On the morning of March 25, 2013, The Wayfaring Band assembled at Denver’s temporary train station. Tour leaders Andrea Moore, Pavel Reppo, Chris Ardelt, and Megan Lyons welcomed band members Preston, Mackenzie, Eli, Jeff, Erik, Mandy, Peter, David, Sophie, Carter, and Zane with enthusiasm. At 8:05am, we boarded the Amtrak train to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, riding the rails like so many great adventurers before us. We rented a stunning vacation house right on the Roaring Fork River, and for five days and four nights we explored one of Colorado’s most treasured historic towns.

 

The swing was pretty awesome. I’m glad that it’s over with. It was nice hanging out with you guys: you guys are dope. You guys are beyond dope.– Mackenzie Beauvais-Nikl, band member

 

On Monday evening we prepared a family dinner at the house and unwound after a long but lovely train ride. We were up bright and early on Tuesday morning, ready to conquer the Hanging Lake hike in Glenwood Canyon. We made it halfway up the steep trail before icy conditions forced us to turn back, but we kept our spirits high by inventing trail songs and enjoying the breathtaking scenery. That evening we grilled burgers on our deck overlooking the river, followed by s’mores around the fire pit.

 

Wednesday we piled onto the public bus and rode over to the base of the gondola, where we ascended to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Andrea and Peter took advantage of the time in the gondola to film their traditional Australian-accent news report, which is available for your viewing pleasure here. Once at the top of the mountain, we toured the underground fairy caves, enjoyed 4-D movie trailers, raced down the mountain on the Alpine Coaster, and even rode a terrifying swing over the canyon:

 

 

That evening we relaxed at home and devoured a dinner of grilled chicken, brown rice, and grilled veggies including asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and even pineapple! It was delicious, and we were very impressed with the handiwork of tour leader Chris, our accomplished grillmaster.

 

Thursday we missed our morning bus into town by just a few minutes, but that didn’t stop the band! We earned our name that morning, literally wayfaring on foot into Glenwood, to the tune of 2.5 miles. Every member of the band walked the whole distance, and no one complained at all. It was an invigorating start to the day! We were happy to rest our feet at Mountain Valley Textiles, a production weaving studio and retail shop where adults experiencing developmental disabilities weave beautiful fabric on traditional wooden looms. Several of the weavers were working that morning, and they warmly welcomed the band and showcased their talents. We had lunch in the park, where we discovered a fascinating new animal species that is part turtle, part David, part Chris, and very fond of Capri Sun. There’s even an Australian nature show about this weird and wacky creature! Our antics in the park were followed by an afternoon dip at the famous Glenwood Hot Springs. Finally, we celebrated band member Mackenzie’s 18th birthday that evening with pizza and cake. It was a fun and fulfilling day, and we went to sleep tired but satisfied.

 

On Friday, March 29, we returned to the train station to catch the 12:10pm train back to Denver. With visits to the observation and dining cars, the hours flew by. Before we knew it, we were rolling back into our hometown of Denver, where we were greeted by the smiles and hugs of our fabulous family members.

 

We had a fantastic journey into the high country, and we were truly moved by the kindness, compassion, humor, and generosity of the good people of Glenwood Springs. The Wayfaring Band extends our sincere thanks to everyone who participated and who helped make this adventure possible. Our train was bound for glory… and glorious it was. See you next tour!

 

Photo Gallery


The first band members to arrive this morning were Peter and Erik... ready to wayfare!Daddy Rafe helps his boys board the train. A huge shout-out to all our parents for your help and patience!David gleefully boarding the train our first day.The California Zephyr: Chicago to San Fran.Good morning! The wheels are turning and the band is officially ON TOUR!!A light snack for Andrea as we continue our journey. Zane cares for his little bro on the train.
Pavel does what he does best: he powers our engine with his dreams!Sophie and her irreplaceable jacket!Incredible scenery from the train window.Surrounded by beauty.The band has arrived in Glenwood Springs. Success!A photo with the friendly conductor.Our luggage was delivered on an old-fashioned cart.
All aboard! The California Zephyr train continues its westward journey, leaving the band to have a rocking week!On the walk to Safeway we crossed a bridge over the Roaring Fork River.Meals shall be cooked and enjoyed now that we have groceries! Thank you to Team Shopping.All smiles day one!Mackenzie made this poster before dinner tonight: "The Wayfaring Band -- where the cool people are." Thanks, girl!Looking for Carter? No need to worry: Megan has superhuman Carter radar.Family dinner!
Another day down! Lights-out for these happy adventurers.Time to power our engine with our dreams. See you tomorrow!A group pic of the whole band as we embarked on the Hanging Lake hike.Eli rounding out the pack. Making progress......but then we hit the ice patch. And it turns out that hiking straight up a mountain on an ice slick is challenging, to say the least.We decided to turn back while everyone was still injury-free, but we made it about halfway up!
Megan and Mackenzie celebrate a beautiful day in the canyon.David and Andrea are friends forever!Zane is king of Glenwood Canyon.Our beautiful state of Colorado.Apparently, nothing is funnier than a good thumb war. Just ask Megan and Mandy!Eli and Sophie make up their own card game.Jeff and Erik help Chris grill up some burgers on the deck.
EJ is a happy band member!Chris is a master griller. Burgers, baked potatoes, and even baked beans go straight on the grill.A blazing mallow!Men in the mirror.Friends who brush together blush together.Carter wayfares even in his sleep. Have backpack, will travel.The band is rocking some public transportation this morning.
There is only one way to get where we are going...and that way is UP!!David, Andrea, and Carter kissed by the sun. The beautiful view inside the gondola. We went on an amazing cave tour deep in the belly of the earth.Stalactites galore: this is the second biggest underground room in Colorado.David and Mackenzie: relieved it is over!AAAAAHHH!!! Zane and Andrea cling to each other for dear life on the canyon swing!
On top of the world!4D movie theatre.Climbing back up the mountain on the coaster.David on the alpine coaster!Wayfarers of the old west!Carter doing what Carter does.Mission accomplished! Thank you Tom, Wade, Kenny, and everyone else who put smiles on our faces today. What a blast!
A ginger of few words tries hitching a ride home.Grilled chicken, squash, asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, and rice. Plus grilled pineapple for dessert. YUM!Sophie says good morning from our beautiful rental home on the Roaring Fork River.Eagle Bear Man.We missed our bus, so we walked two miles into town instead of waiting for the next one. Wayfaring for the win!Peter admires the handiwork of weaver Michael.Mandy meets weaver Kristin, who is hard at work making placemats.
Andrea buys a basket that weaver Michael made.Jeff is king of the Springs!Chris and company keeping it coooool.Sprawling in the warm sun at lunchtime.Our Blue Steel is better than yours.Laughter, pyramids, and Australian nature show!Crossing the bridge over the Colorado River.
Glenwood Hot Springs. Woohoo!David is a machine on the water slide!Erik on the slide. Success!The pizza box knows best. Happy birthday Mack Attack!!Late night dog pile and giggle fest. Love always wins!Bye Glenwood! We had a great week!
Back at the station.Deluxe bedroom car on the train! How is that for swag, Mackenzie?Sophie and Jeff show off their pearly whites.We are home! It was an incredible journey marked by adventure, friendship, and amazing challenges.Pavel, Pa-velle, Pasha...Which one do you prefer?Pavel flaunts his shirt. Nice meet!Four happy band managers. See you next tour!

 

You all are such amazing people! Preston had such a great time; he talked my ear off the whole way home! Thank you for everything. We feel so blessed to know you and look forward to the next incredible adventure with “The Band.” Rock on!!– Angela Augur, mother