Fly into beautiful San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance where you meet your Moondance leaders and the rest of your group. You will all head to the first nights campsite together as excitement builds for the adventures ahead. That night you will get to know each other a little better and discuss your goals and expectations for the trip to come.
Travel to Pacifica where you will surf today. You won’t waste any time as you spend a few hours in the morning with surf instructors who will work with you at the basics of surfing and how to stand up on a board. They will cater to everyone’s developing skill levels as you encourage one another along the way. Lunch will likely be spent beachside but the excitement for the Redwoods may drive you to decide to change location first. Either way, the afternoon will be spent amongst some of the tallest and most massive trees in the world. Be prepared to be blown away.
Your group will head east towards Yosemite National Park in time for a day hike to one of many pristine lakes in the Yosemite area. This will be a great time for your group to explore all the beauty that the park has to offer and discover your own private swimming holes amongst the scenery. Your campsite in the park will be equally gorgeous and a great place for the new friendship to take form.
Now that you have a feel for the park, it will be time to get a different view of it. Your group will meet professional climbing guides and gear up for two days of rock climbing unlike any other. You will learn and practice all the fundamentals of rock climbing, including knot tying, route assessment, rope etiquette and communication, all under the close supervision of experienced professionals. Yosemite has a large variety of climbs with various degrees of difficulty, which allows you to challenge yourself appropriately as your skills improve. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn over the course of two days on Yosemite’s granite wonderland – not to mention how amazing the views are from the top. After two days of rock climbing you will have one more day for a day hike and a trip to Half Dome.
Your group may have a tough time waving goodbye to the Yosemite landscape, but the adjustment should come easy when you reach Lake Tahoe. Known for its crystal clear water and breath-taking panorama of surrounding mountains, you’ll spend your first afternoon there on a casual day hike to Horsetail Falls and Echo Lake. Enjoy a well deserved swim at the falls or just relax on the granite paradise that encompasses the area. Enjoy a big dinner and then grab your sleeping bag and sleep under the California stars with your new friends. The next day will be a real treat as you group hops in some sea kayaks and heads out onto the bright blue lake for a tour of Emerald Bay State Park, a National Natural Landmark and one of the few underwater parks to exist. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you make your way along the shoreline until reaching the Vikingsholm Castle. Built in 1929 mostly from materials found at Lake Tahoe, this mansion on the shore used old-fashioned construction methods and has no nails or spikes in many places. Then check out the accompanying “Tea House” on Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe.
Once again you may struggle to move on from paradise, but your next adventure may be one of the most exciting. Your group will don helmets and life jackets for your overnight rafting trip down the South Fork of the American River. You will meet your guides in the morning to go over techniques that will help your group efficiently handle the class II and class III rapids that await you. Teamwork will be essential for success, and your group will witness the benefits of having spent more than a week working as a unit. You will camp beside the river and enjoy stories from the action-packed day around a roaring campfire. Then hop back in your rafts the next morning and continue on down through some more world famous rapids, such as the Chili Bar Run or the Gorge Run. You can decide during this adventure whether to keep your eyes on the horizon in search of wildlife or focused down on the ground in search of gold remnants. This was after all where gold was discovered to spark the California Gold Rush.
This will be your final day with each other and spent however your group sees fit. The tasks of the day are cleaning the gear and the van before deciding on a place to have your final banquet as a group. This is time to spend remembering the best moments of your adventure and exchanging information with one another in order to stay in touch. After the final banquet you will all share a final “moon up” and embrace one another’s company before the next day’s travels out of San Francisco.