Tawonga News

Notes from the Road: Sierra Slam Quest 2023

Today’s blog post takes you behind the scenes of Tawonga’s recent Sierra Slam Quest.

In late June 2023, the Sierra Slam Quest returned from two weeks of camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing and river rafting. Enjoy highlights and photos below!

Quest Leaders

Sara Taubman and David Sherman


11 Questers, rising 7th & 8th graders

Quest Itinerary

  • Camping at Dimond O campground in Groveland
  • Backpacking to Chilnualna Falls in Yosemite with epic waterfalls and swimming holes
  • Day hikes in Yosemite
  • Two days of whitewater rafting on the American River
  • Canoeing on Mono Lake and visiting the tufa rock formations
  • Swimming at all destinations including June Lake, Lake Tahoe and on the American River

Quest Highlights

  • Pope Beach – a day of swimming, burying each other in sand and eating salmon wraps

  • A group mikvah in Lake Tahoe for a spiritual cleanse – first dunk thinking of something to let go of, second something to take away from the lake and third was a gift for the lake, followed by a group coyote howl

  • Bonding over the backcountry practice of cleaning their food bowls with dirt!

  • Watching questers get closer and more tight knit as a group with every day that passed and rallying around singleness of purpose

  • Screaming with joy when they arrived at a campground with running water

Quester Quotes

  • “I wish I was still backpacking…”
  • “Can I have turkey AND peanut butter on my sandwich?”
  • “Where am I allowed to pee?!”

Quest Leader Inspiration

Quest leaders Sara and David reflect on their favorite parts of Quest:

“My favorite part of leading Quests is all the spontaneous moments that occur and the overall “structured chaos” of each trip. On Sierra Slam, this included stopping on the side of the road at Sonora Pass to have an hour-long snowball fight. Or stopping for a bathroom break on the way to Tahoe and having a four minute dance party on the jungle gym at the rest stop. None of these moments are planned but all are highlights.”

Learn more about Tawonga’s Adventure Quests here