A Tribute to Our Badass Moms


We know all the traveling, adventurous, badass moms out there want nothing more than to raise their kids in a world of curiousity, a world of fascination, and a world of good ole fashion fun. It's the little things and the everyday moments that have the biggest impact on us.

So here's to the moms, thank you for all that you do and all that you inspire. 


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My mother has continually given me permission to be free. Free to explore, free to mess up, and free to forgive myself. I've maybe seen her without a smile on her face once or twice (both times might've been my fault.. sorry mom..)

When I graduated, I moved from Oklahoma to Seattle and she joined me in a took a two week long road trip through 8 different states. One night, we camped outside of the Grand Canyon and both woke up around 3am FREEZING (we forgot the desert gets deceivingly cold at night). I remember just looking at each other one moment and then the next we were throwing all of our shit into the car to escape the cold. I will never, ever forget the image of my mom throwing our entire, unpacked tent into the car, I've never laughed so hard while being so miserable.

– Casey Callahan

 

My mother has inspired me on countless occasions, but she has one story that is the backbone of them all. My mom grew up in northern New Jersey about 45 minutes from New York City. She should’ve been a city girl, but she was different. My mom was that one girl in school that was obsessed with horses. One day while on campus my mom saw an Ad for a ‘Dude Ranch’ out in Wyoming. This wasn’t an Ad to WORK at a Dude Ranch, but rather an Ad to come out west and experience life on the range. 

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My fearless mother, having NO hands on experience with horses (or really even the true outdoors) went to a payphone, gave them a ring and asked to talk with the head wrangler. They were very confused partly because A) she was a woman, B) she was from Jersey, and C) most people didn’t just call them up and say “Hi, I want to be a wrangler this summer for y’all” (she learned to say y’all by watching John Wayne).

All this being prior to Google, smartphones, and the internet, she wasn’t even sure where Cody Wyoming was or what exactly she would be doing- all she knew was that she was expected there on June 1st and that she would be working with horses.

And she was off. 2,000 miles away from home, with no safety net, no guidance, and no clue what she was doing. All she had to her name was her new pink cowboy boots, a duffle bag full of clothes, and a brick wall of confidence.

Her exploration into the unknown to test the limits of one’s self gave me aspiration to explore this world on my own.

My mother has given me confidence in myself, teaching me to never fear failure. She’s been one of my biggest influences and inspirations in my life. Whether it’s from currently living 2,000 miles away from her and my home or to when my travels brought me to New Zealand where I worked across the country doing physical labor on farms and avocado orchards- her example of hard work, persistence and determination was always on my mind.

– Ryan Mahon

 


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My mother, Sarah Gates aka badass extraordinaire, took up mountain biking at 49! Since, she’s competed in races against women half her age, kicking ass along the way. She turned 50 in February, and her goal for the next 50 years is to encourage middle aged women to really dive into extreme sports as a source of confidence, overall physical health and happiness. My mom is super cool. 

– Stephanie Gates

 

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Actually I inspired my mom to hike. Now she looooves it. Before I moved to Italy we would hike together and when I moved she always loved my hiking pictures around Europe. When I moved back to America we immediately started hiking together again. 

– Brittany Catanzaro


My mom is a bad ass hiker. She has been my inspiration all my life. She was 7 months pregnant in Oregon and would go backpacking with my brothers. My first walk alone hike was in Mt Rainier area at the age 4. She’s almost 70 and can hike 50plus miles.

– Meadow Swanson


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Even as a little girl, I would find my daughter in the outdoors, no shoes, paddling off to places...always observant. She would notice things I missed. She found walls limiting. While many people attribute outside to exercise and hiking strenuously, she gave me permission just to be in the outdoors. I do recall me coming out of a day hike and feeling my whole body in stride, in one. Often in the library or classroom, I can hardly wait to get out to feel that stride.

– Margie Callahan

 

My Mom has taught me the value of being open to anything and everything. 

As kids, my Mom would want to take us on the road as much as humanly possible. Whether it meant a day-trip to Silver Falls or a full-on road trip from NE to NC, we’ve seen the entirety of this country from a down-to-earth point of view. Along the way, she’s encouraged me to try new foods, attempt new experiences and embrace the weird. 

And while as a child I may have been a little apprehensive, being open to new possibilities is a trait that ages very well. My Mom is the driving force behind why I’m still so curious and open-minded today.

– Brent Flentje


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I would say my mom inspired me to hike... in a different way though. I learned many things from my mom. Not to be selfish...push my children to be better.... not to talk negatively or down to them... and it doesn’t cost money to take take your kids on an adventure. I’ve always been outdoorsy...first with packing hunters on horseback in the Rockies... but my kids have inspired me to hike. It’s been just me and them for the past 6 years. Since my middle daughter is scared of horses and I couldn’t bring my 2 year old on horseback rides for his safety, we started hiking!! No matter how hard the hike or how early we have to be up they always have the coolest stories to tell at school about where their mommy took them with a smiling face and great attitude! We’re hoping to do 50 miles this summer!

– Jill Driscoll

 

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My mother has a hell of a life story. Thing is, she’s so humble, she’d never tell you herself. 

Don’t worry – I will.

When she married my dad, putting aside her promising career in finance to be the absolute best mom she could be was a no-brainer – and the best mom she was. The woman never missed a game (even though all three of her children are sadly, deeply unathletic), a recital, a play or a school event. She was a chaperone for every field trip, a volunteer at every holiday party. She even put together our elementary school yearbooks and had a camera on hand at every life milestone. 

“You’ll thank me for this one day,” she would say as we groaned through another picture at Easter, a graduation, a school dance. 

She was right, we did.

When I started high school, my family went through a financial crisis that hit us hard, especially my dad. My mom was caught in the middle, trying desperately to maintain the normalcy her children were used to while also shouldering the responsibility of keeping a family of five from losing everything. Even though she hadn’t worked in 20 years, my mother got not one, not two, but three different jobs  – working late nights at department stores, overtime at a law office, weekends at a consignment shop. She’d come home at 11 p.m. and be up at 6:30 a.m. ready to go again, not a single complaint heard. (Keep in mind, this is when I was 15 and a complete nightmare, so she was dealing with that, too. God bless her.) Without a doubt, it was solely my mother who kept my family together, sane, housed and fed during the toughest time in her own life, all without the expectation of anything in return. 

“It wasn’t so bad,” I told her recently, reflecting back on it. “It’s not like I ever worried about where my next meal would come from.” 

“Well,” she replied, “I did."

And that floored me. How for years, she kept it all to herself – the fear, the pain, the sadness, the desperation, the severity of the situation. She kept it from her kids, because she never wanted them to feel it all, too. A mother’s love is the purest there is. 

Simply put, my mom is the best, bravest, most selfless woman – scratch that, person – I’ve ever met. And I am insanely, deeply, cosmically lucky to get to call her mom.

– Mary Allen

 


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When my mom was a senior in high school, she spent the year working night and double shifts milking cows at a dairy farm so she could save up to go on a six-week backpacking trip in Europe. It was the trip of a lifetime for her, and the beginning of so much growth and adventure that she still cherishes and reminisces. When my mom travels, she possesses a deep sense of appreciation for both the destination and the journey she took to get there. This approach to traveling is so unique but reminds me to slow down, be present and really savor the sweetness of the journey.

– Lucille Shockley

 

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My mother, God rest her soul, took me fishing with her to a nearby lake in Shreveport. We would see the Daddy off to work and the older sister off to school and hit the pier for hours. Apparently, (I was only 4) I once asked "are we going to that damn pier today?". She loved to tell that story. And I still love walking barefoot on a wooden pier

– Jo Allen

 


Marie has always been super intent on my sisters and I being outside and appreciating nature. She always brought us camping growing up and I've been to a bunch of national and state parks because of road trips we've taken (it's how I first learned about the New Deal). I remember when I was in elementary she put me in Girl Scouts so I could go on campouts, but none of the mom's wanted to go, so (surprise) she volunteered and took a bunch of girls on campouts every year. She has also been to almost all 50 states and multiple countries. She always wanted my sisters and I to have those experiences and has never said no to travel dreams or outdoor adventures. She even went as far as hosting au pairs and exchange students to help inspire us to want to know more about the world. She is also getting me a tent as a wedding gift, which is mostly all you need to know. I know that it's because of my mama that I have the love of travel and adventure that I do!

– Lizzie Kemins

 

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My mother and I spent last June hiking 100 miles of the Colorado Trail! It was the best!! Such a beautiful trip and a wonderful experience with my momma

– Amber Elkins