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We just had the incredible experience of traveling across the country from Colorado to Alabama with the Nick News film crew and it was crazy fun. They spent 9 days filming everything we did and for the most part, they just blended in, they didn’t bark orders, they didn’t interfere with our flow and when they did, it was for little things, like, “Whoa, hold up, let me get in front of you,” or “Hey Dan, can you jump into the left lane so we can get this shot,”. Or “You guys are going too fast, slow down,” as we blew past them on the slopes. No big deal really.

It showed us what having a Reality Show would be like, and most of our apprehensions were put to rest. We feel like we could actually do it, that we actually have something to offer the world, in terms of living authentically, embracing what really matters and truly enjoying being parents. It’s shocking to us, but there is a mentality that when you become parents, your life must end. That’s just ludicrous. We’ve managed to continue to enhance our lives since we’ve had children.
Of course we have introduced sports we have always loved like snowboarding, climbing and caving to them, why would we not? Why rob them of that joy? In addition, we have learned new sports through our kids. It is because of our continuous search for family activities that we discovered the uncomparable joy of kayaking. You know, I grew up down the street from Great Falls, VA and did not know one kayaker, did not even know of the sport.

Kayaking is a life changer. I don’t need to tell any of you this. All paddlers understand what I’m referring to, regardless of their skill level … it kind of takes over your life. And as a parent, it is, by far, our favorite activity to do with our children. From teaching them to roll to running some scary steeps, we are all learning and loving and living together. We experience the same joy, the same apprehension, the same triumph and even the same defeats, which enables us to be deeply empathetic with each other. In what other sport do you get all of that?

I don’t think anyone is immune to the beckoning of paddling. Josh, Marco & Ted (the Nickelodeon trio) filmed us running Shoshone on the Colorado River. They filmed us snowboarding at Sunlight Mtn Resort. They filmed us playing paintball in Junction City, KS. They filmed us traveling and setting up camp, breaking up camp, fishing, boondocking at Walmart, and then they filmed us hucking Short Creek Falls. At the end, Marco said we had inspired him. He wanted an RV. But, he also wanted to learn to kayak as well and teach his kids. There is something very contagious about, not only the sport of kayaking, but about the actual people who enjoy it. The majority have a handle on life that is very much unlike the rest of society. They possess a true happiness, a true zeal for life. It’s hard to miss and it’s hard not to desire for yourself. Hence Marco’s inspiration! We plan to meet up with him and his family and get them all in some Jackson boats and on the river this summer. Another life changed by the sport of paddling!

In addition to the adventure film the Nick crew was getting, they also wanted to interview the older kids as well as Dan and I, which mean that we were forced to put into words what we’ve felt for the past 22 months of travel!

Vocal articulation has never been our strong point and it’s extremely hard to vocalize what this adventure has offered us in terms of turning ordinary life into something extraordinary. The interviews consisted of questions in varying degrees of difficulty. The kids are pros in their composure when answering questions. They are completely authentic. They love this lifestyle that focuses on experiences and encourages a connection to family and surroundings. It doesn’t hurt that they get to kayak across the country, meet tons of really amazing people, and do school on their own schedule.

The great lesson of life is that time is the one thing we can’t negotiate, it’s the one thing we can’t revive, once our time is up … it’s up. It’s the great equalizer, we all have the same time in the day … we all have an expiration date. We prefer and so we actively choose to spend as much time with the people we love. Memories are our legacy. Time with Dan & I and the freedom to run, explore, imagine, dream, face fears, accomplish great feats, make mistakes and experience defeat and revel in triumph are our gifts to them.

Many thanks to Jackson Kayak, Kokatat, SnapDragon, Shred Ready, Astral & Lighting Paddles for all your support in getting the kids into the best and safest gear on the market!!

The Nickelodeon show should air mid-June, Josh said the 10 or 17th … we’ll be sure to let everyone know as it gets closer the exact dates!!