The title The Valiant Life- Living the Life of Riley was inspired by our son, Riley.

The meaning behind the name Riley: Valiant or Courageous

The phrase “Living the Life of Riley”: To live carefree

As most children are, Riley has always been the balance between courageous and carefree. He embarked on his first hike at 4 months and reached the summit of his first mountain over 14,000 feet at 4 years old. His love of adventure and carefree outlook on life inspired us to look at life the same way and to reevaluate what is really important.


We have always loved the outdoors and traveling to new places every chance we could get, but in October of 2015, we decided to quit our jobs and sell almost everything we owned to travel across the country for one year in our home-built teardrop trailer named Bear.

With only a small amount of savings, we learned how to travel on a tight budget while coming up with creative ways to fund our necessities. Life on the road was an incredible experience full of ups and downs that changed us forever. After 286 days on the road, crossing several states and visiting several national parks, we found ourselves yearning to go back to Colorado, to our favorite playground, the Rocky Mountains.

“We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong.”

We now call Summit County, Colorado home. We live in a ski town where outdoor adventures are literally in our backyard and we currently follow a minimalist lifestyle. Our blog’s focus is on local experiences, North American road trips, and international travel.

Get to know us a little better with our bios:


Clayton, the bearded dad of The Valiant Life. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he has always been an outdoor enthusiast despite being raised in a bustling city in Silicon Valley. Clayton grew up exploring Lake Tahoe and always dreamed of living in the mountains. He is also quite the engineer, building Bear from the ground up. It was his idea to move to Summit County where he and his family could live where they play.

Clayton’s dream trip: Trek through the Himalayas 

boulders copy

Emmy, the mom documenting The Valiant Life. Born on an island and raised on the west coast, her favorite things are wandering new places and meditating on a mountain top. Prior to nomadic life, Emmy worked the usual 8-5 as a medical social worker where she spent her time dreaming of being elsewhere. Now at home in Colorado, she focuses her time blogging, homeschooling Riley and planning upcoming adventures.

Emmy’s dream trip: Machu Picchu

bryce canyon riley

Riley, the wild child of The Valiant Life. Riley is your typical kid raised in the Rockies: full of energy and often needs to be outdoors. He currently has a thirst for knowledge and loves to travel. Road trips, airplane rides and camping are his favorite things. Riley is also a seasoned hiker, summiting his first 14’er, Mt. Democrat, at age 4.

Riley’s dream trip: Japan and Brazil


Jack is a Jack Russell Whippet mix. He is the perfect companion for an adventurous life. Jack can sit through long car rides, keep up on long hikes, happily run through snow and cold weather, and cuddle up in blankets at the end of a long day. Riley also says that Jack is not a dog, but his brother.