raising little ones in the great outdoors

“Fishy Kid” Coloring Contest

What do you get when you combine crayons, fish and gear?  The Fishy Kid coloring contest. Co-creators Cameron Mortenson and Kevin Powell are two fly-fishing dads who live in the southeastern US.  What started as a coloring book from celebrated sporting artists has morphed into Fishykid.org – a platform for educational tools, personal stories and photos, contests, and general stoke. Motivated by their passion...

Outdoor Classroom: Why exactly do fall leaves change color?

It’s official.  Fall has arrived in the northwest.  Not that we didn’t already have signs~ the sun setting earlier, cooler evenings. But today, the cloudless blue sky was quickly covered by a cloudy blanket. The wind whisked the mounting mass of leaves around the backyard in mini tornados. I even contemplated turning the heat on. The arrival of fall means the frenetic pace of the summer and readying the...

Carrie Cooper Slide Show

TOP contributor Carrie Cooper will be speaking about her family’s recent adventures in New Zealand, so if you happen to be in Northern Arizona this coming Saturday and want to hear some stories and gawk at some awesome climbing and surf photos by her husband Kyle George swing on by Flagstaff’s climbing gym Vertical Relief to check out this couple’s inspiring lifestyle.  Show starts at 8 p.m....

Walking to School

My walk to elementary school is composed of snapshot memories. The magnolia trees with limbs made for climbing. The very steep hill. Baseball bats cracking as I passed the little league field. Blackberries.  Towering redwood trees encompassing “Dark” Park. Dawdling and giggling with my sister on our way home. Partly out of necessity, and partly because it was just done that way, my sister and I walked or...

Are You the Parent You Imagined?

For the record, Fitz and I aren’t parents. Yet, even before planning to be a parent, I have an ideal image of the parent that I will strive to be. As our friends embark on parenthood, I continually refine my image with the do’s and the try really hard to avoid thats. We’ve all seen the wide-eyed Dad watching his toddler pummel the grocery store floor in a fit of sugar-crash-induced rage and thought “When...
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