Welcome to the Cranky Camper

Formerly Rochelle Haas and Co

Why am I here? -Sami

I’m Rochelle Kate Haas, blogger and educator based in the Greater Los Angeles area, specifically the San Gabriel Valley. While I effectively grew up in California, I originated on the East Coast and moved westward on account of my father’s military service. Well that and the fact that my mother, who is from the tropical Philippines, absolutely hated Midwestern winters. Our cross-country journey gave me a love of travel, especially road-tripping.

Fast forward a few years, I am married with four children, a dog, and two bunnies, living in a compact 930-square foot home with huge yards in one of the best neighborhoods in the SGV. Thanks to Dad, I still love travel and the outdoors. My idea of a perfect day is a trek in the mountains, surrounded by tall evergreen trees, overlooking sweeping vistas. I have learned however that not all my kids feel the same way, especially as I’m dragging my youngest to ‘yet another stupid national park’ (insert eye roll). After a recent trip that began with a fight to even get out of the car and hike less then half-a-mile to see the famed General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park, my Sami is the inspiration for the new look and new name. I am still learning how to balance our differing expectations, but I have learned too that once she gets outside, she will start to get into the adventure and have fun. Especially when we’re hiking with our dog.

And so my three-year labor of love has now evolved into The Cranky Camper. Here I will continue to share my love of the outdoors and travel, along with tips we’ve learned along the way. Many of the posts featured here tell a story of our experiences, including our mistakes and mishaps, hopefully with a bit of Haas family humor sprinkled in.

A trail run with our pupper, Owen at Van Tassel above Duarte, California.

To complete the about me, my other passion is education and advocacy for the students and families I serve as a member of our local board of education. I have taught, tutored, and spent many a day volunteering at the kids’ schools in many PTA and site roles, all in the hope of giving my own students and their peers the best possible chance we can. I have learned much from the experiences, and still continue to learn. I give credit to my dad for instilling the love of helping others in that way in myself and my sisters. And I am thankful for the road it’s taken me on, especially since it’s not one I would have chosen for myself.

I hope one day to be able to unite the two, especially since there is ample evidence to show the very positive effects of being in nature to mental health and emotional well-being. A dream is to be able to have increased outdoor programming for our students, knowing the benefits it would have to them. Until then, I hope to share the places I’ve gone with the kids, as well as safety and other logistical tips. Because life is an adventure meant to be shared.

See you outside! Happy trails.

Classroom photo credit: Ms. Becky Torres

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