We had the good fortune of connecting with Miller and Debbie (MAD) Harrell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Miller and Debbie (MAD), can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We want to share, inspire and motivate people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. There are so many wonderful places to visit and experience the beauty of nature and the positive physical, as much the physiological and spiritual, impact the natural world has on us. Living an active lifestyle is a great part of a healthy lifestyle in so many ways.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
MAD Hippies’ Life is about inspiring people to live their best life. While we certainly love promoting the outdoors through backpacking, hiking, photography and the essence of the natural world, the very nature of our inspiration is relationships and each other’s stories, the good, the bad and lessons learned.

Family and friendships, to us, are often one in the same. Supporting one another throughout life’s journey to motivate and help each other achieve their goals.

Such support was given to us as we began our own journey many years ago as a young married teenage couple. We endured plenty of hardships, including baby loss, pressing forward, together, with each hurdle. Family and friends encouraged us to continue and share our story and experiences over time.

Some 40 years later, we are blessed to be able to look back and see our successes and failures as building blocks to a wonderful life. But even now, the story continues. MAD Hippies’ Life is still unfolding.

We continue to share and hopefully inspire others to rise above the mundane day in and day out human experience and embrace their own lives and stories, to move forward, seek out their dreams and live the best life they can.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being able to show off Colorado is a task we thoroughly enjoy. No trip to Colorado should be without the amazing landscape of the Colorado Rocky Mountains!

Our favorite place to go, the Indian Peaks Wilderness west of Boulder. A day hike, an overnight backpacking trip or just a long drive through this beautiful wilderness will certainly inspire. Along the way, not only will we enjoy the incredible and majestic landscape, wildlife and energy, but the history of how it all came to be. From mining, to almost becoming part of Rocky Mountain National Park, the IPW is a locals favorite.

Afterwards, a stop in Nederland at the New Moon Bakery to refuel and enjoy fresh baked goods and coffee are a must. While small on space, their food is big on flavor. Quality ingredients and attention to detail are certainly a big part of their success. A stroll through town afterwards is likely, along the creek and down to the reservoir to soak in a beautiful sunset with the Continental divide in the backdrop and John Denver’s lyrics “And the Colorado Rocky Mountain high, I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky
The shadows from the starlight are softer than a lullaby
Rocky Mountain high, Colorado. Rocky Mountain high…” bring discussed.

Other grand destinations, A beautiful drive on Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. A drive from Idaho Springs to Echo Lake, the top of Mt Evans and finally to Evergreen with a stop at Beau Jo’s Pizza and a walk around the lake.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Certainly both of our mothers, who passed away recently. They showed us the natural world and inspired us to push forward in life and go for our dreams. Being strong, independent women, they both passed along to us their determination and will to overcome life’s obstacles.

When asked, what drives you to explore the outdoors, we often quote the definition of “wilderness” from the Wilderness Act of 1964, “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation…”

Website: www.madhippieslife.com

Instagram: @mad_hippies

Twitter: @MAD_Hippies

Youtube: www.youtube.com/madhippieslife

Image Credits
Al images by MAD Hippies Life

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.