Oh They Tell Me Of An Uncloudy Day

Last week Buster Wants To Fish and Way Upstream both wrote posts about a recent study that reveals Americans are spending less and less time participating in outdoor activities such as fishing, camping and hiking. Needless to say this news strikes a sad chord.

Now since I was an English major who managed to get through four years of college without reading any books cover-to-cover, I chose not to click-through and read about the actual study. I trust these bloggers so I’m just going to adopt their take on the findings. And both posts agree that we all have a vital role in exposing our children to the outdoors as well as the concept of conservation. Not just to improve our scores on the next study, but because (as we all know) it will make them better, happier people.

I’m lucky that my Little Chick loves to do anything al fresca — fishing, camping, horseback riding, rafting – so that makes it easy to get her out and about. But there’s always room for more. Given the results of the study I wondered what else I could be doing with her…for her. What else can I do to seal her natural love for the outdoors so it doesn’t start to seep away over time.

I started thinking about what my parents did with me when I was a kid, and almost immediately my mind was traveling down memory lane. Because our family vacations were always outdoor vacations.

We lived in Texas and used to roadtrip to Colorado every summer in my dad’s burnt orange Bronco. Usually we’d sleep in a matching orange tent, but sometimes we’d splurge on a campy cabin. My dad had a collapsible combination spinning-reel-flyrod that often delivered dinner. We’d fish and hike and pan for gold. And no one would confuse one of our picnics with one of those fancy spreads in Martha Stewart Living.

Troublemaker But this was living. These trips were fueled by good Texas outlaw songs — all of which live on my ipod and in my soul to this very day. One of the albums I associate with these Colorado vacations is Willie Nelson’s ‘The Troublemaker’ — ironically a collection of gospel songs. Listening to Willie Nelson sing gospel is like giving a dog his pill all wrapped-up in a slice of cheese. It tastes so good going down, that you don’t mind doing something that’s actually good for you.

With our windows rolled down and the Rocky Mountains as our unwavering audience, we’d barrel down life’s highway singing loudly (and badly) to Willie’s versions of Uncloudy Day, and Will The Circle Be Unbroken and Sweet Bye & Bye.

I don’t have scientific proof that these vacations directly influenced my love for the outdoors, but I do have wonderful memories and some hysterical family photos that prove we had a hell-of-a-good time. Mea culpa for this self-indulgent post, but I had a ball seeing these pictures again, so I had to share a few of them here.

A big THANK YOU to Buster Wants to Fish and Way Upstream for reading about that study so I didn’t have to. Many thanks for triggering some dusty memories that are over three-decades old.

And just like my parents did with me, I’m going to teach my daughter that in order to appreciate the true beauty of an uncloudy day, you have to be outside.

trio picnic

A picnic just isn’t a picnic without the tangy zip of Miracle Whip and Marlboro Reds.

striped socks

I really don’t know what to say about the socks. But you have to appreciate my bold combination of stripes & tye-dye.

catch n release

Trout. It’s What’s For Dinner.

(Don’t worry, we’re all catch-and-release these days.)

trio creek

My parents don’t seem into this family portrait quite like I am.

rafting trip

I was just a Fly Fish Chicklette, ready for my rafting adventure…and apparently some construction work.

ffc lake

Colorado. Speaks for itself.

cowboy hat

Did I mention we lived in Texas and listened to a lot of Willie?

12 Responses to “Oh They Tell Me Of An Uncloudy Day”
  1. Wow girl, this just gets better and better! Amazing photos!!

    Did anyone ever tell you that your dad was HOT? This was a great read. I’m inspired again :)


  2. Larry Nash says:

    Hey Girl!
    Great post. Easy to see where you get your great looks from – not just your dad that was hot. Photos remind me of a bunch in my family album from the 50′s of my family’s trips through the Rockies up here (Alberta and B.C.).
    Keep on writing, I’m enjoying every word.
    Alberta, Canada

  3. dmj says:

    Great post. Wonder if Colorado still looks like that. I hope so.

  4. Dave - SLF says:

    Was gonna ask if you still enjoy some Willie while on vacation, but it doesn’t quite sound right… I’m thinking along the lines of Teatro – the only WN cd I own. Great travel music. I buy an average of about 1 cd every two or three years, maybe I’ll try another one from Willie – not sure I’m ready for the gospel stuff though.

    Here’s another post where you hit on a nerve and this one helps bring up some good childhood memories, probably for most of us. And a hearty atagirl for keeping your daughter involved in something besides playstation.

  5. Dave - SLF says:

    BTW – some cool background stuff in that photo of your pops with the trout carcass. Notice that vinyl cushioned kitchen chair, the radio on the table – (listening to C&W or baseball?), looks like either a can of beer or a bottle of Lawry’s seasoning salt (I think that was invented before baseball), and what looks like a depression glass water pitcher (kinda streamlined)behind the radio. Outside of the radio, it was all probably American made – quaint, huh?

  6. Momo Fali says:

    I think that’s, quite possibly, the best looking family I’ve ever seen. The fish were probably attracted to you all and just jumped right out of the water into your hands.

  7. Trey Coon says:

    nothing better than being in the great outdoors with your famly. that is way we had kids in montana

  8. Great photos and great stories. The picture of your family at Maroon Bells sure brought back memories of when I was a kid. I grew up in the Vail Valley and we often frequented the Maroon Bells when we were out traveling around. I sure miss all the trips with my family to go camping in Colorado, but I am blessed to be able to share Montana with my 5 year old son and his soon to be shim that we are having in June. Thanks for the great stories and maybe we’ll see you on the Mo this summer.

  9. El Pescador says:

    Glad to have helped trigger 3 decade old dusty memories. Cool pix. Happy Valentines Day.

  10. David Hooper says:


    Thanks for the pics. These brought back a lot of memories of my father who I lost this past July. Thanks for sharing.


  11. David — Thank you for sharing such a lovely and personal comment. I am so sorry about the loss of your father. All the best to you.

  12. BC Fishing says:

    I can’t help but feel nostalgic when I look at these photos. Absolutely beautiful.

    Thank you

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