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Yellowstone 3 • July 13-July 26, 2023

Our Last Night in Jackson Hole!

July 26, 2023

Hello all!


Wow. We can’t believe that this trip has come to a close. These two weeks have felt like two days, and we feel so grateful to have shared it with this incredible group. Now for a little recap of our banquet night!!


After an incredible day of rafting the snake, we decided to hit the showers and start our night that was jam packed with surprises.We went to Pica’s Mexican Restaurant in Jackson and devoured the most amazing tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. What the kids didn’t know, as they begged us to stop for some dessert in town, was that we had something huge planned for after dinner. With a massive sheet cake already prepped in our van, we headed to the Mormon Row Historic District to watch the sunset behind the Tetons! Of course, the gang had to have a huge photo shoot in our highly fashionable outfits from the local thrift store. We ate cake and reminisced on our trip as we had our final Moonup at this spot. We headed back to our campsite one final time and had one last listen to “By and by” by Caamp.


After a long day, we headed to our tents and before we knew it we were heading to the airport to say our final goodbyes. We want to thank everyone who made this trip possible for these kiddos and for trusting Reed and I with your most prized possession for two weeks!! We will forever remember this special group of kids!!

Rocking out while Rafting!!!

July 25, 2023

Hello again friends and family!

Our group has been having tons of fun since we last updated you all. We had our killer fly fishing float day on the Snake River with the Jackson Hole fly fishing school. We split up into groups of 3 between four different boats. On the boat with Jimmy was Reed, Isabelle, and Jane, with Jens was Lucy, Francie, and Julia, with Collin was Wyatt, Hall, and Garret, and lastly with Quinn was Pat, Sam, and Owen. Our guides were incredible and knew all the best spots on the river to get the kids to fish. Every single one of our kids brought a fish in the boat that day, and it was awesome!! Francie reeled in a monster cutthroat trout which was one of the best our guide had seen that summer! Sam also fought a killer cutthroat and got to experience helping his buddies met some of their fish.

Afterwards, we celebrated our successful day on the water by enjoying some of Moo’s Gourmet Ice cream in Jackson. To top off an awesome day, the kids had time after that to explore the town of Jackson and buy some lucky family members and friends some souvenirs. After a long day out and about, we headed back to camp where we enjoyed some breakfast for dinner. We had Moonup afterwards and watched an incredible sunset behind the Tetons. The next day we had a well-deserved morning of sleeping in! We rolled out of our tents after a good night’s rest and cooked some breakfast burritos for brunch! It was a crowd favorite!

Then we packed up for a day in Teton National Park where we hiked around the iconic Phelps Lake. We went to the jumping rock and had a time jumping off and swimming in the lake. Afterwards, we went back to camp and had a very competitive Iron Chef cook off for dinner. Team 1 was Francie, Isabelle, Julia, Jane and Hall who prepared an Italian dish while Sam, Pat, Owen, Garrett, and Wyatt prepared Mexican food. Everyone’s meal was delicious but in the end Team 1 was victorious. The winners got to cook their s’mores first as a winning prize!

It was a night filled with laughter and warmth from an awesome fire. We all went to sleep that night with a big smile. The next morning we woke up for our last activity…….White water rafting! The gang suited up in stylish wet suites and hopped on the Dave Hansen bus to shred some waves. We hit some class 2 and 3 rapids and everyone got a chance to ride on the front of the boat like a bull rider. The all boys group in Reeds boat even got to surf a wave in the raft. It was gnarly. After that we ate some delicious lunch and hit the showers.

Once everyone was smelling like dandelions we headed to the local thrift store to stock up on some snazzy outfits for our final banquet. The crew was looking sharp as we headed to Picas a local Mexican Restaurant for our final dinner. Everyone grubbed on the delicious food and we left with 3 more pounds of weight. Our next and final stop was a beautiful spot where the group could watch the sunset and do Moonup one last time. It was a bittersweet moment and one that I’m sure you’ll all here about soon! We cannot believe tomorrow is the last day. We are going to miss everyone so much it has been an absolute dream these past 2 weeks. Can’t wait to update you all one last time.


“Hey guys, just finished the last activity can’t wait to see you guys tomorrow. Had a great time rafting.” Wyatt

“What’s up just finished showering after white water rafting. Got to eat McDonald’s, can’t wait to see y’all love g” Garrett

“Went white rafting today probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. Just took a shower so I’m not stinky when I get home. See y’all soon.” Sam

“Good morrow family I shall be returning tomorrow. We conquered the river today, ”twas exhilarating. I got a little wet in the river and in the shower. I’m excited to see y’all both. Sincerely pat” Pat

“What up family, time has flown by. Went white water rafting today it was fun. Just got a shower for the second time this trip. The trip has been awesome, see y’all soon.” Hall

“Hello family, I’ll be coming home tomorrow. I’m very excited to see you guys, this trip has been really awesome can’t wait to tell you all about it. Love Owen” Owen

“Hey mom and dad, I had so much fun and I don’t want to go home, but I missed you guys. See you tomorrow.” Isabelle

“Hey mom and dad today we went rafting and it was really fun. I’m sad to leave but excited to see y’all love Francie” Francie

“Hey mom and dad we had a really fun morning of rafting. I’m super sad the trip is ending but I’m excited to see you” Jane

“Hey everybody, miss y’all and can’t wait to see y’all tomorrow. This has been such a good trip, love y’all” Julia

Rockin and Rock Climbing!

July 23, 2023

Hello friends and family!

This Yellowstone session has been rockin and rollin. Since we have last updated you all we’ve been climbing some rocks. On Friday we started day 1 of climbing with Exum Mountain guides. Sam and Pat were itching to go! We started the day off by learning how to put on a harness and tie a figure 8 knot. Then the group got comfortable walking on rock faces wearing their grippy climbing shoes. Once everyone was comfortable, we headed to our first climb. We did a multi pitch up a cliff face. Julia and Francie were tied in near each other and scaled the rock like it was nothing. Garrett was as cool as a cucumber as he scaled the rock. Once we reached the top, we had a tasty lunch and learned how to rappel! Jane was a tad bit nervous but absolutely crushed it. Hall and Wyatt were the first few that braved the rappelling, and they looked like pros. After that long day of climbing everyone was rewarded with a tasty dinner of chicken and mashed potatoes. Once everyone was full, we had an insightful Moonup and went to sleep early.

On Saturday we the gang woke up early once again for our second day of climbing. At this point everyone was basically a pro, so we started the day with some bouldering. The groups today were Isabell, Hall, and Wyatt. Lucy, Jane, and Francie. Reed, Sam, Garrett. Pat, Julia, and Owen. Everyone crushed the bouldering section, so we moved on to a HUGE climb. All the groups split up and did different difficulty levels of Multi pitches. Everyone looked like spiders on the rocks! Once we all reached the top, we had a yummy lunch with a nice view of Jenny Lake. After everyone was full, we walked to a spot to do an afternoon rappel over a cliff face. I’ll tell you what folks everyone looked just like Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible movies. Everyone was feeling elated and accomplished after the long day, but the excitement didn’t end there. Once we arrived back at our campsite, we told the kids that it’s Rodeo Night! We had a delicious pizza bagel dinner and headed to the bright lights of the Jackson Hole Rodeo. It was an absolute Hoot I’ll tell ya. Everyone bought lots of snacks and cool merchandise. After the rodeo we headed back to camp to get some much-needed sleep for an early day of Fly Fishing tomorrow! Can’t wait to update everyone again soon.

“What up family I’m doing great I’m working on my Chaco tan. We just climbed for 2 days and i rappelled of a cliff face. It’s been a lotta fun” Hall

“Hey guys having a great time on Moondance had a awesome time climbing for the past couple of days. I’m excited to go white water rafting. Can’t wait to see you guys. Love Wyatt” Wyatt

“Hello family I’m having a really good time. Just finished 2 days of climbing. I’m excited for the activities coming up. I love and miss you guys. Love O” Owen

“Hey mom and dad I’m having a lot of fun we’ve been rock climbing the past 2 days. It was pretty scary but lots of fun. We’re going to the rodeo tonight and I’m very excited. I’m going to eats lots of good food. Love and miss you guys Jane” Jane

“Good evening mother and father this trip has been exquisite. The fortnight is co,I’m to an end soon and I’m excited to see you. The rodeo is tonight and I wonder if I’ll see a bull.” Pat

“What’s up mom and dad we went rock climbing the past 2 days it was a lot of fun learning and I think I wanna do it more at home. I’m really pumped for fly fishing tomorrow, we’re gonna catch alotta fish and have fun. Love G” Garrett

“Wadd up pumped to go to a rodeo tonight. Raft fly fishing day tomorrow super excited.” Sammy

“Hey mom and dad! We rock climbed today and are going to a rodeo tonight and then fishing tomorrow. I’m super excited! Love and miss y’all” – Francie

“Hey everybody miss y’all. We climbed in the Tetons it was sweet. See y’all soon” Julia

“Hey mom and dad! We just finished two days of climbing and it was really fun! I miss you guys! See you in a few days! Love Isabelle” -Isabelle

Talk soon!
Reed + Lucy

An Incredible Experience in the Wyoming Backcountry!

July 20, 2023

Hello friends and family!!


A lot has happened since our last update! We began our backpacking journey and traveled through Grand Teton National Park all the way to Yellowstone National Park. As soon as we made it to the park, we grabbed our Yellowstone fishing licenses and headed to the south boundary trailhead. We set foot on our adventure and hiked along the Snake River for almost the entire hike. We saw signs of geothermal activity and hot springs along the way. Our first day of hiking was a whopping 10 miles, but this crew crushed it! We were so proud of how they handled every challenge they faced—and everyone had a great outlook on the day. We camped by a beautiful lake and had the best night’s sleep ever!


The next morning, we woke up feeling rested and ready to hit the trail again. It was a beautiful second day of hiking and the crew was a tiny bit sore but still eager to hit the ground running. We ate some yummy oatmeal, packed our bags, and hit the trail. It was a breezy 5-mile day and after our 10-mile day this was nothing to the kids. Hall kept everyone in good spirits with great trail questions. Francie and Garrett absolutely crushed the trail and were never even worried about the distance. We arrived at our second campsite in high spirits. It was a beautiful campsite parked on the edge of the Snake River’s mellow flowing water. The whole group immediately took a swim in the chilly water to cool down. That night Pat and Sam helped whip up a delicious Mexican bowl dinner that the whole crew devoured—with Wyatt leading the charge and leaving the meal with a huge smile on his face. We all went to bed content and dreaming of beautiful landscapes.


On our third morning the crew got to sleep in because we had a much-needed zero day! We hiked absolutely zero miles and our crew was grateful for the rest. We spent the day swimming in the river, skipping rocks, and playing some Mafia. Julia crushed the group in a game Egyptian rat slap. She has lighting fast reflexes folks lemme tell you!


It was a gorgeous day and many of our crew laid by the water and soaked it all in. That night Sam and Jane helped cook a delicious Moondance favorite meal called Tommy Sauce noodles. Let me tell you folks, there was not a scrape left behind. This group absolutely crushed it and even got to enjoy some yummy hot chocolate afterward. That night we slept great and even got to hear the howling of Wyoming’s revered Wolves!


Day four started off great with a nutritious meal of oatmeal. The crew was super speedy packing up all their gear and we hit the trails like a gopher in a snowstorm. We were flying folks. We were eating up the trail like nobody’s business. We backtracked a little ways until we hit the heart lake trail and continued down that trail for a mile or so. Isabelle kept the group in high spirits after she conquered the trail with a blister and didn’t complain once. At one point Owen even let out a triumphant war cry which was sick. We arrived at our cozy campsite for the night and chilled heavily. The crew had a tasty pesto pasta dinner and then we all got to talk in Moonup and finally hit the hay.


For day five of backpacking, we had a casual morning with no wake-up call. As everyone rolled out of their tents, we cooked breakfast and hung out until we decided to pack up camp. We made our way onto the trail where we hiked along and crossed the snake river for most of the day. Our LODs Pat and Julia made sure to keep checking in on the group to ensure that we all were drinking enough water and were still in high spirits. We continued to hike past some snow-covered peaks until we found the perfect lunch spot by a creek. We took a long lunch break full of stories and laughs. Then we continued on our way to our final campsite of backpacking. We made it there by the mid-afternoon, so we took some time to sit by the lake and hangout. It was a lovely afternoon of cards games, reading books, and exchanging stories. Then we cheffed up Jane’s all-time favorite meal of spaghetti! This was another crowd favorite, and there was not a noodle left in the pot. After chowing down on dinner, we had our final Moonup in the backcountry where we reminisced on all the fun we have had out here. We got to bed early because our final day of backpacking requires an earlyyy wake-up call, but this group was so excited for a well-deserved shower and to celebrate Isabelle’s birthday!!


Our last day of backpacking started with Isabelle waking up for her birthday in the backcountry!! We had streamers and balloons to celebrate the big day! We quickly packed up camp and ate breakfast because we were eager to get out of the backcountry and shower. We FLEW through the 10-mile hike!! There was nothing getting in the way of this group and their shower. We are so so proud of this group for completely crushing backpacking without a complaint. After unpacking all of our gear, we headed to shower in Grand Teton National Park. We hardly recognized everyone’s faces so clean. Then we hit the road back to Jackson. For the night we have planned a night in town and going to dinner at Liberty Burger! We know everyone is going to enjoy this after a long week of backpacking. Afterward, we will have cake and continue to wish Isabelle a happy 18th birthday!


Until next time,


Lucy + Reed




“Hey mom and dad, we just finished backpacking. It was really hard but fun! Miss you guys! Love Isabelle” – Isabelle


“Hey mom and dad, we just got done backpacking in Yellowstone. It was a lot of fun and I took the best shower of my life today. Miss y’all! Love Jane” – Jane


“What’s up, Wyoming is still swag. Never take running water for granted. Love y’all!” Julia


“Hey mom and dad, we just got done backpacking today. It was cool, and I’m having so much fun! Love y’all!” -Francie


“Hey mom and dad, having a great time in Wyoming! Just got back from our 6 day backpacking trip. It was a lot of fun! It’s a lot different from what I was used to so it was good to put myself out there. I hope the beach is fun! See y’all soon! Love Hall” -Hall


“What’s up mom and dad. Just got finished backpacking through Yellowstone. It was probably one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. Looking forward to all the activities we have ahead for the next week. Hope y’all are doing well! Love and miss y’all!” -Sam


“What’s up mom and dad, just finished trekking through Yellowstone. Had a great time! Excited for the rock climbing, love and miss y’all!” -Pat


“Hi mom and dad, it’s been a week and I’ve really enjoyed all the hiking we’ve done so far! I’m really excited to keep going for the next days. Love and miss yall” – Owen


“Hey guys! Just got finished with hiking through Yellowstone. Had a great time! 5r food was really good! Can’t wait to see you guys back in Atlanta! Say hi to the cousins for me! Love Wyatt” – Wyatt


“What’s up, we just finished backpacking in Yellowstone National Park. Hope y’all are having fun in Greece! I really enjoyed backpacking and seeing all the cool campsites. I’m looking forward to the activities we have planned for this week. See y’all soon! Love Garrett” – Garrett


Learning to Fly Fish in Jackson Hole!

July 15, 2023

Greetings from Wyoming! We are happy to report that all is well on YEL3!! In less than 24 hours, this group of 10 strangers has turned into a close knit family in such a short time!! After everyone’s safe arrival and name game introductions, we headed into Jackson to buy fishing licenses in anticipation for our day with the Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School. After that, we introduced how to set up tents, showed the layout of our lovely Gros Ventre campground, and taught them some campground etiquette. Following that, our group was pleasantly surprised with warm pizzas from Jackson’s Pinky G’s for dinner. This was definitely a crowd favorite and just what everyone needed after a long day of traveling! After continuing to get to know each other for the rest of the night, we had our very first Moonup where we all shared what we were looking to get out of the trip. After a very successful arrival day, Pat and Julia were named our LODs (leaders of the day) for our next day where we would learn how to fish on the Snake River!

We got up bright and early to prepare for our day of fishing. We started the day off strong with some breakfast sandwiches and hit the road to meet our fly fishing guides. We spent the first half of our morning learning about the native cutthroat trout particularly their diet and how to “match the hatch.” We took a nature walk to observe the stoneflies, mayflies, and caddis that we found in the stream. We then got right into learning how to cast and eventually how to catch a fish! After everyone became experts at casting, we had a casting competition where Garrett took home the cake! Julia and Francie were right on his heels though. Afterwards, we headed to the river to put our skills into practice. Hall, Wyatt, and Garrett headed with our guide Will where Garrett and Hall snagged one fish each. Pat, Sam, and Owen went with our guide Jake where they each got one fish, and Sam had a monster cutthroat! And then our four girls Francie, Jane, Julia, and Isabelle headed with Alicia and Austin where Isabelle brought home two whitefish!! It was a successful day, and all of the kids learned a ton about fly fishing! After a long day on the water, we headed back to camp to prep for backpacking. Everyone learned how to pack a pack, bear protocol, lighting protocol, and water purification to prepare for our six days in Yellowstone’s backcountry. We have a great group of listeners, and they have worked hard prepping for this trip, so we are confident that they are going to crush backpacking!! We will send our next update when we return from the woods!!


Signing off for now,

Lucy and Reed



“Hey mom and dad this is sick, see you soon” Pat

“Hey mom and dad I’m having a great time, I won’t be excited To leave” Sam

“Hey mom and dad having a great time, Almost caught a fish” Wyatt

“Hey Fam Wyoming is swag the people are cool, say hi to everyone for me” Julia

“Hey guys having fun in Wyoming, it’s cool love Francie” francie

“Hey mom and dad I’m having a lot of fun it’s very pretty here, love you” Jane

“What up Fam having a great time in Wyoming, I have a great group and great leaders having a great time” Hall

“Hey mom and dad I, having a lot of fun, I love my group, love you guys” Isabelle

“Hey guys I’m having a lot fun I’m Wyoming it’s really beautiful, I caught a fish yesterday. Love and miss you guys. Love O” Owen

“What’s up guys I’m having a lot of fun on Moondance, hope you’re having fun In Greece, love the animals here. I’m really missing showers right now. Miss you guys” Garrett

Arrived in Jackson!

July 14, 2023

Hello Yellowstone Families!

We heard from our leaders late yesterday evening 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!

-Moondance HQ


  • Francie
  • Garrett
  • Hall
  • Isabelle
  • Jane
  • Julia
  • Patrick
  • Sam Vander
  • Wyatt