When a 7th Grade Hiking Field Trip Goes Awry

Last Friday was the perfect Colorado Fall day.  Sunny and high 60’s, absolutely ideal hiking weather.  My daughter’s 7th grade class was scheduled to do a class hike field trip.  I had the day off of work, and planned to join them.  Everything was right in the world. That is, until the bodies started hitting the floor. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Wait, Can We Bring Dog…?! So Friday morning we are scurrying around, packing lunches and getting ready for school.  I swear our Golden Retreiver Daisy must have spotted my daughter grabbing her hiking backpack.  You know those key items, that set the alarm bells off for a dog...”An adventure is afoot!!” Bless her 10 year old heart… she starts bouncing around like an excited puppy. “Oh Daisy, you can’t come on the field trip.”  Wait. Maybe she can? Since I planned on driving behind the school buses, and hiking with the kids – in theory, maybe we could bring the dog? Our plan was to have my daughter ask permission once … [Read more...]

Capturing Colorado Family Adventures

One of the things I love about living in Colorado, is that we do have four seasons. The variety keeps things interesting, and allows for different types of outdoor play different times of the year. And Fall means hiking and biking! No bugs.  Perfect temps for athletic endeavors. Gorgeous scenery of gold, orange, and red colored leaves.  It all makes for an ideal time to get the family outdoors for some adventuring. Capturing Your Family Adventure Memories I'm pretty good about taking pictures on our family recreates in the great outdoors.  I love looking back on past memories of the fun times we've had camping, fishing, and exploring.  This makes and preserves memories for us, as much as when we take a full-on vacation somewhere! Plus then I can share photos and video from our outdoor endeavors.  It keeps my family and friends up to date on the fun we've been having, which they love to see. And I'd like to think it also inspires other to want to go play outside, … [Read more...]

Tips for the Best Colorado Fall Drive & Family Adventure

You just can't beat Fall color in Colorado!  When those Aspen trees turn brilliant gold, and contrast against the Rocky Mountain evergreens... it's a breathtaking sight to behold.  Here's my "Insider List" of where the locals consider the best Colorado Fall drive.  Plus my tips on exploring a bit off the beaten path, and how to keep your kids excited about this awesome family outdoor adventure. A year-round outdoor lover, I'd have to say that fall is my absolute favorite season in Colorado.  I've polled the experts, and seen many of these for myself.  Here's my Insider List of best fall drives. Top 5 Colorado Fall Drives NORTHERN - Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park CENTRAL - Kebler Pass, part of the West Elk Loop that ends in fun ski town Crested Butte CENTRAL - Grand Mesa Byway (My favorite! More on this below), 45 minutes from Grand Junction SOUTHERN - Last Dollar Road, from Ridgeway to Telluride, both awesome mountain towns DENVER AREA - Guanella … [Read more...]

Take Me Fishing… at Walt Disney World!

My family recently enjoyed a Take Me Fishing excursion at Walt Disney World! Here's everything you need to know - what do you need to bring, and where do the boats depart? Is it worth sacrificing valuable Park time on your Disney vacation? How does fishing help the outdoors, and why is this such a great family activity? Although my family has had a few vacations at Walt Disney World, on our recent trip we had an adventure like nothing we’ve ever experienced.  Disney World fishing and boating - now that's my kind of adventure! It was a moment in which all my greatest loves blissfully collided: Disney… the outdoors… adventure… my family... boating... sunshine!  It makes me giddy just thinking about it. I had heard that you could take guided bass fishing excursions right on the Disney World property.  And honestly, my first reaction was “I don’t think I’d want to sacrifice park time for that”. Well, I WAS WRONG. I'm now convinced a bass fishing excursion is an ideal addition … [Read more...]

6 Cool Things You’ll Love at the Denver Aquarium

Nestled in a lovely, easy-to-access downtown area, the Denver Aquarium is a fabulous option for families.  You'll even find some surprising, non-fish attractions!  Here are the top exhibits to see, how much time to allow for a visit, what to expect for a closing time, and whether the attached Aquarium Restaurant is a good place to eat. We had been to the Downtown Denver Aquarium a few years ago, and I don't remember being too impressed.  But for some reason, this recent visit was more enjoyable than ever.  Perhaps it’s because this time around we have a first grader son that loves fish?  Or that they are now under a restaurant brand's umbrella, and have upped their overall game to bring in visitors? At any rate, we were quite impressed and had a wonderful time.  I heartily recommend this Colorado attraction!  Here's my recap of what to expect, and the best exhibits to watch for. Travel Through the World’s Ecosystems Rain forest ecosystem at Denver AquariumThe layout of the … [Read more...]

Please Read: Your Chance to Help Climate Change

We’ve all seen the distressing photos.  Polar ice caps gradually disappearing, and the fallout it means for polar bears.  One of many global problems we’ve seen result from climate change.  It’s the heart breaking image I always picture when this topic comes up. CO₂ and Climate Change:  The Problem Left to its own devices, nature actually has a beautiful system of restoration.  Our lush forests are amazing in their restorative powers! They permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  Plants can split CO2 into carbon and oxygen, releasing Oxygen back into the air for us to breathe. But humans have disturbed this natural ecological balance.  We are seeing more and more negative consequences caused by an increase in CO₂.  At mankind’s current rate of pollution, nature can’t keep up. CO₂ and Climate Change:  A Solution That Can Help In regards to climate change: "Technically, there is a solution.  With our help, nature could do the job." ~Hans-Peter Schmidt, Carbon … [Read more...]

7 Things You Should Know Before Getting Backyard Chickens

We’ve been the proud owners of backyard chickens for 2 ½ years now.  Although we don’t know it all, we have learned a few unexpected things about this venture.  If you are debating about buying some peeps and taking the plunge, here's what to know about backyard chickens.  A few helpful tips that may help you make your decision. There’s definitely many benefits to owning these enjoyable and funny birds, and we are still very happy with ours.  However, there are both good and bad aspects to having them roam your backyard. # 1 - They Will Trash Your Yard First up for what to know about backyard chickens:  Let’s talk about that backyard.  Prepare yourself, cause the girls are gonna trash it. Sure, you could keep your backyard chickens in their coop at all times.  It would certainly be tidier.  But in order to get the full benefit of those extra-nutrient rich, free range eggs - you gotta let the girls out. The upside is that they have so much fun around the yard.  … [Read more...]

First Time Biking to School… Terrifying, yet Rewarding

My first grade son loves riding his bike.  I'm happy about that, because I do, too.  Ahhh... I foresee many grand biking adventures in our future!  So it's not surprising that he's been begging to ride his bike to school. *heavy sigh* But I have a problem with this.  You see, the unavoidable route between our home and his grade school includes a very scary road.  Narrow.  Busy.  No sidewalks.  Fast moving traffic, with a speed limit of 45 mph.  It's basically like biking on the edge of a highway.  With a 6 year old.  Terrifying. Oh, there's a bike lane.  But's it's 2 feet wide, at best. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, as a parent, and take a calculated risk.  I love the idea of riding our bikes more, and as a mode of transportation.  I love everything about it. Living an active lifestyle! Sneaking in exercise, via something that's also fun! Saving gas! Polluting less! Teaching our kids good life habits! Alright, so let's do this... Obviously, the plan is for … [Read more...]

Top 5 Ruidoso, New Mexico Things To Do (for Outdoor Lovers!)

Ruidoso, New Mexico is a unique mountain village that may be a bit off the beaten path.  But what you’ll find here is an outdoor lovers paradise, which is well worth a visit.  Here I've gathered the Top 5 Ruidoso New Mexico things to do with a family. This unique off the beaten path destination offers much to outdoorsy families looking for a fun yet relaxing getaway.  Get your heart pumping activities like hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.  Or just taking a leisurely stroll through town to browse local Western art.  There’s something for everyone here to enjoy. # 5 - Mountain Bike Trails Since my son turned age 5 and graduated to a decent trail worthy bike, family mountain biking has become our favorite outdoor activity. With new trail development and a vast network of empty rural roads and awesome mountain trails, cycling in Ruidoso has never been better. Ruidoso local bike shops can hook you up with bike rentals.  Then check out the Discover Ruidoso website for … [Read more...]

A Visit to Denver Museum of Nature & Science

There is certainly plenty of fun to be had in the city of Denver, Colorado.  When my family and I were there last weekend, we decided to swing by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  And boy, are we glad we did!  It had been a few years since our last visit.  As it turns out, this place is even more fabulous than we remembered. With three stories of interesting and varied exhibits to choose from, there’s truly something to pique everyone’s interest here. Our kids ages 6 and 12 have been bubbling with enthusiastic chatter ever since, telling friends and grandparents about all the things they saw and learned. Plus, it was air conditioned. On a 100 degree Colorado summer day.  It was the perfect place to be for a day of family fun. Awesome Outer Space Display… (Even if you Skip the Planetarium) You’ll notice when you purchase tickets there are several options.  One is to add a visit to the Planetarium.  We did *not* have these type of tickets, but were happy to … [Read more...]