Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our First Anniversary - We're a year old!

September 29, 2011 I sat down to write my introduction for what would become Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies.  I'd already started a Facebook Community called the Calgary Family Adventure Community and a blog seemed like the next logical step towards creating a vibrant community here in the Calgary area.  My goal right from the beginning was always to unite local outdoor families.  I wanted to be approachable (my personal contact information isn't hard to find), to make new friends, and to welcome my readers into our family's life.  My passion was - and is - to share the love I have for our Canadian Rockies and to help other families in that quest too.

The mountains we love!

So, where are we today?

The Calgary Family Adventure Community on Facebook has 375 friends and we actually hit 100 likes in the first two weeks.  We had our first group adventure this June with a camping trip to Bow Valley Provincial Park when 18 families came out for the weekend.

Family Camping  Trip

Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies, the blog, has had 85 posts, is averaging 300-500 page views per day, and has had over 64,500 visitors in the last year. Topics covered have ranged from camping to backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, biking, paddling, women's adventures, family hosteling, to outdoor play.

We took up paddling this year as a new family sport (Photo:  Jen Sollid)

The most popular posts this year with over 1000 page views each:
Family Camping Made Easy - Backcountry Adventures, Preschool Adventures, and Baby Adventures

Guess I know what you all want me to write about more next year - Camping!!

My son spent hours and hours in our hammock camping this summer! (Photo:  Jen Sollid)

Calgary Outdoor Playgroups

One of the coolest things to have happened this year was the creation of the Calgary Outdoor Adventures Playgroup in January, 2012.  The Facebook Page for Calgary Outdoor Playgroups has 126 friends now from Calgary and the surrounding area.  We average 20 children per playgroup and we meet outside in all weather.  We have three outdoor playgroups running now in the city and I can honestly say that most of our  best friends have been made through the Outdoor Playgroup Community.  As a community of outdoor families we camped together all summer long and look forward to skiing as families this winter.

Outdoor Play - Pure and Simple

Other fabulous opportunities that have happened through this blog 

I've made a whole community of outdoor friends around Canada and the United States as a result of my blogging.  We support and write for each other, collaborate on joint projects, share ideas, and promote the heck out of each other's blogs.  I love you all (you know who you are) and I wouldn't have gotten through this year without you.  Check out my blog roll (Our Outdoor Friends) on the right hand side of this website to find out more about the fabulous community of outdoor families I belong to.

I've had the opportunity to write for some amazing magazines and websites.  I recently had a story on family hostelling published with Outpost Magazine (grab a copy of their September/October 2012 issue to read the story) and I've been contributing stories to Women's Adventure Magazine over the last few months.  Both magazines were at the top of my list for magazines I wanted most to write for.  Explore Magazine is next!!  (should anybody from Explore be reading this)  For more information on my published writing this year, check out the Contact Me tab at the top of this page. 

I've come to develop relationships with many great companies such as Piggyback Rider, Keen Canada, and Hostelling International Canada.  If you haven't seen the review I did for Piggyback Rider, please find the review here, The Piggyback Rider Saves the Day.  And if you haven't seen all of the stories I've been writing about our adventures with family hostelling, please click "hostelling" from the drop down menu under Categories - right hand side of this website.  I'll have a review for Keen coming soon so check back next week for that!  I just hiked over 15km in my new Keen Sandals and am in love!

Family Hostelling in the Canadian Rockies

Where do I hope to go in the next year?

  • Contests and more gear reviews - that's right - we might just give something away soon so keep reading!
  • More book reviews - I have three great books to tell you about in the near future.
  • More community events and planned group adventures!  So if you're in the Calgary area and haven't "liked" the Facebook Page - what are you waiting for?  
  • More outdoor playgroups across the city.  Want to lead one?  We need YOU!  :)
  • More guest posts!  Let me know what topics you'd like to see covered on this blog and I'll find you a family expert in that field.

Writing has been an awesome adventure for me and I've discovered that I want to write every day, all day, and could easily do little else.  When you don't see a post for a while it means we've definitely been out in the mountains playing and that there's big stories coming!  I hope you will continue to follow our adventures over the next year and I can't wait to see where 2012-13 takes us!  This year we took up biking and paddling as a family.  We're open to suggestions for our next family sport.  :)

I'd love to hear what your favourite story or blog topic was this past year.


  1. Happy blogoversary! I'm so glad you've joined the community & I look forward to watching what great things the next year has in store for you! :-)

    1. Thanks Debi. It's been great getting to know you.

  2. Happy 1 yr blogiversary!!!! Keep it up :)

    1. Thanks Haley. I can't wait to work together more in the upcoming year.

  3. Congratulations! You're doing great!

    1. Thanks so much Jessica. I've enjoyed following your family's adventures over the last year.

  4. Congrats. That's a lot of success for 1 year. Keep it up.

  5. Congrats on one year. Hope to emulate some of the succesess you have had one day! And if I lived in Calgary, I would join your Outdoor Group! The community of like minded outside bloggers over there, is so much stronger than anything we have here.

    1. Thanks so much. Most of my community in Calgary is just like minded parents. My blogging community goes further than that and you're definitely a part of that. :)

  6. Great blog! Liked it very much:)))

    Have a nice weekend:)