With the Brock Turner case in the news, the recent tragic death of local Lady in Waiting Ashley Doolittle and the horrific mass shooting in Orlando, I felt like I needed to write this post.

Emma met Ashley at the National Western Stock Show this year. Ashley couldn’t have been nicer to Emma listening to Emma talk about riding horses and the farm animals she pet. She told Emma all about the Boulder County Fair ball and how Emma could come and dress up in a beautiful gown. She took some photos with Emma and signed a photo for her. Emma still has it up in her room. She calls Ashley “Lady Waiting” and will from time to time talk about how Ashley invited her to the ball. Emma has an impeccable memory. If we attend the ball, I’m not sure how I will explain to her why Ashley isn’t there. How will I one day explain to her about all the violence in the world?

I couldn’t help but think of Ashley and the Stanford rape victim while on a long run Saturday morning. Yesterday morning my thoughts turned to all those affected by the senseless act in Orlando. I sang “Imagine” by John Lennon in my head most of today.

Tragedies and evil can happen no matter how prepared we are. But, I am grateful to be in a position to help Emma grow up to be strong and independent. I hope she always understands that she can come to us no matter the problem, and we will be there to support her. She is in a loving environment where AJ and I can do our best to teach her to except people for their differences no matter if she agrees with them or not. We can teach her to understand that those differences are what makes the world such a wonderful place.

At least for now, I am not worried she will ever carry hatred in her heart. But at the same time, her heart is as large as life. Her loving personality frightens me. As the saying goes, she never met a stranger she didn’t like. She will hug any dog she can. She even sings songs to the ants and the bees to say goodbye. While I think that is one of her most endearing qualities, the vulnerability of it also scares me. She will make the wrong choices at times no doubt. We can only do our best to give her a level head and be there to help her learn a lesson and to pick up the pieces if we need to.

Summer is in full swing. We had a great weekend with plenty of outdoor fun with a BBQ, splash pad birthday party and a photo shoot at the Valmont Bike Park party. AJ got a lot of work done on Emma’s backyard climbing wall too. I sent off my REI article on Strider and will wrap up my bike trails article this week too before we head out to North Carolina to visit AJ’s family. We are looking forward to some time with our toes in the sand.


“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!”

Adventure On,



The Adventures of a Day Hiker

My stories and photos from the National Parks (and more)

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