Snowbirding & Tough Muddering

Joe with his beach boys
Joe with his Beach Boys

When I share with folks what I do for a living one of the most frequent comments I get is, “You could do that from anywhere!” Yep, that’s one of the blessings of my work, and let’s be honest, what Alaskan does not dream of occasionally enjoying a couple winter months wearing shorts and a pair of flip flops?

Well the whole Law family is back from our attempts at being snowbirds and I thought I’d take a moment and share some of our experiences. First off, I think a true “snowbird” is actually retired. They don’t need to work for a living and raise 5 boys, right? Thought so. I’m many years away from truly being a snowbird then! So for us non-snowbirds it was – how can we combine a family trip, a crazy Tough Mudder race, go somewhere for an extended time, where I can still work, Cathy can home school, and most importantly how could we avoid pulling our hair out or going completely nuts?

My partners kevin, ryan and myself
My partners Kevin, Ryan and myself

I can safely say, I think we succeeded (mostly). Obviously, dreaming about it on your couch and actually doing it are two different things. Now I’m not complaining mind you, I recognize that we are incredibly blessed to be able to even make the attempt. I did learn a valuable lesson right away, 5 boys in a 29′ travel trailer for an extended period of time, while still trying to work, is a recipe for institutionalization! After a few weeks of giving this a try I found a wonderful rental home in the country for a very reasonable price about 20 miles inland from Oceanside, CA. We booked for a month and after a quick trip to Costco had a cheap office chair and a bigger monitor hooked up and things were looking up.

The rental was alongside some trails and not far from where the dreaded Tough Mudder race was to be held (which I wrote about this past January). Have a look at the race video below, at the 51 seconds mark you can see my partners Kevin and Ryan as they come up from their arctic enema baptism!

I am actually right behind them and sadly, still underwater. The Mudder was actually a blast and even the electric shock therapy was fun in a sadistic sort of way!

Cathy and 4 of the 5 boys!
Cathy and 4 of the 5 boys!

As I look back now on the photos of our family trip, they do seem to capture only the happy moments! Not the sick kids. Not the family arguments. And definitely NOT the moment we took a wrong turn and pulled our trailer through downtown San Francisco! So I think to myself, now that this mid-life idea is crossed of my list I’m not sure if I will be signing up again!


I’m guessing that come this fall, when the days start to get long and the temp starts to drop, I will look over at Cathy and say, “You know, we could really do this from anywhere. What do you think, want to do it again, I’m officially one Tough Mudder now, don’t ya know.”

So that being said, although I enjoyed our time out in a warmer climate, it is great to be back home in Alaska, sitting here in my own office, in my own comfy office chair, looking at my 3 big monster monitors with a plate full of great designs to dive into!

Cheers from the Law Family