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Fly rod in hand, I eased into the cool waters of the storied Madison River. My son, Ben, was just steps behind me, eager to wet his line. Despite my felt-bottomed shoes, I faltered slightly, slipping off the rounded, moss-covered rocks below my feet.

“Here, take my hand,” Ben said softly behind me. “I’ll help you.”

Steadied by his strength – at 6′ 3″, he now towers over me – we pushed forward against the rippling current.Mothers with children older than mine had long presaged it would happen like this: a fast-forward blur of growth spurts, sporting events, back-to-school nights and prom dates. And now Ben is holding me upright as we wade into braided waters under the wide Montana sky, a vast expanse we both love.

This was more than a casual weekend. He had called to suggest we meet for a few days of mother-son fly-fishing, an interest we have happily shared since his boyhood. After, we would head to the big celebration. In less than a week, he would marry a wonderful young woman.

It was no surprise he chose this landscape for our special time together. Gratefully, it was our way. It was our comfortable, common ground.

Kids in garden in CuencaBoth photos on this page are courtesy of Lynn O’Rourke Hayes

The Great Outdoors
Getting outside is one important way that my three boys and I have bonded. While we’ve shared countless extraordinary experiences, the times we treasure most are those where the wind sings through the trees, wildlife crosses our paths and jagged peaks provide a purple-hued backdrop. And just maybe, a little “weather” makes the adventure a bit more sporting.

Such outings – for a day, a week and sometimes longer – sustained and tightly stitched the fabric of our family. But it is seemingly more difficult today for parents and children to find their way to nature.

What’s in the Way?
Ask anyone with more than four or five decades tucked under his or her belt about favorite childhood memories and you are likely to hear about games of Kick the Can, Capture the Flag, and Hide and Seek. Or perhaps we’ll tell tales of lopsided tree forts, crafting boats to float downstream or capturing crawdads in the creek.

We were comfortable outside.

Yet today it is reported that kids eight to 18 years old devote an average of seven hours and 38 minutes to entertainment media on any given day. That’s more than 53 hours a week. Adults’ demanding careers, concerns about “stranger danger,” tangled traffic and easy access to technology combine to keep kids inside. Further, structured activities, from music lessons to team sports, designed to keep youngsters “competitive” leave little room for carefree, outdoor discovery.

It’s no surprise that the natural world therefore feels a little “unnatural.” All the more reason to make a nature-based family holiday a top priority.

Kids in nature in ItalyWhy It Matters
It’s good for your health.

The stress, distractions and constant stimulation of modern life sap our energy. Fortunately, a slew of scientific studies confirms a leafy, green remedy. Time in nature – hiking, paddling, camping, star gazing – not only helps us relax but has a significant positive impact on the overall health of the next generation.

Regular time outside results in significant improvements to an expanding list of modern-day parental concerns. Obesity is perhaps the most visible, but the list includes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning challenges, creativity, and mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

In short, spending time in nature makes us feel better.

To wit, Richard Louv, author of the groundbreakingLast Child in the Woods and chairman of the Children & Nature Network, shares a story that begins with an issue of San Francisco magazine. He describes a “vivid photograph of a small boy, eyes wide with excitement and joy, leaping and running on a great expanse of California beach, storm clouds and towering waves behind him.”

Offers Louv: “A short article explains that the boy was hyperactive, he had been kicked out of his school, and his parents had not known what to do with him – but they had observed how nature engaged and soothed him. So for years they took their son to beaches, forests, dunes, and rivers to let nature do its work.”The photograph was taken in 1907. And the boy was the incomparable nature and landscape photographer Ansel Adams.

It’s good for your future.

If we expect our children to care for our world, isn’t it our responsibility to make proper introductions and then nurture relationships with forests, rivers, parks and mountaintops? It would be understandably difficult for a tech-savvy generation to commit to caring for wild places they hardly know. In fact, a 2006 study by Wells and Lekies suggests that youngsters’ participation in nature-based activities before the age of 11 is the most effective way to ensure their interest in caring for the environment they will inherit.

A Landscape for Life
When it comes to planning family travel, as purveyors and participants we have options. We can make sure that our children know the sound of streams tumbling over well-worn stone, are able to identify the hoot of an owl or marvel at the sound of their own voices echoing within steep, canyon walls.

In doing so, perhaps they learn how to tap into the mysterious and healing power of the natural world. And thus, should they seek the comfort of common ground, they will know the way.

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes is the Editor of FamilyTravel.com and a founding member of the Family Travel Association's Board. Find out more about the FTA Spotlight Series and share your thoughts about Family Travel

hotel del

Quick, what's the difference between a big resort hotel and the Wizard of Oz's Emerald City?

Answer: A story.

The wizard's creator, L. Frank Baum, was a frequent visitor to Coronado, California, and the town's beating heart, the Hotel del Coronado ("The Del" to the locals). His visits were so frequent, in fact, that his editor arranged for the rental of a separate house—off of "The Del" property—so that he might get away from the perpetual distraction of the hotel and get some writing done. The hotel and his whimsical experiences there clearly influenced his imaginings of Oz; some of Baum's illustrations of the Emerald City even look suspiciously like the iconic Queen Ann-style hotel.

Coronado still retains much of what attracted Baum (not the least of which is its own, amazing story), and it has also developed an even richer offering of experiences, accommodation, dining choices, and activities that (fortunately for his editor) didn't exist in Baum's day. And because families have always been such a part of the Coronado story, much of that new growth is still family-friendly.

The crown jewel of Coronado is, of course, the Hotel Del Coronado.

Before it was completed in 1877 there was little more than dust and scattered tufts of pampas grass. But the dreams and vision that brought forth the grand hotel spread outward, and shortly the whole island was transformed into the lush, green, and (relatively) tranquil community you see today.

A stroll through the exquisite Coronado neighborhoods is a hint of the island's military presence on its north side. Many current and former navy personnel have homes here, and that military precision shows in the beautifully kept homes and immaculate landscaping (you could bounce a quarter off the lawns). But perhaps a better way to stroll the area around the Hotel Del is to tag along with Coronado Touring for a truly fun and fascinating walking tour. The grand and historic feel of the Hotel Del suggests a great story all its own, and a couple of hours with Coronado Touring confirms it.

You'll even see "The Oz House", Mr. Baum's former "off-site" residence. If you can do this early in your Coronado visit, you'll then see the place with a sense of wonder you might otherwise miss (how else would you know about the secret message in the sand dunes?).

The walking tour begins in the Glorietta Bay Inn, which is itself significant in the story, as it's principle building was the home of Coronado's greatest benefactor and "savior" of the Hotel Del dream, John Spreckels. The Glorietta is a terrific option to the Del Coronado, as you are just across the street from the Del but can choose from luxurious and historic rooms in Spreckels's original house or more modern and affordable rooms of various sizes throughout the rest of the hotel. The entire property is immaculately kept and the friendly staff clearly take their cue from, Claudia, the Glorietta's gregarious and hospitable manager.

The vivid and fascinating history of the island lends a richer tone to everything else you experience afterward. Just a few blocks from the Hotel Del, Clayton's Coffee Shop could be just a nifty 50's-themed diner (albeit with great food and sumptuous milkshakes), but now it feels like a time machine and you wouldn't be surprised to see Mr. Baum himself at the counter reading the day's paper over a coffee and apple pie.

Two more blocks along Orange Avenue will find you transported back to that golden age of theatre at the incredibly restored Village Theatre and two blocks back on Orange Avenue from Clayton's will satisfy that old fashioned summer yen for handcrafted ice cream at the Moo Time Creamery.

And of course many of the shops at the Hotel del Coronado itself recapture that historic feel, like at Spreckels Sweets & Treats, where you can get (among loads of other things) the same fudge or saltwater taffy that Frank Baum undoubtedly sampled.

But while Coronado Island certainly honors its rich history, it has grown up nicely with terrific contemporary offerings. Head south along the narrow peninsula (Coronado is technically not an island) where you'll find the contemporary and luxurious Loews Coronado Bay Resort one of Parents Magazine's "10 Best Family Beach Resorts".

The sheer luster in the recently refurbished interior betrays the many family-oriented amenities, including poolside movies (at just one of the three pools!), a dedicated kids' activity desk, and rides in one of their authentic Venetian gondolas. And it's just a short walk or free shuttle to the quiet Silver Strand State Beach, which might seem like your own private beach, relative to crowds at Coronado Beach.

Further along Orange Avenue from the Hotel Del on the north side of the Island you'll find a host of shops, restaurants, and activities surrounding the Ferry Landing. Nearby the Ferry Landing is the sumptuous Coronado Island Marriott Resort, with exquisite views over the bay to the beautiful San Diego skyline, rejuvenating spa treatments, a private water taxi across the bay for guests, and a lush pool and outdoor restaurant that you may find difficult to leave to explore Coronado.

But explore you must, for no matter where you stay, your own Coronado story is waiting to be written.

hotel dell

"Coronado: The Queen of Fairyland"

And every day her loveliness,

Shines pure, without a flaw;

New charms entrance our every glance,

And fill our souls with awe!

- L. Frank Baum

 

WHEN TO GO:

The locals are spoiled in San Diego, and even during what they call "June Gloom", the weather is pleasant (if not fully sunny till noon). That said, the best months for weather are June through September. You'll find better deals and smaller crowds outside those months.

 

THINGS TO DO:

 

You'll find plenty to keep the whole family busy on Coronado, but here are number of things to consider in your itinerary:

- Gooey fun: After dinner S'mores on the beach at Hotel Del Coronado.

- Haute Culture: and evening at the impressive Lamb's Players Theatre

- Discovery: Kayak tour with a state park naturalist at Loew's Coronado Bay Resort.

- Gluttony: The indescribable decadence of the Hotel Del Coronado Crown Room Sunday brunch.

- Toodling: Pedal the family around the island on a 4-person surrey bike, available at your hotel or shops around town.

- Learning: Get the full and fascinating story on the island at the Coronado Museum of History & Arthttp://coronadohistory.org/.

 

ACCOMMODATION:

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa

Glorietta Bay Inn

Hotel del Coronado

Loews Coronado Bay Resort

It’s easy to allow financial stress, busy schedules and a hectic lifestyle to get in the way of putting dates on the calendar.

Here are seven reasons to flag a family vacation as a top priority:

No one is getting any younger.

Not you, the grandparents, or your children. Family life is hectic and it can be difficult to carve out time to even plan a vacation, let alone takeone. Yet, before you know it, the kids will be otherwise engaged with school or team responsibilities, summer jobs and college internships. That means the opportunities to get away as a family will diminish even further. So, get planning!

It’s only money.

Sure, budgets are tight. We’re all trying to save more. But a hefty bank account is no substitute for a memory bank brimming with great visuals of your kids running on the beach, hiking in the mountains or climbing in the saddle for the first time. Allocate the dollars you can. Then be on the lookout for deals, promotions or creative low-cost options.

Keep it in the family.

Those busy work and school schedules often mean we seldom see family members about whom we care deeply. Add the geographic spread that is common in most clans and get togethers can be rare. Make this the summer you reconnect with grandparents, that favorite uncle or your long lost cousins. Share stories. Trade photos. Extend the limbs on your family tree.

Get outside.

A visit to a national, state or regional park can provide a bonanza of historical and natural insight and experience. Take to the trails, the streams or the hillside and enjoy nature’s bounty. Camping along the way provides a low cost opportunity to learn outdoor skills and tell tales around the camp fire.

Make it a photo opp.

We tend to remember those moments and events that we capture on film or on a digital memory card. Be deliberate about gathering the kids, friends and relatives together to snap a photo or a few moments of video. Be sure to capture those candid moments too. Then, share and enjoy!

Write it down.

Whether you keep a journal or notes with your photos, scribble a few sentences about your planning process and the trips you take. In time, memory seems to fade the details like dialogue, what people wore, jokes and stories told or memories shared. Save the individual strands of the experience. You’ll be glad you did.

Make a plan together.

Gather your family and get their input on your travel plans. Seek volunteers for researching possible destinations or low cost opportunities. Consider house trades, villa rentals, last minute getaways or just a weekend in a neighboring city. When the time comes, share packing and last minute detail responsibilities. In the end, it is the shared experience that creates the lasting memories and strengthens the bond.

Finding the right spaces at the right price can be a challenge when traveling with the family. Here are sleeping styles to consider:  

1. Steamboat Grand Resort and Condominiums, Steamboat Springs, Colo. 

This resort hotel offers easy access to mountain activities including gondola rides, biking and zip lining. A free shuttle makes it simple to sample downtown dining and shopping with the kids.

Relax on a float tube and meander down the Yampa River or visit the nearby Strawberry Park Hot Springs for a unique experience.

Choose from spacious hotel-style rooms that open to living areas designed with futonlike sleeping spaces and pullout sofas.

An in-room kitchen makes family dining and snacking easy and affordable.

Contact: steamboatgrand.comsteamboatchamber.com  

2. Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, Bethany Beach, Del.

 Recently opened in an award-winning mid-Atlantic beach destination, the 112-suite property is the first and only lodging option directly on the historic boardwalk. Direct access to the beach makes it easy for families to manage nap schedules, snacks and all the gear required for a day of sea, sand and sun.

Settle into your suite with balconies, views, a kitchenette and pullout couch. Add connecting suites for additional space. If you need a break from the sand, spend time at the saltwater pool.

Contact: bboceansuites.com  

3. Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia. 

Book the Kids Kamping package for extra sleeping space with a twist. While the adults climb into traditional bedding, kids can snooze inside a full-size tent that welcomes them with cozy pillows, blankets and a teddy bear. The landmark hotel, located at Rittenhouse Square, also offers s’mores as a treat before bedtime.

Contact: radissonblu.com/hotel-philadelphia  

4. Vacation rentals. 

If you need plenty of room to roam, vacation rentals may be the right fit. With more companies making it easier to review the experiences of previous guests, compare and book, it can make sense to choose a loft, cabin, condo or home with the number of beds, baths, amenities and the location that works for your crew.

Contact: airbnb.comhomeaway.comVRBO.com  

5. Hipmunk. 

Confused as to whether multiple hotel rooms or a vacation rental make the most sense for your brood?

Hipmunk’s search engine includes vacation rentals, and new functionality makes it possible to easily compare the amenities, sleeping spaces and price for both options without toggling between screens.

Contact: hipmunk.com

Four Seasons hikers

Take a hike — and take the whole family with you. Here are five scenic destinations to consider:

1. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

For jaw-dropping beauty, lace up and explore the jagged peaks of the magnificent Teton Range hear Jackson Hole. Trails that hug the shores of String, Leigh and Trapper lakes are ideal for families. With little elevation gain, the flat terrain provides ample opportunity to photograph the Tetons reflected in the water, wade into the shallow lake and picnic along the shoreline where the views will astound your entire crew.

Contact: wyomingtourism.org; http://www.fourseasons.com/jacksonhole/

2. Tackle a Colorado 14er. 

The Centennial State is home to dozens of 14,000-foot peaks that beckon residents and visitors alike. Whether you make it to the summit or simply relish the high-altitude views, several of the trails are viable for adventuresome and fit families.

At 14,060 feet, Mount Bierstadt is both the closest peak to Denver and considered among the most approachable. Plan to arrive early, hydrate well and be off the mountain by midday to avoid dangerous thunderstorms that can roll in quickly.

Contact: colorado.com14ers.com 

3. Shenandoah National Park.

 More than 500 trails snake through this National Park in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, just 75 miles from Washington, D.C. Access family-friendly trails via the 105-mile long Skyline Drive, a historic National Scenic Byway that traverses the park. The highway also offers 75 scenic overlooks to stop and appreciate the region’s natural beauty. The 3.5-mile Lewis Springs Fall Loop is popular with families and offers scenic views and waterfalls. The Stony Man Summits and lower cliffs is the same length, offering stunning vistas with only 500 feet of elevation change.

Contact: nps.gov/shen/index.htm  

4. Southern California’s Backbone Trail. 

Not far from the Hollywood action you’ll find the 68-mile Backbone Trail, extending the length of the Santa Monica Mountains. Choose from a handful of day hike options. Try the Ray Miller Trail, accessed through Point Mugu State Park.

Scenic views of Ventura County can be seen from the 6-mile loop trail, starting at the trailhead off Yerba Buena road. Either way, you’ll be worlds away from the urban hustle.

Contact: nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/aboutthebbt.htm  

5. Canyonlands, Utah. 

For long views, sunny days and unique land formations, consider a hike into the history-rich Canyonlands. It’s a photographer’s dream landscape, so keep your camera handy as you choose among short strolls, longer day hikes or more strenuous outings.

The 2-mile Grand View Point trail offers panoramic views of the Island in the Sky Mesa. To learn about how the Anasazi lived in the area, consider the Aztec Butte Trail, where some of their rock structures are still visible.

Contact: utahscanyoncountry .com/index.html

bike Colorado
With more gold and platinum-rated bicycle communities than any other state and exciting cycling events for amateurs to pros, Colorado is the place to visit for fun on two wheels.
The 2015 USA Pro Challenge (August 17-23) and the inaugural Women’s USA Pro Challenge (August 21-23) will welcome spectators to witness the world’s best professional road cyclists and iconic cycling routes through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and Front Range. For different cycling scenery and a group ride atmosphere, the 2015 Pedal The Plains Bicycle Tour returns to the plains of Northeastern Colorado September 18-20.
It is guaranteed the USA Pro Challenge will get spectators amped to do a bit of cycling themselves and participants in Pedal the Plains are sure to leave wanting more rides and views from Colorado’s plains. Below is a sampling of mountain, road and cruiser bike rides to be experienced in the host destinations of these two major cycling events.  For more information on cycling in Colorado, visit http://www.colorado.com/
USA Pro Challenge Host Destination Rides: 
Arapahoe Basin—The Argentine-North Fork and Lenawee trails allow mountain bikers to go up and over Arapahoe Basin into stunning views of wildflower fields. Road bikers can enjoy the 20-mile loop around Lake Dillon with rolling hills and a climb up Swan Mountain. For a scenic cruiser ride, the Summit County Recreational Pathway System (Rec Path) connects towns and resorts throughout Summit County.
Aspen—Top-rated mountain bike trails on Snowmass Mountain include the Cross Mountain Trail (intermediate), Wilderness Way (intermediate) and Banzai (expert only). The road to Maroon Bells offers road bikers some of the best scenery Aspen has to offer.  Although Aspen prides itself on its hardcore mountain and road bike rides, it is also a great place to take a cruiser bike ride. The Rio Grande Trail is a gently sloping, mostly paved surface that runs 40 miles from Aspen to Glenwood Springs.
Breckenridge—Mountain bikers can take advantage of a sprawling trail network of more than 50 miles found right in Breck’s backyard. Road bikers can check out the paved Blue River Recreation Path that follows the Blue River through town limits. Cruiser bikers can join the community for Breckenridge Cruisers every Thursday night in June, July and August for a themed bike crawl.
Copper Mountain—This ski resort offers riders an unlimited amount of bike hauls up the American Eagle chairlift for $15 per day. A wide range of beautiful high-country mountain trail rides lead cyclists of all skill levels through forest of pines and meadows. Road and cruiser cyclists can enjoy an exhilarating downhill descent when traveling from Copper to Frisco on the Rec Path or for those wanting more of a challenge, they can ride uphill in the opposite direction.
Denver—The Mile High City boasts more than 850 miles of paved off-road trails. Road bikers can’t miss the Cherry Creek Bike Path that begins where Denver was first founded at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. The path runs along the creek for more than 40 miles to Franktown. Cruisers can look forward to summer nights eachWednesday when Denver Cruiser Ride brings the party to downtown Denver with weekly wacky themes.
Fort Collins—With more than 280 miles of bike lanes and trails, Fort Collins caters to every kind of cyclist. Climb up into the foothills via various road rides that travel along Horsetooth Reservoir. Horsetooth Mountain Open Space offers several rides for mountain bikers who are looking for varied terrain and challenges. For paved winding trails that the whole family can enjoy, the Poudre River Trail and Spring Creek Trail both travel along river fronts.
Golden—Situated in between the plains and mountains, Golden provides a great combination of flatlands, gentle slopes and challenging mountain roads. The ultimate challenge for road bikers presents itself at Lookout Mountain. Tony Grampsas Park features the first purpose-built, mountain bike-only trails in Golden. Cruisers can look forward to the last Tuesday of the month until October when the city gets together for a family-friendly bike ride that takes riders through the town.
Loveland—Devil's Backbone, one of Loveland’s favorite mountain biking trails, is abundant with natural features such as grasslands carpeted with wildflowers that make this a beautiful and adventurous ride. Road cyclists can experience scenic views like Boyd Lake when they travel from Loveland to Drake and Estes Park through Big Thompson Canyon along US 34. For even more scenic landscapes that everyone can enjoy, cyclists can head to the South Shore or North Lake Park along Lake Loveland for a casual cruiser ride.
Steamboat Springs—Set against the western ridge of the Continental Divide this city has all three biking styles covered. Emerald Mountain hovers over downtown and is a local favorite for cross-country mountain bikers. For those looking for downhill thrills Steamboat Bike Park offers 2,200 vertical feet of descending flow trails. The Yampa Valley area provides spectacular scenery for those who are more inclined to road bike. The Yampa River Core Trail allows cruisers to travel alongside the Yampa River across town.
Pedal the Plains Host Destination Rides:
Holyoke—Traveling to Holyoke on Highway 6 or 385 allows riders to see the role that agriculture plays on this small town located 13 miles east of the Colorado/Nebraska border. Riders can expect to see rows of wheat, corn, sugar beets, millet and other fields that line the horizon. Cyclists will also see livestock on their ride across this area.
Julesburg—This gateway to Colorado is a rider’s first eastern greeting when traveling west toward the Rocky Mountains. What was once a city of the Wild West is now a quiet small town that welcomes cyclists who are traveling along the South Platte River. This town is perfect for bird watching and catching a glimpse of the abundant wildlife as you ride by.
Sterling—Located just off Interstate-76, this agricultural community is nestled next to the Overland Trail that runs along the South Platte River. Cyclists will enjoy the serene qualities of Sterling’s natural landscapes. Grasslands and rolling hills make for ideal views of the state’s frontier heritage.

travel troubles

Contemplating a family vacation? Don’t let concern about the challenges of travel keep you from taking off with the kids.

Remember, attitude is everything.

Here are tips for five common travel hassles.

1. Lost luggage: If you’ve stashed medical necessities, proper documents and perhaps a change of clothes into your carry-ons, it’s all good. Buy what might be crucial (and get reimbursed by your airline or through your travel insurance). Then focus on what you do have. You and the gang will quickly learn that less is more. With fewer choices and a lightened load, there will be more time to enjoy the adventures at hand.

Contact: medjetassist.com

2. You’re lost: With GPS and so many directionally savvy phone apps, it’s likely you’ll find your way back on track in no time. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, interesting sites or a cozy diner that may exist on the road less traveled. It’s also a good time to talk with the kids about how mistakes happen and positive ways to recover.

Contact: maps.google.comroadsideamerica.com

3. Bad weather: When it rains on your beach vacation or the wind howls during a camping trip, it is a great time to look for the alternate adventure. Search for seashells without fear of a sunburn. Break out the board games or learn a new card trick. Campers can stow the tent in the back of the car and check into a hotel with a great indoor pool. Stay flexible. Be creative. And uncover what is possible.

4. Someone gets sick: It’s no fun to feel under the weather away from home. So it’s extra important to have the family’s support. Depending on the severity of the illness, consider the divide and conquer strategy. Take turns enjoying planned activities and staying in to cheer the sick one. If you bought travel insurance, review your options for medical care and reimbursement for canceled portions of the trip.

Contact: travelguard.com

5. The trip doesn’t unfold as expected: Some family members thrive on routine, and travel can mess with the order of things. But it’s also a good time to talk about how life will throw curveballs and it is good practice to learn how to respond to the unexpected. Embrace the serendipitous and know that when snafus occur it can make for a better story. Often, the pesky mishaps are the moments that become family lore and are cheerily recounted year after year.

Fly fishing for families FamilyTravel.com

During a recent outing I was reminded why they call one of my favorite sports “fishing”.

And not “catching”.

It was a beautiful day in the Vail Valley and my son Alex and I headed out for a morning of “Walk and Wade” fly-fishing with a guide from Gore Creek Fly Fishermen.

Scott picked us up at The Arrabelle where we were enjoying a family weekend, and we made our way to a lovely stretch of the Eagle River.  After gearing up we headed into the water, eager for that first, satisfying tug on our line.  Despite our enthusiasm, hours went by with only a few tangled lines to show for our effort.

With Scott’s help, we identified the bugs in the air and traded out flies.

Still no luck.

Despite our lack of “success” it was a beautiful day and we were able to enjoy the cool breezes off the water, the graceful bends in the river and the soothing sound of the luminescent ripples over the rocks.

We practiced our patience and were prepared to depart the river, closed out for the first time in a while.

“Some days are just like that,” we acknowledged.

And then it happened.

First, Alex pulled in a beautiful brown.  With luck now clearly on our side, I landed a rainbow of my own.

Thankfully, the fishing gods had rewarded our patience. And appropriately reminded us that fly-fishing is a total experience. It is immersion into natural beauty. It requires focus and intention.  It’s instructive and meditative.

And while “catching” is desirable, it is only the most highly publicized perk in a diversified program. 

 

You'll find more family fly fishing ideas here.

lynnmakingwineinfrance

“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel's immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way."

- Ralph Crawshaw

(US sociologist, 1864 - 1929)

How will your family stretch this summer? 

What new experiences are on the horizon? 

surfing adventure

Life is full of adventure!

If you are looking for a little inspiration, a few words to urge you into action, you've come to the right place.

Enjoy!

"You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of shore." – Christopher Columbus

“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” ~ Edward Abbey

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” - Anonymous

Find 49 other inspirational quotes here!

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