RIP Nana

My last grandparent, Nana as we all called her, passed away Saturday, just 5 days short of her 95th birthday. She spent her last years in decline, but she was still pretty sharp until the end. And I have to say she set quite the example for all of her family during the other 90-something…

Currently: June

Currently living/working: We are still spinning A LOT of plates at once. Still cleaning 5 Airbnbs, Justin is still guiding for Traverse Alaska, and then we still have all that freelance work—the Leave No Trace curriculum project, my UCO history book project, my book marketing, our Backpacker and Outside Business Journal work, my Alaska Magazine…

Summer 2021 Visitors

If we could have predicted anyone who would come to visit us in Alaska, it would be Justin’s sister and her wife! So it’s no surprise that Jamie & Rachel officially kicked off our summer as our first visitors.   These two are natural adventure travelers and really didn’t need us to “guide” them, as…

Currently: February

Currently living/working: It’s still been quieter work-wise around these parts with a long lead out for deadlines, but it’s been an adequate balance of paying work and fun!  Current mood: Now that the bright orb is back in the sky for more than fleeting moments and we’ve enjoyed more much-needed snowfall, how could I not…

Dear Dad (2 Years)

Dear Dad, How can 2 years seem like forever and nothing at the same time?  It’s been a full year of the blandemic, and I think of how it would have impacted you. Particularly your last months of your life when you were hospitalized and in a nursing home. Had Covid-19 been a thing between…

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…

Dear Dad

Dear Dad, It’s been 1 year since you physically disappeared from our lives.  I didn’t know how I would feel losing you. You were the first person really close to me to die and I mourned at my own pace. We knew it was the best thing for you, given your pain and suffering. My…

Currently: December

Currently living/working in: December was dedicated to catching up to life administrative tasks and full of back-and-forth edits for Backpacker (my Spring Gear Guide Pole Reviews went through NINE passes). We purposely planned to have way fewer work projects these next few months while at our cabin in Alaska, a welcome break from the months…

Currently: November

Currently living/working in: We spent the first part of the month holed up in our cabin in Healy, Alaska, juggling writing deadlines. Then we flew to the East Coast for 3 Leave No Trace cleanup events (Jacksonville 11/17, Philadelphia 11/23 and NYC—specifically Queens—11/29) as part of the REI Opt Outside / Opt to Act campaign.…

Family Time in CO

For the past few years, we’ve mainly “lived” on the West Coast, Colorado in particular. It made sense to claim our residency and health care in Colorado, as 2 of our employers are in Boulder, and both of Justin’s sisters (and spouses/nephews), as well as his mom, live in Denver. As our “living” situation inevitably…

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…

Alaska Visitor!

Because we drive around the country so much, we typically are visiting everyone in their homes, or at least their state. I’ve seen my mom a lot this year, but always in New Jersey. To change things up, she decided to visit us on the road while we’ve been in Alaska!! Her brother and his…

RIP Grandma La Vigne

Justin’s grandma, Barbara La Vigne, passed away this past week and I’d love to pay my respects to her by writing a little bit about our time on Earth with her! As soon as I met Grandma La Vigne and learned that she loved chocolate as much as I did, I knew that I would…

Eastern Caribbean Cruise

We returned from our Eastern Caribbean Holland America Cruise with our niece, Sarah, and we have 2 revelations. 1st Revelation – We like cruising!! This was actually my 3rd, Justin’s 2nd, and truly, we enjoyed. Frankly, how could you not revel in a floating resort where meals appeared and dirty dishes disappeared like magic? Our…

Rest In Peace, Dad

My dad passed away on Feb. 24. It was expected. He had been ill with a laundry list of medical conditions for years and in and out of the hospital often. But on November 15, 2018, he went into the hospital and never came home. He had been moved into a subacute facility, but was…

Currently: December

Currently living/working in: Well, I’m still in NJ helping my parents with my dad’s medical ups/downs & Justin has been hanging in CO with his family. This was the first time we were apart for Christmas probably since 2004 (Justin came to NJ for a fast weekend). But staying here in NJ has been necessary…