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Photo of the Day: The Pursuit

four peak sunset saguaro cactus

My wife puts up with me when I pull over to take photos like this one. She's known for a long time that I'm the sort of road traveler who stops to check things out and take a deep breath just for the experience. And I like to eat at small town cafés, ones with knotty pine floors where they offer just two kinds of coffee (decaf and regular), and where the staff uses words like darlin' . . .

Cool Find: Fleece Bunting Keeps Halflings Warm in Cold Camping

columbia fleece bunting baby camping clothes warm

Look, as we all know, if you're stranded on an island with your small children the one and only answer to the old question "if you could only bring one thing, what would it be?" is a magical bottomless supply of tasty snacks. If you get push-back for that bottomless business, fine, change it to something way more realistic like a pirate's treasure chest full of tasty snacks.

But what if it's not an island? What if it's real life and it's winter?  . . .

On A Dirt Road in Baja, I Almost Got in a Fist Fight with The Gas Gauge

baja mexico dirt road overlanding nissan frontier

Along the road to progress, late 1980s maybe, the automotive industry decided the gas light was a clever thing to add to the dashboard. When the little red orb illuminates, you're supposed to feel some gratitude. But you don't, do you? It's really like getting your final warning: do it now, lest you get stranded. Under the best of situations running out of gas is a downright drag, so a little hey-bro-put-somthing-in-the-tank ought to be a nice reminder; instead it's a bummer, the jig is up. You have to give in and gas up.

Well. As far as running out of gas is concerned, I found myself and my family not in the best of situations . . .

Recipe: Caprese Appetizer

caprese recipe on crackers for camping basil mozzarella tomato

"Gents," I declared, "keep your shorts on, I'm making you some caprese. And you will love it." Except they looked at me and snarled, these fools with whom I graduated high school almost 20 years ago and now shared a campfire, beer stash, and tent space under a stand of ponderosas at 8,000 feet in the mountains for two nights. It's an annual affair.

"Why? We have Doritos." One of them broke the silence. "And cheesy poofs."

The Sunday Morning Chillax: The Tranquil Road Trip

It's hard to say what makes this short film so captivating. The high contrast black and white? Lack of dialog? Or the choice of song, the gentle and pensive After the Storm by Mumford and Sons? Give it a watch and decide for yourself.

The film is as tranquil and languid as a road trip once you've settled into the hum of the road and the kids are . . .

Michael Lanza Earns National Outdoor Book Award Honor for Book on Family Backpacking

Before-Theyre-Gone-Michael-LanzaOf the numerous "adventuring with kids" books out there to be consumed, few of them command little more than casual attention. They'll hit some reasonable, if not obvious, topics like the benefits of getting your children outside. Or what products to buy to keep your spawn comfy. Or how to select an easy hike from a guidebook.

Okay . . . fine, yes. Maybe a little dull.

That's why it's relieving to discover Michael Lanza's narrative, Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks . . .

3 Dudes Go Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in Under 24 Hours in The Grand Canyon

grand canyon rim view during a sunset storm

If you've ever hoofed it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, then you've made friends with the multiplying foot blisters, known well the rock-hard calf muscles and felt the blow to your ego as you do battle with the final set of unending switchbacks climbing out of that monster of a canyon. That's why most folks don't do it at all, and others spread it out. Hike down, camp, hike out after another day or two. Some staunch few can hike it from rim to rim in one go, spending the night on the other side, then trodding back down and up from whence they came.

And even fewer are more insane. A couple of them are my friends, big surprise . . .

Photo of the Day: Canoeing With Dad

canoeing dad kids verde river arizona

The hot springs we were marinating in seep out of the rocks above this mellow river by 30 feet. We woke up the morning after a heavy, soggy storm that started the afternoon before and never stopped until just before dawn. It was our first camp out with our new daughter, and it went as expected. That is, rather sleepless. An evening with a baby is about the same at home as it is in a tent, just less comfortable. Way less comfortable — then add ceaseless rain and a leaky tent. So when the sun rose and revealed a spotless blue sky, we were recharged and ready for a fresh start . . .

The Dora The Explorer Spoof You've Always Wanted

dora explorer movie trailer spoof

If you know nothing of Dora the Explorer you're forgiven. But the kids' show has been around since 2000, adapted to 26 foreign versions and two stage versions, and takes your money in the form of books, toys, videos and games. So there's a good chance you know all about it. And this spoof movie trailer will make you laugh. Hard . . .

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