Besides being a committed dad, I’m an English teacher and soccer coach at an independent school in Atlanta—this fall, I start year number seventeen of confounding 8th graders with Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey. Although in past years I have also helped to teach summer courses in field geology and interdisciplinary field ecology/nature writing, for the most part I teach a conventional curriculum and live an average (and comfortable, even refined) urban existence.
But I’m always yearning to get outside, the bigger the outside the better. In the form of echoes from my not-so-recent past, my outdoor resume includes two courses with the National Outdoor Leadership School (Winter Outdoor Educator and Mountain Instructor courses), several summers leading trips for teenagers with Longacre Expeditions and Moondance Adventures, and (way back when) a stint as Backcountry Ranger with the BLM in Escalante, UT. Nowadays, my primary outdoor pursuits are whitewater kayaking and birding. As the boys get bigger, I look forward to backpacking and climbing again and ultimately mounting crazy expeditions with them.
Most of the time, these three hats I wear—soccer and lacrosse dad, teacher and coach, wannabe mountain man—seem distressingly disparate and mutually exclusive. But occasionally I manage to wear more than one comfortably at the same time, and these are by far my happier and healthier moments. The trip that gave birth to this blog rekindled my determination to bring the outdoors to both my family and my professional lives as much as possible. That’s what this blog is about. So far, it has welded me to my computer screen more than I’d care to admit.