With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend I thought I’d take a moment to share a little bit about my own mom, how she sparked my passion for the outdoors, and how we use the inReach to stay connected when I’m in the backcountry on an adventure.
I think it all started when my parents were State Park managers here in Maine. My sister and I grew up spending our summers at the parks, in places like Sebago Lake and Range Pond. Our family vacations always took place during the off season when the rest of the park visitors had gone home. It was great having the trails to ourselves although I was much older before I realized that most people wear bathing suits at the beach instead of pants and long sleeve shirts!
The picture below was taken at Bar Harbor in Acadia National Park, one of my mom’s favorite places. Our family still goes there each summer to camp at Lamoine State Park. I was two at the time of this photo and I’ve been told that during a brief moment of freedom I ran headlong into the ocean in full fall attire. I imagine this was the start of my mother’s concerns about my decision making abilities and why the inReach has become a valuable tool for her to check in and make sure I’m not doing something foolish…
My parents were teachers during the school year and led interpretive programs at their parks during the summer. My time in the outdoors was spent on nature walks and canoe trips, poking around in tide pools and climbing fire towers on the tops of mountains. I was very fortunate to have a mom who taught us to be stewards of our natural spaces. She shared her enthusiasm for the outdoors with her children and with all of the kids that she met at her State Parks over the years. To this day I hear her “leave no trace” reminders when I’m on the trail and see a bit of litter that needs to be carried out.
Fast forward a few years and flip back through the DeLorme blog a few pages and you’ll see how my mom’s influence on that two year old in the picture above has steered me to a career that, while more in the technology world – my dad was a science teacher after all, helps people explore the great outdoors while staying safe and connected, knowing where they are and being able to share their experiences with their friends and family. As you all know, I just came back from the Backpacker Climb for a Cause event raising money to send urban teens on wilderness outings. Next week I’m headed to Colorado to speak about GPS and Satellite Communication technology at the Sierra Club Leadership Outing. While I’m not as directly involved in the protection of our natural resources as my mom was, I like to think that here at DeLorme we encourage people to get outside and enjoy their time in the great outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Jon Dorn – Backpacker Magazine
Which brings us to the inReach… remember that two year old that ran headlong into the ocean? Well, I’m older now but through amazing opportunities provided by DeLorme I still manage to find myself in situations that make my mother a little nervous. The photo above was taken at the bottom of the first rope section on Mt Whitney (framed in the background) at 12,300 feet. My mom was following along on the map and sending the occasional message to see how I was doing. It was a special event for me, knowing that my family and friends were with me as I climbed. This was an experience echoed by many of the people on the Mt Whitney team who were also sharing their tracks and messages via the inReach.
So as I reflect on the different ways that my mom has helped to make me the man I am today I encourage you to do the same… and consider how you stay connected with her at Mother’s Day and with the rest of your family and friends when you strike off on your own adventures. Consider DeLorme’s inReach and inReach SE, the proven communication tool of my mom and her forever-two year old running headlong into adventures whenever he can find them.
…and one last picture taken on my mom’s last day as manager of Range Pond State Park, used as her retirement invitation. A final walk in the park with her son after 30 years of service. Well done mom, well done!
Happy Mother’s Day to you Mom, and to the rest of the mothers out there on this special weekend!