If there was a theme to our summer it would have been “exploring new places”. For the most part, our adventures have kept us in Northern Colorado. We’ve had a few forays outside our backyard, but at the end of the day most of our exploring has been in RMNP and up the Poudre. Rod has forever admonished us on our lack of extending our boundaries. However, this summer we finally listened to him, opened up our map, and picked some of the places he had highlighted for us. Turns out the old man was right, as is often the case. We had some truly phenomenal trips.

Funny thing is, the “exploring new places” theme carried right into this spring as well. As it turns out, due to circumstances outside of our control, our family is moving away from Northern Colorado. In May, we will move a few hours south. Needless to say, Rod is thrilled, and to be quite honest, I think Dustin and I are really looking forward to new adventures.

July: To me, there is not a better month than July. It has been, and probably always will be my favorite month. I thought this year might be an exception, however, as I woke up on the 4th of July to toddler vomit all over my chest. The thing about waking up with vomit all over you is that the day can only get better from there, right? We did go to some pretty killer spots, but we also had almost everything we backpack with ate by marmots. They even took Drake’s shoe OFF HIS FOOT! The marmots were so bad, we came home and looked up how to cook marmot. While the recipe didn’t sound appetizing, if those damn rodents descend on us again next year in the same way, some of them will be soup…but that just might end up with another episode of waking with vomit on my chest!

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August: Weather forced us to do a bit of “glamping” this month; Three times we tried to get up to the high country, and three times we were chased down the mountain by crazy weather. You win some, you lose some. We had a big life change in August as well; Drake started school. It was hard on both of us for a bit, but these days he loves it. We ended the month in our tent. I think we spent twenty some hours in the tent due to rain/snow/sleet. It was a real bummer because we were at a location that I really wanted Dustin to experience. We didn’t get to toss one fly. Our backcountry adventures are quite different with a toddler. As hard as we tried to keep him warm and not fish in the rain, we failed as parents; Drake walked away from the cold, dreary weekend with a horrible cold.

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September: We began a tough few months starting in September. We weathered the storm, and took as many breaks as we could to get in touch with ourselves without all life’s bummer distractions. One of the best things about living here is that utopia is only a short drive away. As we climb in elevation, worries melt away. It is always hard to say goodbye to summer, but I think we said a splendid farewell.

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Written by Stephanie Mullins



hello I just stumbled across your blog this morning and it is awesome! My husband, two year old and i would love to go backpacking but we can't figure out how to put all the back packing supplies in one bag when we carry our tot in his osprey backpack. Any advice?

Stephanie and Dustin

Hi there. Do you have a Poco Premium? That's the model we have and I carry my son and gear in it, and my hubby carries the rest in his 65L. All of our gear is ultralight. Should your kiddo still be in diapers, I'd recommend cloth so you can rinse and reuse. We've also used a two man tent the last few summers. If you don't have a Poco Premium, you can both take traditional packs and do a front carry with an Onya Baby Carrier ( or similar soft structured carrier).


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