It turns out that blogs, as well as many other things, cannot be everything to everyone…
I began AlpineDad, with a focus on telling stories about adventures with our (then upcoming) kiddo, mostly for family and friends. In part, the name described the man I hoped to become: competent in the mountains/a great dad. I also believed others might benefit from hearing about how we continued to adventure while raising a kiddo. We could post practical tips on camping with a baby. We could also review family gear. Further, I expected it might be fun to write about my thoughts regarding all of the above from a philosophical perspective. As you see, it was many things, not the least of which is over-ambitious. About a year ago, I went to register the domain and realized that a couple of guys had started a page with the same name. I, somewhat sadly, transferred the posts to what I’ll call the Pebble blog and moved on from AlpineDad as a concept. With serendipitous timing, the name is no longer being used at the same time as several related ideas are converging.
First, the Pebble blog is now focused on (usually shorter) stories to share adventures with family and friends. Why is this helpful? Because it gives me a place to share those adventures and to use AlpineDad for a different project. Separating them helps to focus ideas.
Second, I read this article, which has nothing to do with the outdoors. It reflects on the idea of appreciating things as they are, when they are, rather than searching for future happiness. This is something my wife has been preaching for our entire relationship, but which I have failed to fully grasp. I have a twenty-mile-long list of opportunities to enjoy. We live in a City surrounded by mountains, lakes, and a river. We possess the resources and skills to turn our home into the exact place we want to live. Our family is mostly healthy (although seemingly plagued by the constant daycare-cold).
Third, we expect our second kiddo in June. For now, and possibly for a while, I will refer to him/her as Sprout. My summer plans now feature Sprout’s arrival as the central event around which to plan. For the past two summers, I’ve tried to join or form groups to climb Mt. Rainier but we haven’t gone. We tried in 2016 and didn’t make it. I was planning to try again in 2019. Sprout has given me a reason to look at the summer differently since climbing is not compatible with my plans surrounding his/her arrival.
So where are all of these things pointing?
This project, AlpineDad, gives me a venue to share thoughts, ideas, and musings on what I view as my approach to outdoors adventures and to life in general.
My reflection this fall and winter has led to a goal of appreciating joy-filled moments as they arrive in each realm: parenthood, marriage, house projects, mountaineering, family time, my work-life and a bunch of other fun things. To be clear, a long-term goal is to be able to take a family vacation which involves something like the John Muir Trail, traversing the Wind Rivers, or climbing the Grand Teton. I am realizing, however, that we’re more like to get to there if we have a multitude of “Type 1 Fun” adventures first. All of these things stand to benefit from trust and happiness built from Dad being engaged in swim lessons and sock dance parties as much as in training sessions or climb planning.
I hope to share how this evolves: focusing on the moment, teaching outdoors (and other) skills to the kiddos, and building adventure into our life.