gallery The First Trip

The Tent at Mesa Verde Campground, CO

It all started the summer of 2012. Newly divorced and about to turn 50, the desire to take my kids (then 6 & 9 years old) on a road trip took hold in my gut and demanded action. So I went to REI, bought a tent (Kingdome 6) and off we went.

Well, SORT OF . . . off we went AFTER months of me researching, planning and mapping, which resulted in a binder full of information. I am a border collie – incapable of doing anything at less than 150%.

I thought it would be nice to take the kids on a rafting trip. Given my love of the outdoors and my new single status, driving and camping rather than flying and staying in hotels just made more sense. Even though I had taken my daughter’s Girl Scout troop on a few camp outs, I had not gone with just me and the kids. Knowing I was in for an adventure, I opted for sleeping in the tent on our way to and from Utah, eating out most nights and staying for a few days in a hotel in Moab before and after the rafting portion of the trip.

I will devote my next blog to the details of that trip. I count the trip as a success. Every summer since, the kids & I have done some sort of road trip. The summer of 2013, our good friends, the Paiers, decided to join us. Barbara & I planned the next several trips together. We had a great time and learned all sorts of lessons along the way. Different friends have joined us on our various trips and I have gone camping with my family, my friends & the Girl Scout troop as well as an epic backpacking adventure with my cousin Ron.

With every trip, I research places, activities, routes and meals, ending up with what is now called “The Stephanie Binder”. My friends have encouraged me to share all of this information with other adventurous families who might want to travel to these same wonderful places. And that has led to this blog.

With future posts, in addition to stories from my trips, I intend to post up itineraries, menus and routes along with photos and a debriefing of what worked and what didn’t. I hope you find these tidbits helpful and interesting … or at least entertaining!



Me & the kids on the Green River, UT.




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