Slow Down & Enjoy The Ride
Em and Tim Loerke are like a lot of folks—working hard during the week and getting outside on the weekends—but how they include their daughter, Brave, is the real adventure. While a trip to the river with a toddler in tow is never quick, they’ve gotten good at adjusting their rhythm to accommodate tiny legs and lots of time for questions, if only to remember how it was when they were kids - moments of joy suspended in time and free of consequence.
Follow the Loerkes to the river and you’ll experience plenty of these moments. The wildflowers along the water are a destination in themselves for Brave. (She likes the pink ones.) Fly selection is an intense process that always comes back to the usual contest - which bug Tim thinks will work vs. which one Brave likes the most. (Hint: the pink one wins.)
By the time there’s any actual fishing going on, a slow summer storm rolls low in the sky, and it’s rapidly approaching nap time. Em nets a nice rainbow (more pink!) and reels up as the rain starts to fall. Brave wants to walk on her own, oblivious to the weather.
Em and Tim know that there are no real plans here - fishing is just an excuse to pick flowers and skip rocks, ride piggyback and run free. Brave’s joy and curiosity remind them to stop and notice the small things that make the whole outing worthwhile. Whether standing knee deep in the river waiting on a fish, counting the seconds between lightning and thunder from the safety of a tent, or sitting by the fire and watching the sun kiss the tops of the mountains after a long hike—she offers countless opportunities for her parents to slow their hustle and take it all in.
Experiencing wild places through the eyes of a child is both a challenge and a gift. The days are long, but patience is rewarded with a chance to revisit our own childhood and the realization that our parents brought us here for their sake as much as ours. While they were teaching us how, we were reminding them why, and—with tiny legs and lots of questions—we stopped time for them too.
Say “thanks” this Mother's Day with a gift that gets her out there to enjoy the ride.
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Images by Orvis ambassador, Becca Skinner. Words by Catie Webster, who spends most of her time chasing stories and fish (and the occasional toddler) across the Rocky Mountain West. She is currently based in Boulder, Colorado, but is most easily found @catiewebster.
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