Click to check it out.
It's been about twenty years since wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park. Check out this fascinating four-minute video. I'm really looking forward to being back out in Yellowstone & the Grand Tetons and other parts of Wyoming & Montana this coming July.
Click to check it out.
Photo from our last trip Yellowstone National Park in 2012. Can't wait to be back this summer with 23 boys.
This time last year we had only one boy enrolled for our two domestic trips. Fast forward a year and we're up to the 85% full point...and that is exciting. We still have room, but only limited space on the Wyoming & Montana trip (maybe two openings). At this moment we have plenty of space on the West Virginia-Tennessee adventure.
I'm in the process of sending our printed material to folks on the mailing list and hope to get our fall online newsletter out within the next two weeks. But being a one-person shop (during this time of year), it's a slow process. But you don't have to wait.
Click to see the printed flyer that's going out.
And click this clink to see just some of the reasons why you might love a trip with MTA.
Of course, you don't have to read anything to sign up. Well, other than the application. Click here to access the online application to get a head start on your 2016 summer adventures.
These were some of our 2015 boys of summer, the crew that joined us for the Tennessee trip.
He's smiling because he's the first to sign up for our 2016 trip to Wyoming & Montana. Yes, that's 2016!
And his folks are smiling because they'll get a nice early sign-up discount. All boys signing up for either trip prior to August 1, 2015 will get the discount and you don't even pay a deposit until then.
It's a win-win.
To find out about our 8-day trip to the West Virginia & Tennessee Mountains and our 14-day trip to Wyoming & Montana...click the link below.
2016 MTA Trip Information
Today was another fun day which started with a great tube ride down the Greenbrier River. The Greenbrier Campground folks supplied the tubes, PFDs, and shuttle ride to our put-in a couple of miles upriver from their campground and we floated a few leisurely miles back. The river was mostly gentle currents with a few minor rapids for excitement. We did have a few people get knocked from a tube but needless to say, all were able to get back in. One boys did lose his tube when he went through one rapid and had to wait on the side of the bank for rescue by leader Brent Roberts and camper Sebi. Awesome Adam, as he came to be called remained calm and collected until Brent was able to get over to him to let him double up in Sebi's tube until they could reach Adam's original tube. In the end, it was a nice ride and everyone enjoyed it.
The campground had a basketball and sand volleyball court and many of the boys had an opportunity to play a little before lunch. THey also had a small playground that a few boys enjoyed.
Campers and leaders always seem to be hungry so lunch was next on the agenda. No two meals are ever eaten at the same time and today's lunch was another late one and definitely unique. We ate at Stuart''s Dawg House (sometimes called Smokehouse). Hog Dogs were the specialty at this Tiki-themed cafe in the wilderness overlooking the Greenbrier River. Hot dogs are the house specialty and since the restaurant only had one cook and waitress wrapped into one body, the leaders helped serve up some tasty hotdogs. We loved this restaurant with the 20 foot hot dog as part of their sign.
We also spent a little time swimming today or just relaxing around the rooms. The kids are really working hard to get know everyone's name and that has been great. Dinner was in the town of Lewisburg at a pizza place.. After dinner we did drive around the town of Lewisburg just to check it out as it was named the "Coolest Small City in America" for 2011. It is a nice little town but not much that would interest kids.
Click to see photos.
We had a wonderful 12-day trip out to Wyoming & Montana this past summer. Check out some scenes of our trip and think about joining us for one of two upcoming trips in 2013. We'll be going to the West Virginia mountains for a week in June and to Europe, traveling by Eurail, in July.
We saw lots of great wildlife this past summer while out in Wyoming & Montana. And while the boys are generally interested in staring out the van windows wide-eyed and ready for anything...nothing gets them tuned in like a little challenge. So in a moment of "not thinking" I offered cash rewards for being the first to spot certain wildlife. I figured I was safe saying things like $50 for a wolf because I knew how rare that would be. I probably would have been safe offering a hundred bucks for a wolf.
And so on it went. I knew we would see bison, and elk, and antelope and offered "small" cash payouts for being the first to spot any of those species. Of course seeing a bear is always a possibility but still pretty rare so I thought I was safe in offering $20 for seeing a bear. Then one boy asked what about if they saw a bear with cubs. I knew that was doubtful so upped the stakes a bit. I can't remember to how much but from the photo you can imagine what happened within minutes. We were traveling a road in Yellowstone when we turned a corner and you guessed it -- a momma bear with a couple of cubs. (You can only see one cub in this photo.) Did I learn a lesson. You bet! I would do this again.
We had a great time out in Wyoming & Montana this past July. It was the first MTA experience for 60 percent of our group this summer and I think most would agree it was a fun time. The other 40 percent of the boys have been on two, three, four, and even five MTA trips before. They knew what they were getting into, but of course - every trip, every day is a different experience. It's just one of the things that differentiates these programs from a typical summer camp experience. The boys this summer hiked and explored in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, rafted the Yellowstone River, took a horseback trail ride in Cody, visited a couple of museums, saw a rodeo, and of course - got glimpses of lots of wildlife including a mama bear with two cubs, bison, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep. Click to see some photos from our most recent trip.
And we're always looking ahead...
Boys are already signing up for our 2013 trips. The first up (June 2013) is a seven-day experience in the West Virginia mountains. We'll base in the Greenbrier River Valley area which has plenty of great activities to keep us as busy as we want to be. We'll get to hike, explore, tube, take a train ride, visit America's best-kept secret, bike on the Greenbrier River Trail, and much more. The activities are suitable for all ages starting with boys who will have finished the third grade. Click for more info on West Virginia.
The Europe by Eurail expedition will be our major trip for 2013. This is our fourth adventure across the Atlantic. Can you imagine traveling across Europe by train getting to choose where you want to visit, how long you want to stay, what you want to see? This is exactly how we do it. We will have reservations for the first two or three and last two or three nights - then every day in-between is up to us. This trip already has a waiting list, but if you're interested in joining us there's always a chance. Most of the boys have been signed up since January or February and circumstances do change. So click to read more and let me know if you want to add your name to the roster. There's a chance we'll do another trip to Europe as soon as 2014 or 2015 since these trips have always had very strong demand.
Don't have time to read all the blogs from our great trip. Take a three-minute "View master" look back at our 12-day adventure to Wyoming & Montana. You should let the video load for a minute or so before hitting "play."
This group of boys had a minor run-in with the Cody law.
We had a busy day of adventures as we left Yellowstone National Park for Cody, Wyoming.
We took the park road out of Yellowstone that passes through Lamar Valley which is known for its abundant wildlife.
We weren't disappointed with our viewings. Today we saw another bear (the second one of the trip - the fourth if you count the two cubs we saw with their mama a few days earlier. We also saw antelope and great herds of bison including a couple really close up.
As we left the park boundary we took the Beartooth Scenic Byway up to Cooke City, Montana where we stopped for one of the boys' compliment treats at the Cooke City General Store which dates back over a hundred years. After our treat we took the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway across Indian Pass (8,000 feet elevation) down to Cody.
We checked into the Moose Creek Lodge in Cody and then immediately drove out to the Buffalo Bill Dam to check it out. On the way back into town we stopped at the Tecumseh Trading Post which features an incredible private museum of the Old West including a miniature representation of the entire history of the West. The boys found it pretty amazing. They also loved the stuff for sale in the Trading Post.
We returned to our motel and walked the two blocks to downtown where we witnessed the Cody Cowboys Shootout, a Cody tradition. It takes place in front of the historic Irma Hotel - Buffalo Bill's hotel he built in honor of his daughter.
We gave the boys money for dinner and they could, in small groups, choose their own place for dinner. One group actually decided to pool their money and eat in the Hotel Irma dining room. After dinner, boys had time to explore some of downtown Cody.
It was a busy day and the kids are really enjoying themselves.
It should also be noted that the boys picked up two compliments today. The manager of the motel in Gardiner said they were great as did the store clerk at the Cooke City General Store. So that's five total compliments this trip and that sets a MTA record.
Click to see photos from our adventure.
We spent all day today exploring many of the geyser basins in Yellowstone. We saw geysers, mud pots, bubbling rivers, and more.
It's hard to describe these geothermal features except to say they are totally fascinating.
Kids enjoyed the short hikes on boardwalks around the various features. Many of these are spouting water that's over the boiling point.
We also had a great wildlife viewing today including Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, bison, and elk.
After our 8 hours in the park, we had one of our compliment treats back in Gardiner, and then we had a big crowd in the pool.
It was another great day. No compliments today, but the kids are still staying reasonably calm. Now it's time to go out to dinner. Tomorrow we're off to Cody.
Click to see photos from our big adventure.
Check out this short video of one of the geothermal features.
I never imagined that when I started taking kids on travel trips in 1978 that I would still be taking trips today! It has been a great ride and I'm looking forward to more.