Things we learn from our rad dads

Most commercials around Father’s Day show a dad grilling or working with some power tools or playing catch with their son. Yeah my dad grills, yeah he has some tools, and to be fair I’m not a son, but when I think of dad, I think of the guy at the oars of our raft threading through rocks just because it’s more fun, or the guy yelling “I’m so much better than you” as he barrels past me on skis. I think of him lugging me in a backpack on countless hikes as a baby and buying me my own backpacking gear as soon as I was old enough to begrudgingly carry myself. So as a tribute to all the rad dads, I would like to make a list of all the things I learned from my crushing-it, dopest-man-alive, best-skier-on-the-mountain (besides me of course) father.


1. Some things we don’t tell mom. I can’t really give an example (because mom will be reading this, shoutout to my biggest fan), but simply put there are going to be things you do with dad that you probably shouldn’t mention to your mom. And I’m sure it goes the other way as well…

2. Only date the boys who do cool outdoorsy things. When I was a baby, the legend is that my dad held a date, the fruit, up to me and said, “This is the only date you’re going to have until you’re 32.” As I’ve grown up, I realized that actually translates to, “You can have other dates if every time they come over they spend more time talking to me about rad stuff they’ve done than they pay attention to you.” In other words, dads are still just teenage boys who want to talk about how sick they are with other sick dudes. So, if your date is as rad as he is, you’re just peachy.

3. Don’t grow up too fast. Like I said, dads are still just teenage boys who love sending it and doing the things they love as much as the day they were born. And I’m always going to be that way too.

4. Always push yourself. My dad, for example, pinched some nerves in his back skiing this winter and everyday literally groans when he stands up from a chair. But does that stop him from going outside, nooooo sir. He kept on skiing and recently even kicked my ass on a bike ride (I’m really bad at biking, but still he’s supposed to be injured!). Now this might be a slightly exaggerated example of pushing yourself, because at a certain point this could just be interpreted as stupidity, but the point is he keeps on sending it. And so of course he makes me want to send it too. Dad’s are really good at making you want to send it.

5. Never miss a gaper day. And this is just my way of saying don’t take yourself too seriously. My dad is an avid player of G.N.A.R. and a dress-up ski day doesn’t pass without him donning his Gumby costume and shredding on some blades. If that’s not taking yourself seriously then I don’t know what is. And I promise you’ll never have more fun than when you finally stop taking everything too seriously.

6. Be sarcastic. If there’s one thing I took from my dad it’s my sarcastic sense of humor, clearly. Kind of like not taking yourself too seriously, it’s very important to have humor in your life. And a lot of this teaching of humor comes from dad, hence infamous “dad jokes.” For example, the classic, “You’re a…” retort. Like if I say “This hamburger is kinda gross” I’m almost guaranteed a “You’re kinda gross” in return.

7. It’s okay to be very, very scared sometimes. Dads are often perceived as totally macho, no-tears kind of dudes. This is a stereotype that should not be a thing. Dads are just like the rest of us, and things like standing in the Grand Canyon at the top of Lava staring at the V-wave while the river is running 20,000 cfs and you’re responsible for getting your daughter through safely, can be very intimidating! And there’s nothing wrong with that! But, the point is that he did it anyways and absolutely nailed the run. So be aware of your fears, don’t do something too dumb, but still push yourself (like I said in number four).

8. Go outside. This is the most obvious one of them all. Thanks to my dad, I’ve been boating since before I was one and was on a pair of skis being dragged between his legs as soon as I could walk. He’s always preached the importance of getting outside whenever you can, because it’s here you can be your happiest, best, most serene or boldest self. So thanks dad for this lesson and all the rest!


Lastly, I thought I’d leave you with two of my favorite dad jokes:

“I’m hungry!” “Nice to meet you hungry, I’m dad.”

I asked my dad for his best dad joke and he said, “You.”



Hailing from the lovely mountain town of Durango, Colorado, Audrey was born and raised on muddy desert rivers and high mountain wildflowers. Growing up in such close proximity to awesome places like Canyonlands, the LaPlata Mountains, and more influenced Audrey's addiction to constantly being outside, doing everything from rafting to backpacking to skiing. The highlight of her life is her recent trip down the Grand Canyon, braving 25-ft waves in a 26-year-old bucket boat and exploring Elves' Chasm, Deer Creek, Havasu and so much more for 16 days. She can now die happy. Audrey continues to adventure in the great outdoors in Bozeman, Montana as she pursues a degree in Architecture at Montana State University. Although she spends a fair amount of time at Bridger Bowl University shredding the gnar as well.