July 13, 2018
I am sitting in the SFO airport writing this final trip update as all of our precious students are departing ways. We cannot believe the trip is actually ending, considering how fast it went by. Although our hearts are heavy as we leave one another, we can’t help but be filled with joy when thinking about the past two weeks together. So many memories, friendships, and bonds were made that we will keep with us forever. We definitely ended the trip on a positive note.
We arrived at our final campsite in Half Moon Bay, where we camped right at the beach! Our first day of surfing was great as our LODs Molly and William set the tone with their incredible surfing skills! They encouraged everyone to get on their boards and really “shred the gnar” like pros. That night we were able to have moonup on the beach, followed by a glow stick dance party! By our second day of surfing, everyone was hanging ten all the way to shore! Dixon and Webber sure did embrace the surfing lifestyle as they got up on their boards like it was nothing! After surfing, we went to the local thrift store to find the most stylish outfits for banquet night. Gloria, Lucy, Avery and AG sure did take on banquet as if it were the red carpet as they showed up in sequins, dresses, and heels. Henry and Teaghen embraced a different style when they chose some fashionable sunglasses, sweatshirts, and light up sneakers. Wynn and William chose a more classic beach look with their Hawaiian shirts and sandals!
Once we all had our outfits ready, we headed to our banquet dinner where we enjoyed lots of pizza, wings, and breadsticks – quite the luxury after cooking our own meals for the past two weeks! During our banquet, we had our very own award show with different superlatives, which were pretty easy to decide on after getting to know the kids so well the past two weeks. After banquet, we headed back to the campsite for one final moonup led by Myers and Dixon. During moonup we reflected on our time spent together, our favorite memories, and what we want to take home with us from the trip. Many of the answers included a lifestyle of living in the moment, stepping out of comfort zones, and embracing new relationships. It is hard to believe the trip has come and gone so quickly, but I can definitely say that there was not one moment that we did not fully embrace the experience we were having.
Thank you, parents, for trusting us with your precious cargo for the past two weeks. Thank you for allowing us to embrace, mentor, and experience incredible things with your children. Thank you, kids, for giving up a part of your summer to spend it with us. Thank you for fully being yourself, stepping out of your comfort zones, and living in the moment with us. You all hold a special place in our hearts, and the past two weeks have been some we will hold onto for the rest of our lives. You are incredible human beings and are going to do great things in the world. You are all leaders, creators, inspirers, and friends. We love you dearly and cannot wait to see where life takes you.
Allie, Lucy and Brandon
July 11, 2018
We are driving to San Francisco to make the journey across the great Golden Gate Bridge and gearing up to shred the gnar tomorrow in Half Moon Bay but most importantly we are all so confused where the time went. How is it possible that we are on the way to our last campsite?!
We finished our time in Yosemite by venturing into the valley to hike Sentinal Dome. As we drove into the valley we were greeted by breathtaking views. When we arrived at the trail head to Sentinal Dome LODS Ann Gerard and Teaghen gave some hiking inspiration with a motivational quote as we began our journey to the top. At the top of we were amazed at the view, we were able to see both El Cap & Half Dome. We enjoyed our chicken salad sandwiches, had ourselves a photo shoot then William and Dixon led us on our journey back down. We loaded up the van to head to our next destination, Point Reyes! Per usual our road trip was filled with lots of jam sessions with Henry and Webber performing their own punk rock version of Let It Go. We had the infamous In-n-Out burger for dinner, the group gave it their stamp of approval! We arrived at our campsite in Point Reyes and everyone was beat after a long day of traveling, we set up camp, had moon up and hit the hay.
Our first full day in point Reyes was full of exploring the wildlife and the beautiful shoreline. Our LODS Lucy and Henry lead the way as we hiked down to the Point Reyes lighthouse where we got to see some sea lions and even had a whale sighting! After our trip to the lighthouse we spent the rest of the day relaxing at Heart Desire beach. Myers and Molly braved the cold water and went for a quick swim while Wynn requested to be buried in the sand by Avery and Gloria. We made our way back to our campsite where we played a good ole game of baseball, using a stick as the bat. It’s safe to say we have some natural born athletes in this group! We worked up quite the appetite after our game, Teaghen, Wynn and Dixon cooked us up some delicious spaghetti with some veggies for our last night in Point Reyes.
We packed up camp after our breakfast this morning and began our drive to San Francisco ready to conquer the Golden Gate Bridge. After our walk across the bridge we headed over to Sausalito to do some sock shopping and enjoyed a sandwich in the park before traveling to our final campsite in Half Moon Bay.
Our time together is coming to an end and we cannot believe it. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know your very special kids, thank you for sharing them with us! We can’t wait to share more laughs and create more memories over our last few days together.
Talk to you soon!
Lucy Allie & Brandon
July 8, 2018
Hello from the beautiful Tuolumne Meadows of Yosemite! CAL B enjoyed a beautiful Fourth of July at Oh Ridge where we spent the evening barbecuing and Myers shared her supply of patriotic stickers with the group! Lucy, Avery, and Ann Gerard were on cook crew for the night and treated us all to a feast of burgers, hot dogs, and mac n cheese. With water balloons, decorations, and stickers the group was feeling festive!
The next day the group traveled to the towering Lembert Dome to embark on the Dog Lake hike. LODs Wynn and Molly led the group, as they navigated the steep terrain, provided motivation, and ensured we were all properly hydrated. We stopped for lunch and Wynn setup his Eno to share. After the hike, CAL B traveled further into Yosemite to soak up the sun and enjoy the sandy beach of Tenaya Lake.
We awoke early the next morning, packed up camp, and traveled back into Yosemite for the group’s first day of climbing with the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Our guides, Aaron and Josh, distributed gear and led the hike to Puppy Dome. Henry, William and Lucy quickly set the tone and successfully climbed their pitches on the first attempt! It was a team effort, with Webber, Teaghen, and Dixon belaying on the ground. Those three immediately switched spots and tried their hand at climbing. The rest of the day was spent with the students working together to belay and climb until every student climbed.
After a long day of climbing, the group traveled to our new campsite beneath Mammoth Mountain. Here, we setup our tents alongside the rushing water of a creek as Molly, Ann Gerard, and Wynn prepared Jambalaya for dinner. It was a smash hit, as Dixon drowned it in Tabasco and Teaghen discovered a new delicious meal!
Our second day of climbing involved a new style, called crack climbing. It involved leveraging our fingers and toes into cracks to propel ourselves upward! Although, apprehensive, CAL B tackled the mountain with ease! Avery was a true team player, belaying multiple people and assisting her friends in the climbs. Gloria, Dixon, Myers, and William took on the challenge of climbing the hardest route, rated a 5.8, and were victorious! In between climbs, the group enjoyed some GORP and perched up to take in the spectacular view of Daff Dome. Yosemite’s beauty moved us all.
After climbing, the CALB went into the mountain town of Mammoth and celebrated their hard work with ice cream. We all are so motivated, excited, and optimistic for our journey tomorrow into Yosemite Valley!
Looking forward to the next challenge!
Allie, Brandon, and Lucy
July 5, 2018
Hello all from California B!
Our trip has been off to a great start so far filled with lots of new friendships formed and adventures endeavored! On Day 1, we had ourselves a party as we celebrated William’s birthday filled with cake, a decorated van, and some crazy party hats. How can you not be in high spirits when a birthday party is the start of the trip?! Our first LODs (leaders of the day) Webber and Ann Gerard set the tone for our first full day as we started the morning with a yummy pancake breakfast, then hit the rapids of the American River! Despite the cold water, our group was not afraid to get wet, especially Dixon and Teaghen as they embraced the rapids in the front seat. By the second day of rafting, we were pros! Our favorite rapid called Trouble Maker almost threw Myers, Lucy and Gloria out of the raft, but thankfully we all managed to stay in! After our rafting expedition, we hit the road to Lake Tahoe, and man, what a place! The group was in awe of the lake’s beauty from the crystal clear water, snowy mountains, sandy beaches, and green forests all in one! We enjoyed a nice dinner at Tahoe where Avery whipped out her incredible cooking skills as she made delicious quesadillas for everyone! Not to mention Molly and Wynn’s crazy good bbq chicken and mashed potatoes they made the night before! The next day we headed to Emerald Bay where we began our kayaking adventure. We kayaked all around some of the prettiest parts of Lake Tahoe and learned about all of its incredible history from our guides. We enjoyed a nice lunch on the beach, and even got to visit one of the only islands in all of Lake Tahoe! Our kayaking adventure ended in a race, in which Webber and Henry took the prize. On July 4th, we went paddle boarding, in which we quickly realized we do not have the best balancers in the group, as most of us ended up in the water! After paddle boarding, we stumbled upon the one and only Lake Tahoe Fourth of July parade. Now all decked out in our red, white and blue, we are energized and ready to go to Yosemite! Our group has already bonded so quickly and have made some incredible memories. We want to wish all of our friends and family a happy Fourth of July from California! We’ll talk to y’all soon!
-Allie, Lucy and Brandon
The kiddos have some shout outs to give…
Hi mom and dad! Having the best time ever! Love you. -Henry
What’s up Jen and Rusty it’s lit here! -Webber
Hi mom having fun miss you! -Dixon
Hey mom, dad, and Will! I miss you so much! xo -Myers
Hey mom and dad! Having a great time. Love, Teaghen
Hi mom and dad! I’m having so much fun!! Miss you. -Molly
Hey y’all I’m having so much fun! Love and miss y’all. -AG
Hey mom, dad, lil and chris! Having fun! Love y’all. -Gloria
Hey mom and dad! I am having the best time! Miss and love y’all lots! xoxo -Lucy
Hey mom and dad! Having a great time, so glad I’m here! Love, Avery
Mom and dad, thank you for sending me to Moondance! -Wynn
Dear mom and dad, I’m having a great time. Thank you for sending me it’s great! -William
July 2, 2018
We heard from Brandon, Allie, and Lucy, and the trip is off to a “golden” start! Stay tuned for more updates from the leaders over the next few days.