The Life of an Adventure Dad


I got a serious life upgrade recently: Fatherhood.

Add the titles of “Dad” and “Father” to husband, writer, adventurer, guide, etc.—but this one casts me into a completely different category fresh and fraught with life changes. I say, bring it on.

Pippa was born at 4:54 p.m. on Tuesday June 30, a fast and furious entrance into the world. My wife got a haircut at noon, came home at 2:30, and by 3:30 I rushed her to the hospital, where they quickly admitted us to a room. Considering Pippa wasn’t supposed to come until July 12, it was a bit of a shock. I hated seeing my wife in that much pain (there was no time for pain meds), but she was a champ and the joy afterward has now overshadowed those terrible hours.

Pippa weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces when she was born. My wife and I named her after re-reading Pippi Longstocking, the story of the fiery red-headed girl that seems so full of spirit and fun. We imagined that our little Pip would be like that in some ways, and so we chose the British counterpart, “Pippa.” The name is uncommon in the U.S. but is a little bit more common in the U.K.

Back to my title upgrade, technically, I’m already a dad to my stillborn son, Elliott, who died 7 months along last summer. But, certainly fatherhood feels a little more real when the baby cries and wakes you up in the middle of the night.

Now with Pippa here, I’d like to add a more specific title to my list: “Adventure Dad,” for, I hope to be the type of father who takes her on adventures. Especially since Elizabeth and I live in Colorado and already enjoy it so much, I see this as somewhat of an inevitability.

Lately, I have been a lot more aware when I have seen dads with daughters. For I knew I soon would enter that world. I remember hiking Mount Senitas near Boulder, watching dads with toddlers in backpacks or dads hiking with their teenage daughters on the way up. I wanted in on that world, and now it is finally here.

I know it may be awhile before Pippa will be ready for adventures, other than being schlepped in a backpack for awhile. But having a lifetime of that to look forward to is very fun.

To be fair, I don’t know how much she will like the outdoors. I hope she will at least like skiing and rock climbing a little—for her old man’s sake 🙂 I look forward to getting know who she is and find out what this little girl likes.

There is an obvious paradox of the outdoor lifestyle as it relates to kids. Children take up time and so do outdoor sports—obviously one will have to give. But that is a sacrifice I am willing to make and have thought a lot about. I can’t imagine a much better use of my time and life than being a good dad to Pippa.

Of course, last night’s crying murdered my sleep. But my perspective has changed from just, “I” had a bad night to Pip had a good night (she actually fed well and slept decent), so in reality my night was pretty good, too.

My days are even better as I have so much to look forward to with her in my life.

Here we go Fatherhood. What an incredible life upgrade.

P.S. I snuck in a sprint triathlon on Sunday: The Boulder Sunrise. Had I known Pip was coming just 2 days later, I might have held off—though it may be awhile before I return to such pursuits.

P.P.S. This post was written on July 2. Not sure why it keeps saying July 3.

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