For info on the 2021 adventure, click here.
At this exact moment we would have been out in Yellowstone National Park country enjoying the scenery, wildlife, and amazing features of the area. But COVID-19 postponed those plans for a year. So...just think...one year from today we'll be out there taking advantage of all we missed this summer. It will be worth the wait. The 2021 adventure will be our eighth trip to Wyoming & Montana.
For info on the 2021 adventure, click here.
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So it’s a bit late to sign up for this summer, but we want you to know sign-ups are open now for our 2020 season. We’ll be having just one trip – but’s a doozy and we’re to the place where we’ve been more than any other: Wyoming & Montana. Info can be found, along with the application, at:
The Great Teton National Park and the Snake River
It was a year ago today that we were in London near the beginning of our 20-day adventure that would take us by train to some of Europe’s most iconic sites. About the time of this post we were finishing up our walking tour with our guide and finding our way to the West End to see a production of “School of Rock, The Musical.” Kids loved it and the show made for a nice end to the London portion of our trip. By mid-morning the next day we were traveling by Eurostar to Paris.
Our new season of adventures gets underway ten days from today with a five-day trip to the North Carolina High Country. We will pack in an amazing number and variety of activities in this short experience. In July we’ll be in New England for 12 days. And for sure, just like last year’s Europe and Virginia Highlands trips, no day is ever the same.
We hope you’ll follow our travels here on Facebook as we get underway.
And if you’re curious about 2020, we’re heading out to Wyoming & Montana for ten days in July. Sign-ups have started and you can read more here: http://www.mindstretchadventures.com/2020-wyoming--montana.html
On the Cover! Nothing like old news, but the Christ Church Episcopal School magazine from last spring was buried beneath a ton of other old magazines around my house. These two are both "retired" MindStretch Travel Adventures campers. The magazine is from last year so both guys are now ninth graders.
Tripp (left) is a veteran of four MTA trips including Europe, Colorado Rockies, Wyoming - Montana, and North Carolina Mountains. And Benn has two under his belt -- West Virginia - Tennessee and the North Carolina Mountains.
We're excited that Tripp's little brother, Nate, will be joining us for his first adventure this coming summer on the North Carolina High Country 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
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 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."
Visiting Firehole Falls in Yellowstone National Park
We’re all home, well kind of. One leader stayed out in the Tetons for another ten days, one leader is in Massachusetts for a family event, one boy went fly fishing on the Snake River in Idaho for a few days, and a few more are staying with grandparents or friends for another day or two. But most of us are home – albeit about ninety minutes late. Our flight was early leaving Jackson Hole Airport and arrived in Dallas-Ft. Worth a tad bit early. But our flight from there to Greenville-Spartanburg had a couple of delays for mechanical reasons. But we’re not going to let an hour and a half change the successes of our 12-day adventure. It’s all an adventure right?
It was a great trip. We did a lot and the boys and leaders learned a lot about living and working together in a big group. We had 20 boys and four leaders on this trip – the largest group I’ve ever taken. It was a group that got along amazingly well. We had three sets of brothers, also another first. And our group was complimented at least eight times and possibly as many as ten depending on who was counting. This has never happened. We usually average three or four compliments in a good year and zero in a bad year. Don’t get me wrong. We got zero compliments last year and I attributed that to our large group of seventeen boys and those guys last year were a great group of kids. But this year’s group proved the theory wrong that big groups couldn’t get compliments. Twenty boys this year and a mess of compliments and I am very proud. I’m sure I still owe them some treats! They didn’t ask for IOUs, but I’m sure those boys who come on a future trip will remember exactly how many treats they’re due.
The gang at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming
To recap, we spent four nights in Jackson, Wyoming; four nights in Gardiner, Montana; two nights in Cody, Wyoming; and one night in Dubois, Wyoming. We hiked in the Grand Teton National Park and in Yellowstone National Park. We explored lots of geothermal features in Yellowstone and saw tons of wildlife including four bears, hundreds of bison, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and more. We witnessed Old Faithful and eruptions of other smaller geysers. We rafted on the Yellowstone River, took a horseback trail ride in Cody, and attended a rodeo. We had a docent-guided program about Buffalo Bill at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and another docent program at the National Bighorn Sheep Center. We chowed down on a western chuck wagon dinner at the Bar J Ranch and were entertained by the resident singing (and joking) cowboy wranglers. We drove into Idaho to have a world-famous milkshake at the Victor Emporium and we explored all the small towns and cities where we were staying. We saw incredible views of mountains and rivers and valleys. We went swimming in our motel pools, folded our laundry at a Laundromat, found three geocaches, played miniature golf, and picked up enough souvenirs to help several local economies. We saw a cowboy shootout (re-enactment) and walked the dusty street of a recreated Western town. And we ate a lot – a whole lot.
Boys were able to see friends they hadn’t seen in a year and many boys made new friends. I personally feel that everyone experienced some personal growth during our adventure.
I want to thank my three adult leaders for all their help and friendship – Ray Thompson, Howard Yarborough, and Jeff Peisner were incredibly capable and willing to step in and do whatever was necessary to see that the trip ran smoothly and safely and that everyone was having a great time. I also want to thank my student counselors – Mark Gilbert, Stephen Baker, Jack Lozyniak, and Hunter Smith for again showing me how misunderstood older teens can be. These boys were absolutely wonderful. I would take them anywhere and actually, three of them already planning their next adventure with me for the summer of 2013.
Joining a friend in downtown Jackson Hole, Wyoming
And thanks also to my upcoming student counselors – Jack Eatherly, Ben Bryan, and Jon Bryan. They were also very helpful and stepped up to the plate many times to lend a hand.
Of course, thanks to the younger boys who made the trip so much fun – Jack Riley, Becker Andry, Avery Wall, Thomas May, Brooks Sullivan, Will Rasco, Robert Harlan, Wills Clarke, Jackson Woodard, Aidan Lamb, David Gilbert, Connor Hovendon, and Ras Andry. I don’t know where they get their non-stop energy, but it’s contagious. It keeps me young.
Each year boys usually ask how much longer I plan to run these trips and I tell them as long as “I’m” having a good time. And so, did I have a good time? You bet! I can’t wait to next year.
Thanks boys, thanks leaders, thanks parents.
And that’s a wrap. MindStretch Travel Adventures Wyoming & Montana 2012 is now history
Click to see some photos from our 2012 adventures.
Our excitement has been building for months and tomorrow morning it all reaches a frenzy as we meet the boys at the airport. We're off for our 12-day adventure to the mountains of Wyoming & Montana including stays in Jackson, Cody, and Dubois in Wyoming and Gardiner in Montana. We'll hike, explore, raft, horseback ride, geocache, take in a rodeo, a couple museums, a tram, a chuck wagon dinner...and a whole lot more. Everything is a highlight on this trip, but getting to hike in the Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks is truly magical.
Check this blog out each day for updates on our adventures including photo or two and a link to a full set of photos from the activities.
Thanks to all the parents and grandparents for your support.
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.