Hi! My name is Julie. I am an adventurous solo mom of an equally courageous daughter, Hannah. When Hannah was just one year old, my husband Jim had an unexpected heart attack while running and died. I was 31 years old, had recently quit my job to move to a new city for my husband’s career, and was left to pick up the pieces of my life and create an Option B. Option B meant moving back to a city where we were closer to family and friends, selling a house, buying a house, finding a job, and finally, starting to figure out what this new way of life will be like for us.
Jim and I were always an adventurous couple. He had been backpacking for years and took me on my first trip ever at the very beginning of our relationship. After that, we would backpack several times each year, both together and with separate “guys” and “girls” trips, we would introduce backpacking to friends, and we would plan most of our vacations around hiking and seeing amazing views that you cannot see from a car.
After he died, I was not quite sure what that meant for my future in a lot of ways, but especially on how I would spend my time outdoors. He was such a big part of those trips, and doing this alone with a one year old seemed pretty daunting. But slowly and with the help of others, I have figured out that experiencing the outdoors with my daughter is the happiest I ever am, and it makes us both feel closer to Jim.
I am writing this blog to empower parents who are nervous or unsure of backpacking/camping/hiking with small children, and to give them some tips/tricks that I have used to encourage kids, keep the trips manageable, and be safe on the trails. I am also writing this to as a way to chronicle our trips. My goal is to bring Hannah to all 61 US National Parks by the time she is 18 – something her dad had also wanted to accomplish. And for her to grow up appreciating and respecting all that nature has to offer.
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