Happy 43rd to Me!

43 Augusts ago, I came into this world. My parents said I came out screaming and feisty, which is not unlike me at 43. I am spunky and my indoor voice is around 100 decibels. But I digress. I’ve done a lot of reflecting in the past few years. Way more than I ever have.…

Currently: May

Currently living/working: Most of you know we haven’t had “traditional” 9-5 jobs in years. Actually, a decade. We always make the claim that we sling a lot of mud at the wall to see what sticks. So even though we had no idea what our summer would entail, it turns out there’s a lot of…

Gear Testing 202

I wrote a “Gear Testing 101” blog post back in 2018 about how we penetrated the world of gear writing back in 2013, and the ins and outs of the business, but I thought it’d be fun to revisit some details. As Justin & I wrapped up 2020, I realized about 70% of our workload…

Currently: November

Currently living/working: We are still wintering in Alaska, and November was a freakin busy month with writing deadlines, book madness and finishing up Leave No Trace. So we spent a lot of time hibernating in our cabin hunched over our laptops.  Backpacker Magazine: We submitted just about 100 items for the holiday gift guides, all…

Currently: October

Currently living/working in: We are happily in Alaska, where winter is in full swing. Work is busy! And by work, I mean the multiple projects/jobs we are juggling. In fact, I feel like this deserves a list-type snapshot with some of the bigger, more pressing deadlines (actually helps me see the big picture too!) Backpacker…

Currently: July

Currently living/working in: We’re one month into our Leave No Trace job—from Alaska—and all is going well. Besides lots of meetings and trainings to get up to speed, we’ve mainly been working on content projects, including 3 blog posts, 1 Instagram Live Video (follow @Leavenotracecenter on Instagram if you aren’t already!), and our first webinar…

Currently: May

Currently living/working in: We are still at our cabin in Healy, juggling multiple writing projects and hustling to gain more. It’s been a pretty full plate of freelance work lately, all things considered. Thankfully, the long summer days mean we can still get ‘er done and have time to play! We also have a tiny…

Currently: March

Current mood: I hope this blog post finds everyone healthy and in good spirits. I’m pretty sure our mood is in line with everyone else’s: unsettled. The COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic escalated quickly and keeps shape-shifting daily. It’s hard to ignore the terrifying/heartbreaking news and not to let your mind wander to the what ifs. It’s hard…

Currently: August

Currently living/working in: We are in route to our next Leave No Trace outreach destination: Yosemite National Park. But actually, we have a few events before getting to there (e.g., Skagit, WA, and San Francisco). This route and these destinations are still part of the Subaru/Leave No Trace Zero Landfill Initiative and we will be…

Currently: January

Currently living/working in: We are back on the road for Leave No Trace as one of their Traveling Trainer teams until April 8. Our schedule has us starting in Colorado, and actually coming back through here a lot. But we’ll also be bouncing around Utah, Wyoming, Arizona and potentially New Mexico. Very stoked to be…

Best of 2018

Happy New Year everyone! We are definitely ready for 2019. 2018 was such a mixed bag for us, although, in the end, we wouldn’t trade the year and experiences for anything!! Here’s our “best of” list for 2018. Biggest Risk Leaving our role as property caretakers and environmental educators at Fenton Ranch in New Mexico…

Currently: November

Currently living/working in: I already referenced that November was a month of “professional development” in my last blog post, as well as several Backpacker deadlines and edits. Freelance life is keeping us extremely busy at the moment!  Current mood: The month has been an emotional roller coaster, mostly because I am trying to help my…

Currently: October

Currently living/working in: Our Subaru/Leave No Trace contract ended Oct. 15 and we are in the midst of several Backpacker deadlines. We’ve been hanging out in Denver this whole month & plan to be here most of winter actually, you know, “visiting family,” which translates to squatting. Actually, we have a good mix of petsitting responsibilities,…

Currently: July

Currently living/working in: Still working on the road as the Subaru/Leave No Trace Zero Landfill Team. We wrapped up in Grand Teton National Park July 5, drove 8 days to Alaska, and we’ll be in this state until August 22. You might hear me professing my love for Alaska a million times in this and…

Currently: May

Currently living/working in: Enjoying our last few weeks at Fenton Ranch in New Mexico before we close this chapter of our life and hit the road to work for Leave No Trace in June (Fenton Ranch wrap-up post forthcoming!) Current mood: A tad overwhelmed (mainly me) by all the details involved with the transition, but in…

Gear Testing 101

Justin & I wear many different hats, and one large one is Gear Testers for Backpacker Magazine (and a prototype tester for a few brands).   We get a lot of questions surrounding this. How did you become gear testers? What the heck does that mean? Is that really a job? Do you get paid? I…

Currently: January

Currently living/working in: Still property caretaking Fenton Ranch in New Mexico! I believe our Jan. 21 snowstorm was retribution for getting off easy with the mild winter we’ve had (and continue to have). Their 3-inch prediction turned into 15 inches! It was beautiful and necessary, but did I mention our snowblower decided to break that…

Currently: December

GOODBYE 2017 AND HAPPY 2018 EVERYONE!!! I feel like this Currently post is a little long-winded, so consider yourselves warned … Currently living/working in:  Caretaking Fenton Ranch in northern New Mexico. I have to say, while we love epic snowstorms, not having an ounce of snowfall around these parts has made our caretaking job much…

Currently: November

Currently living/working in: Still property caretaking the school’s property, Fenton Ranch, in the Jemez Mountains. More than property caretaking, though, we have spent most of the month chin deep in product specs, tester quotes and creative adjectives to describe “lightweight” to meet our magazine deadlines for our gear testing submissions. Current mood: Mentally exhausted with a…