two young people smiling in a meadow with mountains in the background

Gap Year in the USA

Why Take a Gap Year in the USA When many people think of a gap year, they think of programs outside the US. However, for both U.S. citizens and global citizens alike, taking a gap year in the USA can be a great, underrated option. Here is why we believe that gap year programs in … Read more

A group of young people pose for a gap year program photo, looking hip and silly

Covid 19 Report

How we stayed safe and had amazing adventures during a pandemic. March 16, 2020: We came out of the backcountry after hiking 100 miles on the Arizona Trail only to find the world had changed. People’s family members were ill with this new sickness. Grocery store shelves were already bare and there was talk that … Read more

Gap year participants and team leaders standing by a van

High quality, affordable gap year program? Here’s one.

Looking for an Affordable Gap Year Program? The other day we went online to look and the results amazed us. Affordable gap year programs are hard to find. Most gap year programs cost more than $1,000 a week. That’s $20k for a semester. For many people, that’s just not possible. You might have even spit … Read more

Activism 101 from Ed Marston

Today we met with Ed Marston, former editor of High Country News (HCN) and current President of the board for Solar Energy International (SEI).  Ed took us out of town to a place below the Ragged Mountains where we could look over Bill Koch’s ranch (of the famous, wealthy Koch brothers) and his private western … Read more

Canyon Country Backpacking

We left on a rainy day and drove up high onto the Umcompahgre Plateau.  The original plan was to hike into the top of the canyons, but muddy roads and a low gas tank dissuaded us, and we drove around to the bottom of the canyon.  We started late, but a short hike later we … Read more

Picking Peppers

Today we went to work at Thistle Whistle Farm. The first thing we did when we arrived was to milk goats.  Next we toured the farm and saw bees, strange plants that made your mouth numb, and over 60 species of hot pepper.  Next we helped harvest.  Some of the group picked tomatoes, long rows of diverse kinds … Read more

Mountain Backpack

 I woke up early on Tuesday, the day we were leaving for the backpacking trip. I watched the sun rise over the huge crumbling shoulders of Gunnison. The other sleepers woke slowly, grudgingly around me. They rose, drifting thickly out of the building we slept in, like the heavy clouds off Mount Lamborn, whose steep … Read more


Today we went to a farm called Delicious Orchards and met with Jeff Schwarz who says his farm his an organic, biodynamic farm that is used by the community.  They grow lots of fruit, varieties of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries.  Jeff is a “doer” who says “yes” to most things and likes … Read more

The First Days by Milla Von Tauber

The first few weeks on a trip like this are always hectic. There is so much going on and we are all learning how to live and cope with each other in a communal space, which is never an easy feat. By the time week 3 rolled around though things were starting to settle down and … Read more

First Three Weeks

Everybody arrived at the High Desert Center on September 7th. In the next three weeks we visited farms, climbed some mountains, danced a lot, celebrated a marriage, experienced some ups and downs of group living, and went on a five day backpack trip. Thanks to Journey Temple for the photos.