The Journey Begins


“The romance of my life began here.”  (Theodore Roosevelt, observing the Badlands of North Dakota in 1900). 

During the summer of 2018, Glacier National Park had a similarly profound impact on D and me as we honeymooned in Montana and Wyoming.   While we sat on the deck of Many Glacier we looked at each other and said, “What are we doing?  Why, when there are mountains to climb, lakes to paddle, and sunsets to absorb and ponder, are we spending so much time (and money) commuting to jobs that only sustain a lifestyle of frenetic activity and materialistic accumulation?”

Fast forward…after months of sustained reflection, we chose to retire early from our jobs with the federal government (at ages 57 and 59), sell 95% of our belongings, and adventure with purpose.  It was not an easy decision to leave my home of 19 years where I raised my children, but we felt called to two pursuits:  1) physically challenging adventures on our bucket list, and 2) service to people and communities impacted by natural disasters and in need of assistance.  

To this end, we bought a small RV (Coachmen CrossFit 22D), and have resolved to explore the US with an eye towards serving the communities we visit.  We have selected to serve with Samaritan’s Purse as they respond to natural disasters and be the “hands and feet of Christ” and follow his command to “Go and do likewise;” Team Rubicon, which focuses on veterans and disaster recovery; American Hiking Society, which helps maintain the trails we love to hike; and Habitat for Humanity through their “RV Care-A-Vanners” program to build homes for those in need.  

We are so grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to be of service to others. We selected “mountainandmission” as our blog name to reflect our dual pursuits – adventure and service, and hope to be a blessing as we travel.

This April we are on our “shakedown cruise” and we will be posting about our decision making process (for those considering #vanlife), the blessing of service to others, and of course – the adventures unique to this amazing United States of America.

Thanks for joining D and me on our journey!






4 thoughts on “The Journey Begins

  1. In awe and admiration of you both. Wishing you safe and serendipitous adventures as you pursue your life journey of mountains 🏔 and mission! Love that we can go with you in spirit thru your blog🥰🚌🏔🌎🥰🍷


  2. Blessings on your adventure with purpose! Looking forward to our adventure serving together in Appalachia (Southeastern Kentucky) at the end of April. Red Bird Mission, here we come!


    1. Helping others expands an already generous pair of hearts 💜.
      As you walk, hike, bike, dance and paddle along this path, sprinkled everywhere with selfless service, you will build an incredible & memorable future. Looking forward to sharing your joy in each day!


  3. I am so glad that Steve and I got the chance to meet y’all while serving together in Panama City with Samaritan’s Purse. Your story encouraged us as we are considering the same idea of being more mobile to serve the needs of others and be adventurous. Looking forward to reading your blog as you travel and lend a helping hand to others. Hope we get to serve together again one day.


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