In early 2012, I was fortunate through some of life’s unusual circumstances to meet Ed Cooley, a nationally-renowned photographer living in Rogers, Arkansas. His stunning, more vivid than life photography is displayed at his own White River Gallery in historic downtown Rogers and is also currently exhibited at Tavola Trattoria in Bentonville.
Ed and I began to get to know one another a bit, and although we don’t connect frequently, he is high on my list of favorite people. When I met his wife Faith, they officially became my couple crush. While their life stories independently and together are intriguing and the path that led them to travel the world following a nearly fatal outdoor accident is well-documented, it’s the synergy between them and the way Ed views the world that has made me such a fan.
If you live in northwest Arkansas, do yourself an exceptional favor and find a chunk of time to head to the old part of downtown Rogers to enjoy lunch at Heirloom Food & Gifts and then meander next door to inhale the photographs in Ed’s gallery. Both experiences will take your breath away.
Last fall, I wrote a cover story featuring Ed’s riveting life and death story for a regional publication. He had explained to me in great detail that he had purchased a GPS satellite locator device under duress, at the insistance of Faith. Ultimately, that device led to his rescue in October 2009 and saved his life. Naturally, I wanted to know exactly which device he used. It was a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. I began interacting with the company and became a SPOT brand ambassador.
While I’m not a doomsday prepper or extremist, in recent years I’ve been particularly drawn to better preparation in my vehicle, home and habits to ensure that I have some of the skills that might help me an excursion with my women’s hiking group landed us in the woods overnight, or might help me take care of my family if a tornado ripped through our community. And so, I recently used National Preparedness Month as the motivation to help me consider and prepare some of the best ways to keep myself and my family happy, well-equipped and healthy.
I’m happy to have recently visited with ArkansasOutside.com about contributing some occasional posts on family-friendly outdoor activities, the first being a very basic outing that will barely result in challenging aerobic activity: participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Whether you’ll be taking a short stroll in the woods on a sunny day or scaling a rocky precipice, having a way to communicate with the outside world that you are (or are NOT) ok seems like a no-brainer.
As for my poor family, they now suffer me asking them to wear identification bracelets for hiking and mountain biking (this after my husband reported going over his handlebars at Slaughter Pen and seeing stars after landing on his head). So, I’m delighted to now have access to a SPOT device. You’ll find plenty of details about the company at FindMeSpot.com and you can create a “trip diary” of your excursions at SpotAdventures.com. I’ll share more about the company and devices in an upcoming post, but for now:
Enter to win a $225 package from SPOT including a Spot Satellite GPS Messenger and 12 months of basic service and free tracking! To enter, scroll to the bottom of this post and click on “a Rafflecopter giveaway” or visit The Little Magpie on Facebook: http://bit.ly/TL3JjV. Either way is quick and painless!
And, if you’d rather shop SPOT products and pick one out for yourself (or as a gift for someone you love who goes trekking around in the woods), just leave a comment requesting it and the first 20 people to comment will receive a code for 12 months of free tracking (valued at $49.99) to accompany an existing device and basic service subscription. Good luck!
I am a SPOT brand ambassador, and regularly share my enthusiasm for the company’s products. I have a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger and received a second device, service and accessories to give away. I work with companies that earn my enthusiasm and firmly believe this is a fantastic product. Learn more at FindMeSpot.com.