Tag Archives: Idaho City yurts

December 28, 2015 Ski touring the Elkhorn Loop, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

New Year Resolution: Getting Unplugged

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By Michael Lanza

This winter, for the ninth year in a row, my family will do something we have eagerly anticipated annually for almost as long as my children’s memory reaches backward. It will involve skis, backpacks, and spending four days at a yurt tucked away in snow-covered mountains a few miles from the nearest, very lonely, winding, two-lane road. But the details matter only inasmuch as they steer us toward our ultimate goal: We really go there to get completely unplugged.

We do that mostly for ourselves, of course. But I think we need this notion of disconnecting to catch on more widely, to save us all from ourselves. Continue reading →

December 14, 2015 Half Dome, Liberty Cap, and Nevada Fall seen from the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park.

My Top 10 Family Adventures

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   7 Comments

By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2017 already? I have four (with others in active planning stages)—and three of those are with my family. In fact, planning months in advance and involving my family are my first two rules for getting outside more. For me, this is the time of year for pulling out maps, researching online and in guidebooks, and poring over my list of adventures I want to take—which is now nearly 18,000 words long and growing. I need to get busy—and so do you.

To help you out with ideas and inspiration for next year, here are My Top 10 Family Adventures at The Big Outside, a list that includes seven national parks, three amazing paddling adventures, four trips that should be on every backpacker’s to-do list, hiking an active volcano, and cross-country skiing amid the greatest concentration of active geysers in the world. Continue reading →

December 7, 2015 Lower Yellowstone Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

12 Favorite Photos From 2015 Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

Did you get outdoors enough this past year? I like going through the photos from all of my trips of the past 12 months to remember those good times and remind myself to start thinking about where I want to go next year. I’m sharing here 12 of my favorite photos from my 2015 adventures, including several with my family. This list includes six national parks, two international trips, a multi-day descent of a world-class whitewater river, classic hikes from the Presidential Range to Zion and the Grand Canyon, and the summit of the highest peak in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains.

Enjoy. I hope these images inspire you to visit one of these places in 2016, or to start planning a big adventure—or perhaps a dozen of them—for next year. Continue reading →

January 26, 2015 Backcountry skiing near Banner Ridge yurt, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

Growing Up On Skis: Two Families, Yurts, and Many Memories

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By Michael Lanza

As we slide uphill on skis, each of us carrying a full backpack, the three kids—two of them 14, one almost 12, but an advanced apprentice teenager—trail at least a tenth of a mile behind. If we parents slow down to let them catch up, they stop and tell us, “You can keep going.” So we do. Their audible, constant chatter and occasional screeches inform us that they remain within earshot—close enough that we’ll know if they need us, distant enough to not feel like we’re crowding their space with our oppressive adultness.

Yes, it has now come to this: They don’t want to ski with us anymore. Continue reading →

February 5, 2013 Skiing to Skyline yurt, Boise National Forest, Idaho

Key Ingredient to Family Yurt Trip: What’s Missing

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By Michael Lanza

The sun beats down warmly on us from a sky as fiercely and as flawlessly blue as a deep mountain lake. While we four adults ready our backpacks, the four kids already have their packs loaded and cross-country skis on and are dashing back and forth across the snow-covered parking lot—sled dogs straining at their harnesses to go. It’s the body language of enthusiasm and high expectations, and it infects us all like an aggressive virus. Continue reading →

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