Our Liebster Award: We Want to Thank the Academy...

The Germans. They gave us beer, gummy bears, and America's favorite pastime, the television. In case you haven’t noticed, their language has also crept into American culture, like a stray cat that becomes a permanent fixture in your life. Words like pretzel, wanderlust, gesundheit, and my personal favorite, Schadenfreude.

There’s another borrowed German word used in the blogging world. Liebster. It means, “dearest” or “beloved.”


A Liebster Award is an online award given to bloggers, from bloggers. It’s nice to be appreciated for your work. What better way to say “thank you” than to follow up by appreciating other bloggers you feel deserve recognition?

Here’s how it works:

  • A blogger selects some blogs they think are the bomb (yes, people still say that).

  • They nominate those blogs for the Liebster.

  • They ask the nominee some questions, so we can get to know them better. It’s like a digital first date, sans roses.

  • The Liebster nominee accepts the award. Usually.

  • The Liebster winner answers the questions, revealing their deepest secrets to everyone.

  • They, in turn, select some blogs they think are the bomb, and pose their own set of questions.

Of course, we’re happy to accept this award.

The Modern Outdoors is nominated by Meg from Adventures of Fox in the Forest. This foxy little minx has a case of wanderlust like I have a case of chocolate lust. She’s traveled all over the world and lived to tell the stories. More than that, she’s an adventure seeker. Anyone can hop a plane to Thailand and sit in their hotel the entire time. But not Meg. She goes to the places where insects can kill you and scales the most terrifying mountain she can find. That’s my girl.

Thanks, Meg. We heart you too!


Here are the questions Foxy Fox asks. Unfortunately, no roses. But that’s okay. I prefer unbroken eye contact anyway.

1. What inspires you the most to get out and explore? Novelty. I get bored doing the same thing, so it doesn’t take long before I’m itching to see a new place or hike a new trail.

2. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life what dish would it be? That’s easy. Mac and cheese. You know how most kids love this dish and say they want to eat it forever? Yeah. I just never grew out of that phase.

3. What’s your favorite season and why? Autumn. Most of the places I’ve lived flourish in the Autumn. Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, now Utah. All these places come alive when the leaves turn vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red.

Portland in Autumn, Japanese Maple - ©️ Nicole Atkins

Portland in Autumn, Japanese Maple - ©️ Nicole Atkins

4. You’re in the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen – describe it for us then tell us where it’s at. It could be anywhere. There’s a glacial lake the color of azure blue, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks. All I hear is the beating of my own heart. And maybe a pika calling out. Damn those things are cute.

5. What was a time when you missed home the most? Recently. It’s not a perfect place. But when I see the entire city stand up for what I believe is right, in a time when many places become idle, I smile. I’m proud to be from a community of strong-minded people who continue to fight for progress.

6. What is your dream destination? Everywhere! But at the top of my list right now are Patagonia, and Iceland (which I’ll be seeing later this year).

7. Sunsets or sunrises? Why? Definitely sunsets. I’m rarely up early enough for a sunrise.

Sunset in Hawaii, Ho'okipa Beach Park - ©️ Nicole Atkins

Sunset in Hawaii, Ho'okipa Beach Park - ©️ Nicole Atkins

8. What has been your most embarrassing moment or mishap on the road, trail, or traveling? One time I forgot my ID at the airport. I learned that morning you can’t take a snow globe onto a plane, but apparently, you can get on without ID.

9. If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out as a traveler or an outdoors enthusiast what would it be? Make mistakes. They’re your most valuable tool for learning. Humility is underrated. It gives us an opportunity to be better, through the power of embracing our fallibility.

10. What are your plans for 2017? To see more, to do more, to listen more. To feel more, to say more, to be more.


The blogs Modern Outdoors would like to nominate are very dear to us, for their own unique reasons.

We love My Way North because it speaks to the organized, inclusive part of our desires. It has everything from trip planning and reports, to gear reviews, to quick tips, to photo porn. All organized on a neat, easy to navigate site that doesn’t make you want to throw your mouse at the wall. My OCD feels happy when I read articles on MWN. They’re well-written posts, accompanied by beautiful photos, and clearly, come from an experienced outdoorsman.

We love Claire’s Wanderings because it appeals to the artist in us. Claire is an avid adventurer who brings her creative spirit on her expeditions. She paints the exquisite landscapes she visits. She shares images of the paintings on her blog with thought-provoking insights. These paintings are nothing to scoff at. I can barely draw a proper stick figure, and Claire throws together a painting of a beautiful mountainscape.

We love Arizona Day Hiker for one simple reason. We love authenticity. It’s so rare these days to see authentic work on the web. Jason, the brain behind ADH, knows who he is and if you don’t like it, you can go kick rocks. You’re probably doing that somewhere anyway. And, who he is happens to be a complete bad ass (whether he admits it or not). His posts are a balanced mix of adventure, philosophy, humor, and guest posts.

Here are my first date questions for you. First base, here I come!

1. What’s one risk you haven’t yet had the courage to take?

2. What’s your favorite outdoor-themed book or film?

3. What’s your guilty pleasure?

4. What/who inspires you?

5. What made you smile today?

6. When would you go if you had a time machine, and why?

7. What’s the coolest/strangest/most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

8. What’s your best piece of advice?

9. If the world was about to end, how would you spend your last 24 hours?

10. If you were guaranteed the right answer to just one question, what question would you ask?


Thanks again to Meg for this honor. Now excuse me while I volksmarch with my schnauzer, to the Biergarten, so I can enjoy a wiener schnitzel and strudel, washed down with a stein of hefeweizen.