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In January, I don’t make resolutions so much as travel plans. Since we do many of our adventures in the summer, the turn of the year means it’s time to start planning.

This January, my daughter and I each turned in articles on our Ski to Sea race experiences to Adventures Northwest magazine for their spring issue. Dana focused on her junior Ski to Sea adventures as a three-legged racer, and I mused about car-free eventing. When the editors asked us to write a bio together, it was another opportunity to think ahead about our future adventures.

The bio we wrote: 7th grader Dana, and her mom Laural, love reading, writing, bicycling, hiking, and bilingual adventuring. A runner even when her leg isn’t tied to a friend, Dana thinks she’d like to mountain bike in the adult Ski to Sea some day. Laural’s first experience with Ski to Sea was the sailing leg in 1989, but her last decade on the road bike leg was more fun, and the car-free team the best yet. Their summer plans include backpacking in Mexico, climbing Sloan Peak, and bicycle camping in the San Juan Islands. For more on their family adventuring, check lauralringler.com.

Yahoo for adventure plans. I like those and we will be making even more, I’m sure. And that “bilingual adventuring” phrase? Dana’s. And I’ll surely be glad to share in those plans with her.

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backtoschoolckAs a writer mama, I have learned from and been supported by Christina Katz’ Writers on the Rise, then Writer Mama, and most recently Get Known Before the Book Deal books and websites.

This month, for the third year in a row, The Writer Mama, Christina Katz, is giving away thirty books in thirty days. All you have to do to enter is answer Christina’s question of the day. At the end of each day, a winner will be randomly chosen from those who posted responses -and there is no limit to how many days you can enter. You don’t have to be a mom, of course, though the event is created with moms in mind. Stop by, be inspired, and maybe even win a book!

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P7310543Four years ago, I was leaving the grocery store a few blocks from my house and noticed a guy waiting outside with two backpacks. He looked like he’d been hiking. Figuring the other backpack belonged to his partner who was probably inside the store getting food, I strolled over, and inquired about his trip.

Turned out that Mike and his girlfriend Emmy had just hiked the Pacific Northwest Trail across the North Cascades and hitched a ride into town. I promptly invited them to my home for showers, dinner, use of our washing machine, and a tent spot in our backyard.

They accepted and we walked to my house – where I introduced them to my family, my husband covering his surprise at sudden guests. Interesting and interested college students, they were fun visitors and headed off the next day by bus towards Seattle to eventually get back to their college on the east coast.

They were among the first travelers we’ve had stay with us, followed later that summer by a bicycling Dutch couple, and most recently our first warmshowers guest this past June. And in turn, we have met people while adventuring who have shared their hospitality with us.

This week we came home from a swim at the lake to find a note and a bottle of wine at our door. Emmy and Mike had stopped by, “just passing through on our sailboat and remembered you and your kindness.” They left no phone number or directions as to where they might be moored, so we didn’t have a way to thank them. I’m so sorry we missed seeing them, but we’ll just have to enjoy the wine and toast them, travelling, and saying hello to strangers.

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100_2315_1 With both parents educators, you would think we would have a wide expanse of  summer in which to plan backpacking, bicycling and kayaking trips. And while we do, already it feels like not enough as I draw lines through sections of the calendar for events and trips.

There’s two weeks penciled out for a bicycle trip with our Canadian tandem pals, a five-day stretch for my gals’ backpacking trip, Tom’s Dadventure, and two 3-4 day trips we plan to do with folks new to family adventuring. They’ve never done a bike or backpacking trip before. We get to introduce them to it, which will be double the fun.

And we haven’t even planned anything involving our kayak yet.

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