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Crazy Baby

The Mahre Family RV Adventure

A father lifts his son as they ski down a snowy mountain in Washington.

Professional skier Andy Mahre and photographer/entrepreneur Shannon Mahre know a thing or two about living a life of adventure. Since the couple got together, they’ve started new businesses, traveled the world skiing and embarked on their biggest adventure yet—parenthood. Ryder, their newest and littlest addition to their crew, has done anything but stop them from living out their dreams and venturesome lifestyle. Instead, they share their love for adventure with their little one and have learned how to adapt their lifestyle in a way best suited for their family.

Q: Why is it important for you to raise a child with a love for adventure and skiing?

A: We had Ryder on skis when he was one and a half. I think when kids get to experience that type of freedom that skiing brings, there’s really nothing else like it. We just do our best to help him have fun. We know there is always the chance he could get hurt skiing, but we don’t want to raise a child who is scared of living. We believe that if you’re scared of living, you’ll miss out on life.

Q: Even though there is risk involved, why do you feel like it's worthwhile to take a one-and-a-half year old skiing, mountain biking, etc.?

A: There's a whole lot of world out there, and the place that you live is a pretty small place on the whole globe. When you start to see these other places, even if they're only 30 miles away from where you live or 3,000 miles away, everything is a little bit different. There's a lot of stuff to do and to take in, and he'll never get to see it all by staring at a TV screen.

Q: How are you able to juggle work, play and family?

A: As parents who are always on the move for work, finding an incredible support system as been the biggest blessing. We are lucky to have our parents as our biggest supporters and caretakers of Ryder when we are away on business trips. When we aren’t on the road, we love to spend time going on adventures together as a family!

Q: How do you make time for yourselves as a couple on the road?

A: Our dates consist of biking, skiing or paddle boarding together, preferably for hours at a time. Whatever your dates consist of, try to keep them consistent, even if it’s just snuggling up on the couch with a glass of wine and watching a movie after the little munchkins fall asleep. Your time together sans kids may be less, but if you cherish the time you do have together, it will feel more special than ever.

Q: What do you like about RV parks at ski areas?

A: RVing at a ski area is awesome because it's kind of like having your own day lodge. You can have food, warm and cold, at your fingertips. You can have a place to dry all your gear. You can have your own private space, instead of having to cram into a day lodge on a busy day where there are no seats left, and you've got a little two year old. And you're like, "Come on, guys. We need a place to sit. We need to warm this kid up." It's just cool to have your own space. If your gear is wet, you dry it, and you can be waking up at 8:00 in the morning and still get first chair. There's just a lot of things that make it better than having to commute every day, that's for sure.

Q: So how does having an RV make it easier to adapt your adventure to include Ryder?

A: When we had Ryder, it was especially difficult to camp with a newborn in tents. I mean, where do you store all the baby stuff? And how do you keep all your food and baby food? It just becomes way too much stuff to try and deal with in a tent camping scenario. So having an RV is huge because you can store all your gear. You can carry all your toys. You don't necessarily have to be as picky and choosy about the supplies or the activities that you might do because if you think you're going to do something, you can just bring that stuff with you. You have a place to store it, and it can be out of the way. But just having a dry, warm space is probably the biggest.

Q: How does RVing help you live your adventurous lifestyle?

A: Having an RV is not only a place where you can hangout and be warm after you go skiing, but a place to sleep at night in comfort, make dinner as a family and travel as a family. It allows you to continue to live a life of adventure after having kids. We love not being tied down to a schedule, or a certain hotel or location. If there is a park we are really enjoying, we have the ability to stay an extra week if we want to.

Q: What is your advice for couples that want to continue a life of adventure after becoming parents?

A: Set goals for yourself. Your personal goals, and goals as a couple, don’t have to go out of the window once you become a parent. Andy and I may not have lived on much of a schedule prior to having Ryder, but you can bet we do now. By planning, setting goals and supporting each other in those goals, we’ve been able to accomplish more than we’d ever imagined. Remember that if you want something enough, there will always be a way to make it work!