gallery Intro #2

I know, I know . . . this post was supposed to be about that first adventure with the kids.

As I gathered the information I needed to write that post, I had several thoughts about how best to approach this blog and decided to write Intro #2 while I continue to get the Green River post together.

First, as full disclosure, I realized that I somehow lost all of my research for the River trip. I had a binder (you can even see it in some of the photos), but the papers have long since been recycled and the documents on the computer have apparently disappeared into the ether. Using my journal and photos, I recreated the itinerary and route, so the post WILL go up soon.

Several other ideas began taking form while I searched my computer. Although the Green River excursion was the first I took involving my kids and the tent, I did plan and execute several trips before that adventure. Most involved lots of outdoor activities and therefore might find a place on this blog as well.

In keeping with my OCD tendencies, my original plan for the blog was a chronologic detailing of our various camping trips. However, I am deep into planning for two adventures occurring this summer and thought “Wouldn’t it be nice to blog about those trips right after they happen? When everything is still fresh in my mind?” So with apologies to my fellow OCD’niks, this blog will jump around in time, both to accommodate the excitement of recent excursions and to include earlier jaunts. Eventually, all the trips will have their due.

In addition to trip posts, I have tons of spreadsheets and info on packing for a week-long camping adventure as well as weekend getaways, general ideas on food preparation, lists of various in-town adventures, etc. Those posts will be sprinkled in randomly to provide variety. Please feel free to send me ideas of what you want to read as well!

I took this one at some early age: My parents and my sisters and the wood-panel station wagon on a mountain road.

Finally, I couldn’t let this intro go without a few acknowledgements. My parents encouraged my sense of adventure early on. Weekends with our family were often spent hiking in the natural areas around LA. Every summer, we would pile into the station wagon and head off on a 2-3 week trip to various National Parks. I remember excitedly perusing the AAA guide books for thoughts on our next destination (yep, doing research even then!). Most certainly the desire to take my children to these places stems directly from those formative experiences. The formula for those trips (my mother later told me as I started to plan for my own family) was one adventure per day – a hike, a horseback ride, a side trip to a lake, etc. This left ample time for sitting on a rock observing chipmunks, epic games of cribbage and spit with my sisters, and imaginary play outside (once taking place on a wooden pier resulting in a long splinter removal session that night). We stayed in cabins and lodges, as my mom does not like to camp. Yet in spite of that, my mother was a Girl Scout leader for over 10 years and we camped A LOT as Girl Scouts. The entire family participated; my dad and my dog were honorary Girl Scouts. My dad took me on my first backpacking trip when I was 9 years old. I suspect he carried most of my gear and I brought my teddy bear, but I was hooked. He eventually took my junior high and high school GS troops backpacking too. All of these adventures instilled in me a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors and hold a very special place in my memory. So mom & dad – THANKS!

I always manage to find wonderful people who like to play outside as well. Many of these people will show up in future posts. So thank you to all of my outdoor buddies: my college & veterinary school roommates, my Girl Scout co-leaders and neighbors, a fantastic group of friends here in Austin who put up with my OCD planning tendencies and slow hiking pace, and my cousin Ron (a.k.a. best backpacking companion ever). And of course, my kids – who sometimes willingly and sometimes grumpily, get dragged along on these adventures to hopefully experience the magic and wonder of nature that still fill me with gratitude and happiness every time I step outside.

My mom, me and my sisters at Bryce Canyon.


  1. Hi Steph,

    Those trips were lots of fun, weren’t they? Thanks for bringing back the memories; I’m so happy that you retained that sense of wonder from our experiences and have the opportunity to share it with your kids now!!



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