help pass time.
We headed to bed early and the rain continued to pour throughout the night. While it was difficult to stay dry throughout the night and the wet and cold weather conditions remained in the morning, warm oatmeal for breakfast never tasted better. We quickly packed up our tents and hiked out of the mountains and onto the road where we piled into a van and enjoyed a nice ride back to the sheep farm. We then hung out and packed up our things for the last section of the trip. We are currently nestled in a nice house alongside the Fjord in Davik. Everyone was so excited to shower and buy snacks at the convenience store down the road after four days in the back country. We are eating dinner at the local restaurant tonight and can’t wait for the remainder of our time together! Tusen Takk!
Bennett- howdy folks, just poppin in to let y’all know that the trips going great. Met tons of cool people and done tons of dope stuff. Highlight has been the food and snowball/mud fights in the cold snow and waters of Norway. Missing y’all tons and will be home soon to share more about this crazy place. Tons of stories to share. Love y’all and see y’all soon.
Luca – what up fam! Norway has been amazing. We just got back from spending 4 days in the backcountry – some sun, lovely rain, lotta oatmeal – and have now arrived at the house that we’ll spend the next few days in. These mountains and fjords are truly gorgeous, things that I’ll remember for the rest of my life without a doubt. The squad is super rad as well. Miss you all like crazy, tons of love and peace!!
Daniel- What is good Moore fam. Norway has been an absolute blast/experience. In addition, the moondance group is cool. Thank you, mom and dad, for letting me go on this trip. Right now I’m chilling in a small Norwegian air BnB after spending 4 days in the back country. Norway has been mostly cold and rainy, but the past couple days have been warm sunny. Also, the mountains and fjords are breathtaking. Miss you guys a lot. See you on the 29th!!! Btw Charlie Is small.
Henry – I’ve had an awesome time so far as you would probably guess. We just got out of the back country which would explain my rapid spending spree that I just did. I don’t really know what else to say other than the fact that I’m having a wonderful time. See you when I get home.
Greer- Hei hei mom and dad! Miss y’all tons and I’m having a great time in Norway. I miss my lil furball Luna and all my friends! We are crowded into a cute air bnb in Davik and it’s awesome!! I’m so excited for the last few days but it’s sad to see my time running out here so fast the same time. Love y’all tons and I’ll see you soon!!
Juliana- holaaa! Miss you guys so much and I’m having the best time in Norway! Can’t wait to see everyone again y los quiero mucho y los veo pronto! 🙂
Bergen- hey fam! We just finished the backcountry with handsome fjords! I miss u guys but having so much fun! See u guys soon! Love u all
Amanda Cashman- hey guys!! I’m having such a good time in Norway! Everything here is so so beautiful!! We just finished in the backcountry and are chilling in the cutest little house. I miss you guys so much but will be so sad to leave! Please say hi to Lucy and Bea! Love you guys :))
JN- hey hey!! Today we just got out of the backcountry where we camped and kayaked through fjords. I jumped in the fjord-The kayaking was stunning and before that we trekked and it was gorgeous! Katie if ur reading this I bought u a Galdhoppigen shirt woohoo! Right now we are in the cutest house on the fjord in a small town called Davik. See y’all on Saturday love y’all
Amanda Cabrera- Hi everyone! What y’all been up to? I’ve been having an awesome time with everyone here, they’re all so funny and nice. Imma see if my card works where we at, if not don’t expect a lot of souvenirs lol. Anyways, love ya and miss y’all.
John Franck – what up mom and dad? Hope y’all’s trip was fun. We just finished our time in the backcountry and now we are in air bnb. Looking forward to seeing y’all soon. Trying to get as many souvenirs as possible. Love yall and see you soon.
Stanton Lamar – Hey guys. I’ll be home soon and I will tell you about the trip. I have had fun so far and I finally got the AMEX to work which is sweet. I’m trying to get some good souveys from here. I’ll see y’all soon.
July 21, 2023
Our trekking section began with breakfast at Gjendesheim as we prepared to boogie towards Memerubu. We rose from the hut with rain sprinkling, packs on our backs, and boots ready for the trails. Over the next 12 kilometers, we paralleled the lake, crossed waterfalls, ate wicked tasty sandwiches, and snagged views of crystal blue water. Our first trek culminated with paprika chips and kanel bolles as we hobbled into Memurubu. Here, the word game began. At dinner Rachel assigned each member of our group a random word and a person who they must trick into saying that word. Once a person is eliminated they give their assignment to their word killer. As soon as the words were distributed the game was on. We finished the night with a fun Moonup led by Amanda Cabrera and Stanton.
We started the next day eating a hardy breakfast. Bennet devoured the steak and eggs and even packed some extra for the hike. As a little snack, Greer packed some extra waffles from the hostel for the hike. Bergen kicked off the word game by eliminating her opponent, Amanda Cabrera, early on in the competition. Juliana braided Bergen, Rachel, and even Travis’s hair while on the boat ride to the start of the hike. The beginning of the hike was filled with cute cows and more eliminations such as Amanda Cashe’s sneaky plan to kick Greer out of the competition. Stan struck a pose for a quick disposable camera flick. After a few more hours of the hike, we ate an early lunch and Luca really enjoyed his sandwich. Henry was rocking his new boots after his were mistakenly taken from the hostel. Daniel lent a helping hand to his buddy Stan by assisting him with putting on his gaiters. After the 6 hour hike, the guys made the whole group a dinner of rice, meatballs, and veggies. Travis was strumming a guitar and playing some tunes while the girls were playing blackjack with raisins and John actually snuck a few.
The next morning, Travis, Juliana, and Antione got up early to start making crepes for breakfast while everyone else stayed snuggled under their blankets up in the cold, snowy mountain hut. Luca was next out where he showed off his crepe flipping skills. After everyone finished breakfast, we bundled up to start our long, cold, wet trek to our next mountain hut. Our only bit of sunshine we got for the day appeared while we were strapping up our boots. Amanda Cash and Greer pointed out a rainbow and proceeded to have a photo shoot with it. JN led the group with great speed and remained an amazing motivator even through the rough conditions. This trek’s weather conditions really tested our grit except for Daniel, who was frolicking through the snowy patches like a baby reindeer. After skipping over some rocks to get across a stream we stopped for lunch and the weather had not let up. The weather didn’t stop Bennet, Henry and John from crushing some canned salmon.
Not long after lunch did the anticipation of getting to the next hut come. Jane Nelson and Bergen would not stop asking “what time is it” and “are we close”. The leaders think it’s hilarious to make up times and distances when these questions arise with each answer becoming more and more absurd! The whole group had a good laugh about it!
Later that night, we all hung out at the dining area. Bergen, Amanda, and Henry enjoyed a game of Yahtzee while the rest talked or strummed a guitar. Juliana picked up the ukulele and strummed a few chords with a new friend from Argentina. They performed”Let It Be” by The Beatles and “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King and the crowd went wild. At moon-up, the group used their thinking skills to find the killer in a game of mafia narrated by Amanda Cabrera before going to bed.
Our next trek started off when a group of reindeer was spotted off in the distance. This hike was a long one, but it was our sunniest day yet! We enjoyed a long lunch break and Luca whipped out his frisbee and played with Rachel, Daniel, and Bennet.
Meanwhile, Stan impressed us with his handstand that he held for a minute! As we continued to walk the views got even more mesmerizing. We crossed bridges and streams, and the sun came out to say hello- hooray!
A couple hours later we arrived at our next Hostel where we quickly made ourselves at home with the Norwegian ice cream, hot chocolate and salt and pepper chips. After several rounds of cards, we enjoyed a nice dinner of cauliflower soup with ham and potatoes. After, the kids gathered downstairs, ordered milkshakes, read books and played cards. Our day was concluded with an amazing Moonup led by Amanda and Bennet where they taught us the game lookup look down – Henry won! Amanda, Greer, JN, Bergen and Juliana headed downstairs to play a round of presidents when Stanton, John and Daniel quickly joined them. Everyone was very much looking forward to summiting mount Galdhopiggen the next day and headed to bed.
The next day began with an early wake up before hopping on a bus to go to the base of Galdhopiggen. Although everyone was still sleepy, we were all super excited to summit the tallest mountain in Norway! When the bus arrived at the base everyone dropped their trekking bags at our newest hostel and packed their day packs. Daniel felt brave and decided to keep his big bag for the hike. We met our guide Sebastian who would make sure we had all the right equipment to safely complete this hike. Luca bonded with Sebastian over climbing while Henry tried to make the perfect snowball. We were told it never snows in July, however we had snow the whole hike! Bennet enjoyed his time making snow angles and the girls ensured they got many photos of the stunning scenery. Before conquering the glacier at the top we connected ourselves with harnesses to make sure no one fell into a crevasse. At this point everyone enjoyed their sandwiches and surprise Oreos. Bennet and Antoine took full advantage of the open area and wrestled in the snow. Amanda Cash, JN and Juliana sung the ELF song on repeat as we felt like we were in a winter wonderland!
The group crushed this glacier and made it up in no time! John bought a sweet patch at the top and got shirts to reward themselves. Greer bought some coffee at the top and we all became best friends with the cutest dog, Charlie. Once everyone was done with their snacks, we began our descent back to the bottom. On the way down, Bergen talked to some very friendly Norwegians on the glacier. After conquering the glacier for the second time, Bennet couldn’t resist the urge to throw a snowball at Antoine, starting a giant snowball fight where every man fought for themselves. Greer and Juliana made snow angels while Amanda Cash and Bergen did cartwheels and handstands. We started walking again and the boys raced down the mountain, where Luca climbed a rock wall. Although Daniel really wanted to buy some snacks, the group made its way to the bus stop to get to the hostel where we enjoyed our last delicious meal before starting the camping section of the trip! We will keep you updated on all of our future adventures!
July 16, 2023
Hi hi! We are happy to report that all twelve students made there way to Norway yesterday, and we are off to a great start. We met everyone in the Oslo airport early Friday morning. Everyone was tired from traveling but in high spirits. Before hopping on our bus to take us to our first lodge everyone grabbed some much needed food from the bakery in the airport and exchanged their USD for some Norwegian Krona. Our bus ride added another 4 hours to an already long day, and most people were asleep within the first 20 minutes. Those who were able to stay awake caught their first glimpses of the beautiful Norwegian landscape. Grassy hills turned to towering peaks as we made our way closer to Jodenhiemen National Park, and with only a half an hour left, we made a stop at a local restaurant to get some lunch. The whole group tried two popular Norwegian snacks: waffles and cinnamon bolles.
Once at our lodge we met our guide Antoine and got straight to packing for our 6 day trek. We will be carrying all our clothes and personal items for the next few days so everything no essential had to go! Daniel was the first one to finish packing and was a big help getting the others ready.
After everyone’s equipment was situated, Amanda (cash), Juliana and the other girls played a game of “Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza” by the lake. Meanwhile, Bennet and Henry taught Travis the rules to ERS while Stanton and John went head to head in chess.
Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. The meals at these places never fail to disappoint, and last night was no different. We started out with a tomato soup, followed by a reindeer stew that used locally sourced meat! Although we all ate our fill at dinner we of course had room for dessert which was some Norwegian brown cheese panna cotta. We couldn’t have asked for a more delicious, authentic Norwegian meal to kick off our trip!
After dinner, we introduced the group to moonup, a nightly moondance ritual in which the group gets together to talk about the day, learn more about one another, and choose the LODs (leaders of the day) for the following day. Travis and Rachel led the first moonup to show everyone how it’s done. Everyone in the group shared why they chose this trip and then Luca and JN were selected as our very first LODs. Although the sun was still shining bright when we finished it was nearly 10 o’clock, so we sent everyone to bed to rest up after a long 24 hours.
The day started with a hardy breakfast of salami, waffles, yogurt, and hard boiled eggs. Mmm quite the combination. The skies were and and the wind was blowing, but we could still see the surrounding peaks. We set out to climb the peak that we’ve been admiring from the dining hall window since we arrived.
We started our first trek through the typical Norwegian cabins, exercising our Norwegian right to roam. Bergen lead us through a fun hiking game she learned from tiktok. Greer brought out her big camera and was snapping some great pictures of the group on our way up. After lunch on top of the peak the rain started to come down and the wind picked up even more. The other Amanda took a spill in the mud and added some character to her brand new white rain coat! We all made it back safely to our cabin and are enjoying some hot tea while we watch the rain.
For dinner we feasted on some celery soup, lamb, vegetables and a yummy chocolate desert. Then we had our first student led moonup where everyone shared a story of their gnarliest injury and their favorite parts of the day. Afterwards we were off to bed, ready to tackle our first full day on the trek tomorrow!
July 14, 2023
Hello Norway Families!
We heard from our leaders late last night that the group has landed safely in Oslo. They are excited for her arrival and to be together as a group! The trip is off to a great start, 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!