I live in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with my wife and five children. My day job is chemistry, but my real passions are my family and the outdoors. I enjoy a variety of human-powered activities. I’d rather be mediocre at many sports than really good at only one, and it shows. I enjoy long runs in the dark, and my favorite color is whatever’s on sale. We’re trying to raise our family to love the outdoors. So far it’s working.
My family includes my wife, Jennie, and children (in descending order): Abby, Caleb, Seth, Hannah, and Grace. We also have a daughter, Eve, who passed away 2 years ago at 10 months old. No pets, the children are plenty.
favorite outdoor moment:
The year after we graduated from high school, two friends and I spent most of a cold spring night wandering across the bare, rough lava of southern Idaho’s Wapi flow. After exploring a lava tube cave that contained the remains of two bear skeletons, Jason couldn’t climb up the 12-foot hodge-podge of rope we’d used to enter. Fighting panic, we tried everything we could think of and eventually, with me on top reaching down and Jason standing on Clark’s head, we pushed and pulled him out with just enough twilight remaining to see the general direction of our camp. What had been an hour-long walk to the cave turned into many hours as we searched for camp, using only one flashlight at a time. As our last light began to dim and we consigned ourselves to a cold, uncomfortable night in the lava, we heard the rustling of aspen leaves. The only aspens within 20 miles. The aspens next to our camp. The experience awoke my teenage brain.
I’m the husband of an incredible Hawaiian beauty, Laura and father of a bouncing baby boy, Levi. We live in sunny Orange County in Southern California. While I spend most of my week working in sales, my passions are my family and the ocean. A long-time serious snowboarder, I converted to surfing a few years back. As a new father I am still figuring out the balance of family, responsibilities, and surf. I’m not great at, but I have fun. Nothing feels so good both phyisicaly and mentaly as that weightless feeling of being part of the earth’s energy, propelled by a combination of gravity and the ocean’s power. In Southern California it’s hard to get out and involved in nature; surfing allows me to become part of the incredible energy that the ocean contains. I hope to raise my son with a love and respect for the outdoors, whether he chooses to follow the ocean swells or winter storms, I want him to grow up grounded in what really matters.
on his childhood
From the age of three until seven, my family lived in Montana. We had no TV, no video games, and no computer, but my brother and I lived a life that most children couldn’t dream of. Camping in the woods, swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Flathead Lake, drinking from a fresh mountain spring in the ditch in front of our property where we lived in a 16-foot trailer. We played in the woods where deer ran wild and if you looked up you saw nothing but snow-capped peaks and bue skies. We never realized that we had nothing, because our parents provided us with what was truly important. What should have been (and was for my parents) the toughest time of our life, I remember as the best of times.
I’m not a parent, but I believe passionately in the power of the natural world to foster creativity and curiosity whether you’re an eight-year-old or a 40 year-old with teenage enthusiasm. With my work at The Dirtbag Diaries, it became clear to me that there are a lot of parents looking for advice in nurturing their children with open spaces. There are also parents who had figured out creative approaches to the daunting task of mobilizing a small army to get out and explore. The Outdoor Parent is my attempt to bring these two groups together. Our contributors make this site function. If you’ve got something to add feel free to drop me a note.