I'm 36 years old and this is the first time since I was 16 that I don't have a job. I feel really fortunate to be able to spend this uninterrupted time with my family and focus on doing things I enjoy: writing, blogging, playing my guitar, and reading my Kindle. Oh yes, and drinking beer with my wife.
My wife is 37 years old. She is the most wonderful mother I know. She has been working or stealing since she was 14. She is also an amazing cook and will be responsible for the "campfire recipes" I promised in the description. I can't think of any other woman I know who is cool/crazy enough to sign up for a trip like this with yours truly. I am a very lucky guy!
Ava Bloom Sanger:
Ava is almost 8. She is one of the most empathetic people I know. Just to give you an idea she is terrified of mosquitos but refuses to allow me to swat them. I am instead required to participate in a "catch and release outside" program. She makes some kind of art every single day. She loves taking care of her younger siblings and her American Girl dolls.
Ava's thoughts on the trip:
"I'm most excited to see all the cliffs like Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. They both sound pretty and a little scary and I like scary stuff. I like to be scared."
Sullivan McDonough Sanger:
Sullivan is 6 years old. He loves to bowl and will somehow find a way to do it even if we are camped on a hillside a hundred miles from civilization. He is, at times, a very introspective soul and I think he'll enjoy connecting with nature on this trip.
Sullivan's thoughts on the trip:
"I'm not going to think."
Sully really loves his cat, Mike, and wishes he could take him on the trip. Thankfully Uncle B is going to take very good care of him.
Juniper Jewel Sanger:
Juniper is 4 years old. She is more full of energy and excitement than anyone I know. Her favorite playground attraction is "jump off the highest point possible and say whee!" She also loves bugs so I can't wait to see what she finds on this trip.
Juniper's thoughts on the trip:
Juniper: "Are we leaving on the trip today?"
Us: "No, Juniper. 9 more days."
Juniper: (cries inconsolably.) "I want to go on the trip now!"
Regis is a ten year old Great Dane. He is an important member of our family and one of Juniper's best friends. The last time we took him camping he was so vigilant about guarding the kids he forgot to poop for two days. (not kidding.)
Frankenstein AKA "Frankie"
Frank is a 3 year old Poodle Bichon. Ava got him as a puppy but he thinks he is our furry fourth child. He fantasizes about someday marrying a cat. Long story.
Abigail AKA "Abby"
Abigail is a 13 year old Shih Tzu. Despite her age she loves to play with Frankie. They have a "Harold and Maude" kind of thing going. Unfortunately she is terrified of thunderstorms and will require a lot of holding when we encounter those. (She doesn't like baths much either.)
Blanca AKA "Blanca"
Blanca is a 13 year old Maltese. She is one of those vocal dogs that howls when she is excited to see you. She has the most earnest brown eyes. She is mad-dogging a cat in this picture. That is her one weakness.
Our 2006 Honda Pilot AKA "True Blue"
Just got it this year but already pretty attached. Can't wait to see what it looks like when we're done with this trip!