Blogging about the Fort Collins community is a two-part goal on Fresh Air Fort Collins. One is to develop a resource of information for people living here, sharing trail review information, discussing great fly-fishing spots, and a million other different outdoor activities that are possible in Colorado. The other is building a community of like-minded people, where we can share ideas and discuss different styles and challenges that we come across our Colorado rivers and trails – whatever we may be doing.
Many of you may know that I write three of the blogs in the Scoop Blog Network with most of my time dedicated to Feasting Fort Collins and Fresh Air Fort Collins. Juggling them all is a challenge, so guest bloggers are a huge help! When I received Becky’s email about contributing to Fresh Air, I was thrilled to have some assistance with balance, but also the addition of another perspective to share with you all.
Here’s a little more about Becky and what you can expect to read from her in the coming months!
I was Googling “American Lakes summer hiking Colorado” the other night (because that’s what I do in snowy January) and I stumbled across Fresh Air Fort Collins and The Scoop Blog Network. I started reading “American Lakes Hike: A Must Do, Especially for the Anti-social and Nature-deprived” from 2012. At that point I was hooked and down the bloggy rabbit hole I went. I devoured the Best of 2014 highlights and forced myself to stop reading and go to bed sometime after midnight. I think. There was so much good stuff.
The next morning I couldn’t stop thinking about the Fresh Air blog. As a local, it really resonated with me and provided great info. As a freelance writer, I was impressed with the blog’s voice. I was hooked. I wanted MORE. In less than 12 hours I was asking the Universe, “Where has this blog been all my life?!”
That same day I reached out to Kristin Mastre, trying to play it reeeeal casual, and asked if I could lend my voice to her blog network. Little did Kristin know I was already a super fan.
You know you’re a big fan when you hear yourself say things out loud to Kristin like, “I’m not a stalker, but …” and “I really loved that part in your August 25th Weekend Adventure Report when …” I pretty much geeked out. Luckily Kristin sensed I was harmless, saw some potential and welcomed me with loving arms.
By the way, Kristin is as awesome and real and personable and sharp and adorable and tough as she appears to be in all of her blogs. I’m thrilled to be on her team. I can’t wait to contribute a few stories, share trip beta and admit lessons learned. I’m looking forward to conversations that are relevant to people interested in outdoor adventures in or near Northern Colorado. I might even cross the border into southern Wyoming. I plan to check out local trails, review outdoor recreation programs and explore remote areas of Rocky Mountain National Park. Will I talk about Boulder-area trips in my blogs? Hells NO. There are plenty of people who do that already.
Here are the TOP FIVE THINGS that will shape my Fresh Air Fort Collins blogs:
1. I’M HOMEGROWN
I grew up in Fort Collins since I was eight years old. I’m the youngest of ten kids, so my parents were always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to keep us busy and wear us out. That usually meant going fishing, swimming at lakes, hiking nearby trails, checking out wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park – you get the picture.
After graduating from Colorado State with a Marketing degree, I left FoCo to build my career in places like Los Angeles, Denver and Boulder. In 2002, I moved back to raise my boys in the hometown I love. Today, I pretty much eat, buy, live, work, hike and bleed LOCAL. I’m eager to reveal favorite outdoor gems, as well as share first-time experiences I’m dying to try. And speaking of bleeding…
2. STORY TELLING IS IN MY BLOOD
As kids, we would beg my dad and uncles to tell the same family stories over and over again. That’s where I learned the power of a good story. Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked in corporate communications, public relations and pitching stories to the press. As a freelance writer, I crank out website content, blogs, ad copy, newsletters, magazine features – you name it. I’m so grateful that I can write stories for a living, but this blog is different. I get to write in my own voice, for my hometown, about all the cool outdoorsy adventure stuff NoCo has to offer! Dad is smiling down right now.
3. I’M ACTIVE IN THE OUTDOORS
I can’t stand exercising at the gym, so I head outside to stay healthy and active. Exercise is miserable when it feels like a chore or obligation, so I’m determined to fill my days with activities that are exercise in disguise … ones that feel more like play. Making it fun is the key. I’ve summited 26 Colorado peaks (17 unique) that rise over 14,000 feet in elevation. I’ve been bitten by the 14er bug and hope to never recover. I love hiking, fishing, car camping, backpacking, cruising on my bike, playing grass volleyball, river rafting and tubing, lake kayaking, stand up paddling and trail running. I trail run for joy and with a grateful heart, not against the clock in organized races. Having said that, I did “compete” in the Warrior Dash human steeplechase in Copper Mountain a few years ago. Which leads me to the next thing …
4. I’M WILLING TO TRY NEW THINGS
The best moments of self-discovery are when I totally immerse myself in something new and am forced to tap my inner reserves to tackle the difficult and unfamiliar. I’m not an extreme athlete or danger junkie, but I like to push my limits and feel the occasional adrenaline rush. I also like to try things that calm my swirling mind and encourage quiet reflection. Wherever the activity falls along the crazy-to-calm spectrum, I feel that ANY new experience builds self-esteem and character. Tackling new things in nature makes me feel humble and powerful at the same time. I learn something from every single outing, which makes for some good stories. Right now I’m a newbie at snowshoeing, rock climbing, ice climbing and archery. Stay tuned!
5. I’M DESPERATELY SEEKING BALANCE
I’m a working 44-year-old mom of twin teenage boys. I’m also lucky enough to have an amazingly supportive outdoorsy boyfriend who is a total badass. I have insanely awesome friends, too. So, you’re probably going to see blogs that include this cast of characters. I plan to write about the importance of carving out solo time for yourself in nature. I’ll share the trials and tribulations of trying to get LEGO-loving teenagers off the couch and excited about stretching their legs in the mountains. I’ll report on weekend getaways with my fella, volunteer opportunities, camping as a family and girls-only outings.
I’m excited to explore, share, celebrate and discuss all the cool outdoor activities and places that make Northern Colorado so special. I have a lot to learn, so I always appreciate comments, insight and story ideas. I look forward to getting out in Fresh Air Fort Collins!