For the last twenty years we’ve gathered all sorts of musical instruments and gone on a river trip. It's all the wonder of river running, desert strolling and warm riverside camping in combination with music in starlit sand amphitheaters. It's the camaraderie of a music camp and a river trip all rolled into one! Bring any sorts of instruments (dulcimers, guitars, oboes and ocarinas), your camping get up, your smiles and your friends and we'll bring professional guides, rafts, fabulous food and whatever other specialized equipment you might need on the river. No river experience is necessary. We'll teach you everything you need to know about camping and river traveling.


Dear River Friends,

2018 is an historic year for the Moons and Tunes Musical River Trip project. How? It’s the 20th year (!!) and the 32nd trip we’ve done. We started this project on the Gunnison River in Western Colorado and in those 20 years I think we have run most of the commercially outfitted runs (that I know of anyway) of the Colorado Plateau except the Grand Canyon. Moons and Tunes has also been to Alaska, Idaho and Oregon. Here are some of the things we’ve seen - hope you’ll join in the fun and not miss any more fabulous things: 
Spanish Bottom - we’ll be there this year!

Here's a photo by Carlye Calvin.


Here I am telling stories with my dulcimer … again…
Also a Carlye Calvin photo. 

Our guides will cook things like this for us to eat!

A piece of middle-of-the-night prose Max wrote about the Moons and tunes trips:

"You’ve got to go - that’s the main thing.

I can’t promise you’ll rise before sun up just to see the first light on the canyon walls. I can’t promise you’ll hike further up a side canyon than even your guides have ever been, then slide through a rapid like cream cheese on a bagel. I can’t promise a storm so thick you can’t see the other boats, with hail so hard it hurts and enough water to bring cascades free falling hundreds of feet from the canyon rim to the canyon floor, then fill a wash bank full that hasn’t felt water in years. I can’t promise the sun will break through for a rainbow downstream. I can’t promise you ravens, hawks, herons, eagles, avocets, otters, beaver, deer, big horn, bears, wild horses and mountain lions, or even their tracks. I can’t promise a camp of camaraderie and laughter for a day well spent. I can’t promise you’ll fall asleep to a chorus of frogs and cicadas under a sky so dark you can see Andromeda, only to awake in a few hours to see the moonlight creep down the sides of the canyon just as the sunlight did so long, long ago.

No, I can’t promise you’ll experience any of this. But I can promise if you don’t go, you won’t experience it. So the main thing is - 

You’ve got to go.”

The 2018 trip will also be historic because Max will turn 70 - what? Max Krimmel 70 years old? I'm having trouble imagining that myself?! Please help us celebrate. 

Well, you get the picture - the landscape, the hiking, the outdoors, the music and the stellar company. Who knows what will happen to us in this environment? My favorite thing about Moons and Tunes is to put out some ideas, a place to meet, some guides to care for our every need and see what happens to all of us as we morph into an instant family / community. Bring anything you'd like to play with in a group of remarkable people - games, poems, music of course, song lyrics, etc






So what do we have planned for 2018?  We will meet in Green River, UT, put-in at Moab, UT, and boat to Canyonlands National park, the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, Spanish Bottom, The Dolls’ House, on down the Colorado through Cataract Canyon and take out at the Dirty Devil River, aka Hite Marina on Lake Powell.

Here's a photo of the Doll's House from the last time we were there.

I can't tell you what will happen on this summer's trip any better than to describe other year's trips, and let you use your imagination. Each trip is different, and all have been some the best experiences of my life. First, there's the river and canyons, the dories and duckies, wildlife, breezes, weather, naps, white sand beaches, swimming, and stars. Then there's the human-type fun our little week-long community creates - music, dances, poetry, skits, etc. - as we get to know one another. On past trips, we've created dances on the spot (or rather on the sand, I guess would be a better description) from Sufi to step dance; we've had dulcimer playing zebras; there was lover's waltz dedicated to two couples who joined us for their anniversaries; we had an evening of love songs, which included a poem from the great Western cowboy poetry tradition about the unbridled love between a cowboy and his horse; Kokopelli made a guest appearance to play a duet with our saxophone player for a lunch concert/dance; we had a performance of stand-up comedy improv about nights in New York; costume parties have featured characters from Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane to the Pope - whatever one can create from the contents of a dry bag and the treasures to be found on the river bank; we celebrated Max's 60th birthday on one trip and many people dressed up as Max - hard to determine the real Max that year; some years we have very active photo contingents, and sometimes there's a yoga or tai chi flavor. Anything can happen when a bunch of fun-loving creative people get together for a week, depending on what you bring along!

Who comes on these trips? About a third of the people come some or most years and have been doing so since we began the project in 1999. The others are people who hear about the project for the first time, and are beginning their journey with the project, be it a lifetime commitment, or only one year of bliss. Maybe half the people play instruments, sing, dance, juggle, act or engage in some form of creativity, and others are their friends and family who like to listen, or to experience the other aspects of a river trip - hiking, river running, star gazing, etc. OK, some general info:

If you're a person who likes photos instead of words, try for some goodies of what fun we've had on these trips.

There are two trips:
Thur., Sept. 13 through Tues., Sept. 18 and 
Thur., Sept. 20 through Tues., Sept. 25. 
Each trip is 6 days, 5 nights in the wilderness. 

At 6 days, the trip is one day longer than recent trips have been. We’ll arrive around 5 pm and camp on the Wednesday before the trip at Green River State park in Green River, UT, and we’ll camp there again on the take-out night, Tuesday. It’s a good idea not to plan to get off the river in the late afternoon and then to drive a long ways to get to plane reservations or home that night - tired people are much more prone to accidents, and we never know exactly when we will get off the river. It’s also true that the last night camping together has historically been one of the sweetest times of the trips - a really nice way of saying good bye after our very intense time together. Endings of events are one of the most important parts in my book; parties where no one wants them to end are always appealing. No need to rush them. So we have booked the group camp at Green River State Park for the night of the takeout if you wish to join us. 

COST: The cost is $1200 per person. This includes
• camping fees  before and after the trip at Green River State Park
• a good guide tip for our ±5 guides
• your food and eating utensils (all cooked by the guides) from lunch on Thurs. to lunch on Tues.
• all the specialized river gear - boats, life jackets - and skilled guides to row and cook.
• We’ll be in rubber rafts, rowed by the guides. We’ll hike the side canyons, and we’ll play music in camp anytime!
You bring your own general camping gear - sleeping bag and pad, and tent, and whatever clothes you need to be comfortable in the wilderness for 6 days. (You can rent sleeping bags, pads, and tents at an additional cost.) Our costs are quite a bit below the “catalog price” for this trip and our fees cover more of your expenses - tips and pre- and post-trip camping. We get this discount because I do the organization work and because there are enough of you to fill the trip(s). That said, please contact me first with any questions you may have; if I can’t answer them sufficiently, we’ll check with the river company. The idea is that we bring them a full trip without too much pre-trip work for our esteemed company. 

How do you sign up? Your check made out to Bonnie Carol and sent to 15 Sherwood Road, Nederland, CO 80466 is your reservation. Please send it as soon as you decide you will come or April 1st at the latest. Those of you who have come before know that the trips fill quickly as soon as I announce them, although there is sometimes a later spot or two if someone has to cancel. So send me that check as soon as you make up your mind which trip you’d like to join.

Please bring yours - not anything extremely valuable or irreplaceable (not that we’ve ever lost an instrument, but outdoor environments are hard on instruments - heat, cold, sand, dry, humid.) The instruments ride in waterproof bags on the boats and the guides are quite careful in packing them. Flutes, saxophones, guitars, dulcimers, hammered dulcimers, ukuleles, banjos, mandolins, penny whistles, recorders, and even accordions have all joined us at one time or another. Guitars and other fragile instruments need hard cases. I have two pretty good guitars and a 12/11 Masterworks hammered dulcimer that all are welcome to share. 
What else would you like to know to make a decision? Please feel free to ask me. More details about weather, what to bring, etc. will come later. 

Definitely not. You'll have a fine time participating in all sorts of fun, creativity, and silliness of our own making.

Definitely not. Previous river or camping experience is not necessary - we'll show you everything you need to know to have a fine time. If you don't have your own tent and sleeping gear, it can be rented.

So speak to your friends and relatives, collect the people you'd like to be with, and all of you come join in the annual trip of a lifetime! 

Max and Bonnie 

Bonnie Carol
15 Sherwood Road
Nederland, CO 80466

Can’t wait to hear from you!

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