Feeling good about your start to the new year? That’s nothing compared to how the Kellogg family of Glenwood Springs, Colo., rang it in.
This year marked the third year that most of the family – consisting of dad Dan, mom Susie, and 12 kids, yes 12, ages 1-18 -- participated in its hometown Shoshone New Years Day Paddle, joining more than 30 other paddlers for a frigid float to usher in the new year. Half of the kids -- Grady, Brody, Kady, Kenny, Dally and Cardy -- joined in this year’s frigid foray.
“They had a blast and are definitely planning on making it a family tradition,” says Susie, whose entourage also includes Kerry, Maddy, Rowdy, Emmy and Elly.
Of course, the family is no ordinary family. While it calls Glenwood Springs home, their real home is on the road. The family of 14 lives in a 36-foot RV traveling across America, kayaking nearly every day.
Beginning their paddling pilgrimage in 2009, so far they’ve racked up more than 44,000 miles visiting 20 states and Canada, competing as team members for kayak manufacturer and sponsor Jackson Kayaks as well as paddling for fun. Susie has written a book, “Raising a Badass Family,” on their unique approach to parenting, and the family is making a special appearance as invited guests to this year’s Florida RV SuperShow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. They’ve also appeared on the Today Show.
“Kayaking has quickly become a family passion,” says Dan. “We’ve competed in almost every sport imaginable, but nothing provides the rush or the ability to participate together as much as paddling. We are a homeschooling family, living off the grid as much as humanly possible, living a completely free and exciting life.”
The start to this year serves as a shining example. While whacko paddlers have been running the Shoshone section of the Colorado River on New Year’s Day for years thanks to its consistent year-round whitewater, this year the Kelloggs showed up in force, including Cardy, who at age 10 is the youngest person to ever participate. “He was told he was the youngest paddler to ever run it on the first cold, icy day of the year, which made him laugh and say, ‘Maddy will be next year,’” says Dan. “He’s not one to let anything go to his head.”
He adds that Cardy was a bit chilly, but it didn’t affect his spirits on the Class III run. And everyone warmed up with hot chocolate and chili afterward. “That’s pretty great to return to after a 40-minute freeze run,” he says.