Silver Skies over the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco, CA USA #travel

Photographer's STORY: Silver skies over the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco, California. Curious DNA helix in the clouds. Home. #CaliforniaStories


Red Barn Love. Green Mountains, Vermont USA #travel #vermontStories

Photographer's STORY: Heading to the airport. The sun is low and strong and golden glow magical hour is in the air. We're on a backcountry road and we whiz by a luminescent red barn tucked over the edge of the bank to our right. My mouth catches up to my thoughts and eyes and I blurt: Stop the car!! I jump out and sprint back in to capture the striking greens and blues and reds against the deep, strong shadows. We're late but I don't want to leave. Until next time my Green Mountains. Love. #vermontStories 


Snake Mountain and the Snowy Owl. Vermont USA #travel #vermontStories

Photographer's STORY: Tall, gangly, naked November trees and a blanket of colors along the trail for a Thanksgiving hike with Dad, a reconnection. A time to reflect on movement into new developmental phases of life and passions for both of us these days. 

And also a time just be Silent. And listen to the tromp tromp of our boots, knowing each other so well father and daughter, muscle memory, we don't have to fill the space with chatter and can just Be.

Today's gift is a snowy owl at the summit. He's tucked in with the muddy brown trees, a beacon of Narnia, otherworldness, a fierce white glow. He flaps, huge, shocking non-camouflage, not a worry. Bold. 

Our breath returns. 


Still Waters Moody Skies. After the Snowstorm. Vermont USA #travel

Photographer's STORY: Still Waters Moody Skies. After the Snowstorm Reflection. Otter Creek, Vermont. 


Home for the Holidays. Surprise first Snow. Vermont USA #travel

Photographer's STORY: Home for the Holidays. Surprise first Snow. Grateful for all things natural and for connections with you all. Thank you deeply for continuing to find joy and love and a piece of your heart in my work..... taken in Vermont USA.


Three by the Ocean. Pacific Coastline, Northern California USA #travel

Photographer's STORY: Three by the ocean. Pacific Coastline, Northern California. #adventureTraveler #naturePhotography #getOutside 


Waiting for the Green Flash. Surf Rodeo Beach. California #travel

Photographer's STORY: Waiting for the green flash. Sunset. Rodeo Beach, California. #adventuretraveler #outdoorsymama #californiaStories


The Swells of the Marin Headlands Coastline. Northern California #travel

Photographer's STORY: Escape for a trail run, Hill 88. Stop for a wow and to take in the swells of the Marin Headlands coastline. From Rodeo Beach to Muir to Stinson to Bolinas to Point Reyes. It's all good.  


Golden Hour Glow. Tomales Bay, California #travel

Photographer's STORY: Catching the Golden Hour glow. Sunset on Tomales Bay near Point Reyes National Seashore. California 


Fire on the Water. Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco, California #travel

Photographer's STORY: Fire on the water. Moody sunset captured from Chrissy Field. Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco, California. 


Kathmandu Stupa and Blue Skies. Nepal #adventureTravel

Photographer's STORY: We've landed in Kathmandu, the staging area for the psychological and and actual apex of all outdoor adventure - the Himalayas - and are eager to explore while our systems adjust for a few days to the intense travel. Stopping for lunch on the second floor of the bustling plaza which circles the deeply powerful Bouddhanath Stupa, we are treated to a unique, open window view of the restored temple with the gorgeous, green Kathmandu "hills" in the distance. The temple was partially destroyed by the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal two years ago. To see it shining, the prayer flags floating, and to feel the vitalness of this sacred moment on such a blue-bird sky day makes all hearts crack open. Letting it all in. This is travel. This is adventure. #nepal #mountainsarecalling #microphotostory -a


Anticipation. Flying into Kathmandu. Nepal #adventureTravel

Photographer's STORY: Have no idea which time zone we're in anymore. Flying days and nights all mixed up yet how incredible we are now landing across the world. Huge, green, Nepali valleys dotted with villages, roads greet us as we soar closer and closer to land. Salivating. Anticipating. Hello Kathmandu. I've been waiting for you. #nepal #himalayas #photostory #love 

Note: This photStory was originally published on Instagram on in June. After putting down the screens and logging off for a month, I'm picking back up from where I left off...


Tide Pools on the Pacific. Northern California USA #travel

Photographer's STORY: Aquatic creatures surface as the tide goes out and hello living, breathing, curious starfish. Taking a hike along the beach becomes a hunt for surprises attached to, hiding under, swirling around the slippery rocks and seaweed. Feeling like a kid again, you know? Love. #california #adventure #photostory -a


Get Kids Outside. Rodeo Beach. California USA #getOutside

Photographer's STORY: Spring hiking next to the Pacific Ocean with a team of kids from NatureBridge. Is there a better place to teach about the power of the earth, environment and nature?  Instagram photo contest going on NOW through June to win gear. Details on their blog go check it out at naturebridge.com #LongLiveAwesome #freshAir #photostory -a


Pirates at Land's End. San Francisco, California USA #travel

Photographer's STORY: So you're out on your pirate ship back in ye olden days and it goes careening into these rocks in the cantankerously deep and deceptive San Francisco fog and yes you lose a snaggle-toothed mate or two over the side. As you clomp around on your wooden peg leg, would you realize there's a massive Bay that you could steer your sinking ship into for safety as the water gushes through the treasure chest sized gash in your rotting hull? Nope. Most of them didn't. But one guy on a boat did and hello Golden Gate Bridge. 5 Spanish galleons to the first to spot it #epicstory #pirateStory #snaggletoothedMates -a p.s. I love this pic


Marin Headlands Moment of Zen. Northern California. USA #travel

Photographer's STORY: I was majorly dumped by the first Uber driver at LAX airport pickup once he heard where i was going. So I begged the second guy to please pleaseeee come get me. Bless his brave soul he made it to the madhouse that is the Uber meet-up area. And now here we sit together in the beautiful, horrible Los Angeles traffic, Sam and me. And I think, argh I need to escape this. A moment of Nature. Of Zen. Grey, grey cement surrounding us now, horns blaring and i'm still a little salty about the blow-off by the first guy, I begin to scroll through my nature photography in the backseat of the compact Honda Civic. My glorious, golden, glowing photos which make my heart sing and swell with anticipation for my next trek out into and and touch of the wild. They're here for me. I can feel the surge of joy as I look at my luscious, green Marin Headlands covered in purple flowers. Sunset. Fresh, crisp Pacific Ocean air. Breathing again, Sam my kind driver and I sit in peaceful silence and tolerate the LA chaos outside. Destination peace. #nature #zen #LA #uberStories 


Golden Gate Bridge After the Fog. San Francisco, CA USA

Photographer's STORY: The deep, strange SF Fog pulls back by noon today and the Golden Gate Bridge steps out in her full glory. Every time I see her I want to shout out "Hello Gorgeous!" 'Cause that's how passionate she makes us feel. You just can't help but worship her beautiful lines from every single sweeping angle. #goldenGate #SF #photoStory -a


Motherhood Just Got an Adventure Makeover: Redefine Your Motherhood Now #GetOutside

Writer, photographer, adventurer mom of three.

Have you ever seen that pic of the mama opossum with her seemingly 17,000 baby opossums clinging to her from every available space on her body. Her eyes are wide as if in shock and you can just hear her fuzzy, overwhelmed, marsupial self saying: How the hedge did I get myself into this…

That was me for years with three little kids: hello 3 year old son and brand new, girl twins. Tiny, pink humans clinging to me. Stuck all over me as if I was made of Velcro. Attached to me as if with Super Glue. Bound to my every limb as if with yards and yards and miles and miles of silver Duct Tape.

And, ahhh, yes, I loved every minute of it because my kids are my heart and my joy and my pride and my every, single, waking breath. However, I was also completely, 100% overwhelmed and completely, 100% lonely for my former mountain mama life that came to a screeching halt while I went into solitary, mama survival mode.

If only the Adventure Mamas Initiative and their bad-ass, kick-ass, empowering, adventure tribe were around at that time for an outdoorsy mama like me. Well, with the advent of social media and mass, social communication, thank god they are here NOW for outdoor women turned moms who need the support and clarity and vision and wisdom of a like-minded community.

Whoop!! Bring it on gnarly, outdoor ladies! We are so ready for this movement.

So what is this Adventure Mamas Initiative and why do we care and want to support them? 

“When we pursue our passions and prioritize self-care, we are better able to fulfill all of our roles. For mothers though, this statement is both especially true and especially challenging. Women's maternal health and well-being directly affects the health and well-being of families, communities, and our culture at large - that's no exaggeration. And yet, it's a shrouded community where honesty is not often encouraged and depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame run rampant." 

“Adventure Mamas Initiative is a women’s health non-profit that is using adventure to combat this. Currently, we are working to raise $30,000 to implement programs, build community, and extend our ability to empower women around the world. To learn more about our efforts, check out our REDEFINING MOTHERHOOD campaign. Your donation supports a revolution in women’s health in a real and tangible way.”

Photo Credit: IG @thatgirlshont
Photo Credit: IG @shrediger

Photo Credit: IG @lilearthmuffin 

I am honored to be a writer-contributor to this incredible group. I dug myself out. I reclaimed my adventures both with and without my kiddos. So I know it deeply, feel it, have lived this truth. 

Start now. It’s never, ever too late. Jump in.

Redefine your motherhood NOW. 

-Annie IG @OutdoorsyMama 
come play!


Sutro Baths on the Ocean. San Francisco, California. USA

Photographer's STORY: Clamoring up and over the remains of Sutro Baths near the Cliff House in San Francisco. Odd to see the park service leaving everything to erode with the will of both weather and ocean. Sutro Baths were a massive complex of pools filled with saltwater built in 1896. Hordes of SF locals and tourists in funny looking, striped and cotton-y, long bathing suits paddled around in these baths until it burned down in 1966. I'm so, so glad not to have to wear those bathing suits, tho the pools would have been WOW. #travel #explore #californiaStories -a


Ocean Beach Girl. San Francisco, California. USA

Photographer's STORY: Not my kid. Not my model. Setting up for a gorgeous flotsam and sunset shot and a little German girl with flying skirt and braids photobombs me. She has no idea and no inhibitions. Just pure joy that comes when giddy with ocean air and salt water. Touch the light. #pacificOcean #SF #epicstory -a


Clouds on the Pacific Ocean. Coastal CA. USA

Photographer's STORY: Instantly I'm inspired by the giant heart that the clouds are so clearly trying to make. To fit into the cleavage of the green landscape below. However as i fiddle and gaze at it more, it becomes almost a piece of modern art for me. The tones and stripes and colors and rays and splotches on the Pacific Ocean. This is the beauty of mother nature's work. She creates masterpiece after masterpiece for our delicious interpretation. #publicLands #masterpiece #epicstory -a


Rolling Waves of Green. Sunset Hike. California. USA

Photographer's STORY: 
Sometimes we give up on words. And we just stare in a dumbfounded way. And just soak the Awe in. #glow #nature #epicstory -a


Spring Wildflowers. Mt Tam State Park. California. USA

Photographer's STORY: Heavy, constant rains all winter into spring turn our hiking hills into wildflower gardens and glowing, green waves this year. Looking out over the Pacific Ocean feeling that natural nature buzz. Hills so bright and gorgeous we need to wear our polarized shades... #poppiesWow #epicStory #thisNowYes -a


Run Like a Girl. New Gear. Spring 2017

Photographer's STORY: How giddy do we get when a new piece of gear shows up at the front door? Kiss the terrified package-delivery-guy inappropriately giddy, yup #epicStory #trailRunning #gearPorn  -a


Balanced Rock at Sunset. Arches National Park. Utah USA

Photographer's STORY: Sunset comes and the rocks start to glow and we feel as if we've been transported to an otherworldly planet like Mars or beyond. Massive, odd, towering shapes defy gravity and jut out of the earth in random, awesome weirdness. The rock "balancing" on top is the size of 3 school buses. Just wow #epicStory -a


Delicate Arch. Arches National Park. Utah USA

Photographer's STORY: Even bad-arse adventure photographers have occasional squishy hearts. And our hearts crack on this gorgeous, giant-blue-sky day in Utah as we watch this sweet family of six gather themselves underneath one of the most iconic landmarks in America's national park system....It's a hot, uphill hike and a strain for the younger kiddos out there on the trail today and we can just feel their collective positive energy -- together bursting with pride at making it to their goal -- as they link their hands and throw their arms into the air to celebrate. Our hearts grew three sizes today...wink! I love this moment. I love this #epicStory #believe -a


After Sunrise Mesa Arch. Canyonlands National Park. Utah

Photographer's STORY: We meant to wake up before the rest of the world 4:30am for sunrise shots but deep sleep cycle said otherwise so we wing it and are still blown away by the colors. Huge winds are blowing through Utah today so the skies are whipped up frothy latte color. Continued gasping at national park geological, magical formations. wow #springBreak #roadTrip #epicStory -a


Spontaneous Road Trip. Moab, Utah. USA

Photographer's STORY: It's the end of ski season in the Colorado ski mountains. So in a spontaneous moment, we jump in the wagon and head to Moab for a 24 hour road trip. Only 4 hours away and worth every single gorgeous mile #springBreak #lovetheWest #epicStory #giddyap -a


10 Ways to Celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 20th!

Kiddos hiking & leaping with joy in one of our nation's spectacular State Parks.
Mt Tamalpais State Park, California.

Running, jumping, climbing, flinging their arms wide and laughing with glee. Kids who get outside and into the fresh air and nature are happier, healthier kids. We all know it and it’s why almost a million kids and parents will rally together on May 20th this year to celebrate Kids To Parks Day in honor of making it happen every single day for kiddos from all corners of the USA. 

"This year's Kids to Parks Day looks to be the biggest one ever...our goal is to get 1 million kids and their families celebrating this national day of outdoor play," said Grace Lee, National Park Trust's executive director. And I believe it will happen, the spirit is contagious. 

Getting my own family out into the parks is sometimes a challenge however, even for an outdoorsy type mama, what with the loaded schedules and gear prices for the never ending growing feet and bodies and noggins to protect and keep warm. Good news is that with decent planning and sometimes a spontaneous spark for a micro-adventure and an eye for a good deal when we see one, we make time in the outdoors happen.

And what a difference it makes in our lives!

Here are 10 favorite things to do to celebrate Kids to Parks Day and get outside:

1 - Build gigantic sand castles on the beach.

2 - Scramble up a steep hill using your hands and feet.

3 - Fly through the air on a secret rope swing.

4 - Then fling yourself off of a secret rope swing into a chilly watering hole.

5 - Climb a tree and hang out on the branches like the king of the world!

6 - Boogie board in the cold California surf brrrrrrrrr.

7 - Reach the summit of a peak and enjoy the amazing view.

8 - Play pick-up whiffle ball in the park down the street during sunset.

9 - Romp with your best friend, your family dog, who likes parks even more than you do!

10 - Hike through gorgeous forests in the springtime with green, green leaves.

The list goes on and on………

My growing kiddos who once used to revel in investigating every single bug and pebble in a square foot along the trail for an hour are now skilled mountain goats, comfortable in nature, leading the charge up the switchbacks and to the peaks of our local hills. My heart bursts with pride. 

And my heart bursts with pride with the honor of helping get almost a million kids and adults outside and into parks on May 20th by sharing affordable gear to take that pocketbook stress off of families. 

Kids To Parks partner Northside is offering a GIVEAWAY for a pair of their hiking boots. Sturdy. Solid. Less expensive.

Whoop! Win a pair of hiking boots like these from Northside!

So go for it. Get your kids and family outside on May 20th and every day. And win a pair of hiking boots to boot. You can enter to win in the form below! Giveaway is OVER we have a winner :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more fun photos, chats, news follow @OutdoorsyMama on  Instagram   Facebook and twitter.

-Annie @OutdoorsyMama

Disclaimer Giveaway: Giveaway is open to US Residents only and starts on March 15 12am and ends on March 23 12am. The winner of one pair of hiking boots will be chosen and a response within 48 hours is required. 

Disclaimer Gear: Northside provided gear for me and my kids to field test and for this giveaway. All opinions are formed, thought over, mulled, churned and are 100% my own.

Give back. Do good. Get kids into nature.
Photo: National Park Trust
Check out these other great articles about Kids To Parks:
5 Perfect Spring Day Ideas to Get Kids Outside
Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017 


North Face Global Athletes and Partners Connect Kids with the Outdoors in “Every Kid in a Park” Event

Celebrating "Every Kid in a Park" granting free National Park Passes to all 4th graders nationwide!
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Photo: National Park Trust

The super-tall, super-lean, super-endurance runner Dylan Bowman is bent over a bunch of outdoor gear - warm jacket, rain layer, etc - rolling up each item as tightly as possible and stuffing them into a backpack, demonstrating to a group of wide-eyed 4th graders how to pack a backpack for a day hike.

He leans in and asks this small group of eight or so kids from Hoover Elementary School in Oakland, California: how many of you have ever gone hiking? Two of the eight kids raise their hands. Just two.

North Face global athlete Dylan Bowman teaching about packing a backpack.
Photo: National Park Trust

I don’t know why I find that number surprising. I suppose it’s because I live and breathe the outdoors and I’m surrounded by like minded enthusiasts both in my community and online. But once I reach out of my comfort-bubble-zone, I remember the stark reality that most kids in the United States don’t have my kind of access to the outdoors and don’t get to go to parks beyond their local, neighborhood park. 

That’s why last week’s event at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, which brought together 60 students from Oakland to enjoy a day of outdoor games and exploring and was sponsored by a powerful partnership of outdoor-kid-evangelist players, is so vital and touching. 

The official 4th Grade Pass to all U.S. National Parks.

Each and every one of these 60 - 4th graders was proudly given a National Parks Pass to hang around their necks, as if receiving an Olympic Medal, for their entire family to have free access to all of America’s public lands and waters for the entire year, an initiative funded by “Every Kid in a Park” which launched out of the White House last year. And to support and celebrate that initiative, The North Face Explore Fund, The Outdoor Alliance for Kids, The National Park Service and The National Park Trust have all banded together to create this event and similar events around the nation.

Teaching a group of eager 4th graders how to set up a tent.
Photo: National Park Trust

Why is this so important? 

“Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world and programs like this are critical to ensuring all kids can visit their public lands,” explains OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. And she’s right. By providing free access to our nation’s great and treasured parks, this initiative helps alleviate a piece of one the barriers, a financial one, and allows more families to play in the outdoors which in turn brings about a healthier, more active population overall. 

Senior Director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face, Ann Krcik aptly adds, “through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.” This is key. This is vital. By introducing this giant population of 4th graders and their families to the Parks every year, we are creating stewards for wild places and green spaces for generations to come.

North Face athletes mixing it up in the backpack relay race with some giddy 4th graders.
Photo: National Park Trust

So now we circle back to our super-athlete Dylan Bowman and this diverse group of wide-eyed kids hanging onto his every word. The “backpack relay race” starts and each kid is gleefully rolling up gear and smashing it into the backpack as fast as possible to beat the other team of classmates next to them, racing back and forth, gear and bodies flying everywhere. 

It’s this kind of giddy joy that helps tells the story of why getting these kids access to the outdoors is so important and why so many groups are making this their mission.

Let’s all grab our backpacks and jump on board. To the summit!

For more conversation about the outdoors find me on twitter, facebook and instagram.

-Annie @OutdoorsyMama 


For more information about these groups making a difference for kids:

About The North Face®: The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About National Park Trust: National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, NPT has completed more than 100 land projects benefiting 40 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C.  Since 2009, our Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 2,000,000 students across the country with our nation’s parks, public lands and waters (ParkTrust.org).

About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org