Flies and all, I continued exploring all of Washington’s vast backcountry, seeking to know many of the woodland trails, their flora and fauna, and their creatures by heart. Every enjoyable step has led me through countless miles of trails in the State ranging from the beautiful ocean boardwalks of the Cape Alava area on Washington’s coast, to the vast and rugged Pasaytan Wilderness area on the eastern side. Perhaps a glutton for punishment, I can't seem to get enough days on the trail and crave the beauty, solitude and body aches of long-distance backpacking. My passion, or...uh-hem, obsession rather, has placed my feet on boundless Washington trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail, The Boundary Trail and the Wonderland Trail. Above all, my favorite is the Wonderland Trail, which I have hiked in section, part and completion more than nine times.
Teaching others makes me almost as happy as catching flies and cat-naps on ledges, and I've been honored to lead many guided backpacking trips for beginners and experienced friends and colleagues. I spent nearly 9 wonderful years teaching professional classes on outdoor pursuits for REI Stores, including Backpacking Basics, Lightweight Backpacking, Snowshoeing Basics, Winter Camping, and destination classes such as Day Hiking the Cascades, Distance Hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail and my favorite,The Wonderland Trail. I also had fun showing folks from all over the country the Northern Loop Trail in Mt. Rainier National Park when I worked as an Assistant Guide for REI Adventures. These days, I continue to share my passion as a freelance writer, author and photographer.
When mountain grandeur makes an impression on my soul, I do my best to bottle it up with photographs. It's never the same as being there in person, but it's a mini-souvenir that seals my desire to return. Taking photography in college helped me understand concepts such a lighting, composition, exposure,depth of field and weird terms like ISOs and F-stops. I also learned things that I'll never use again (thankfully I was napping during homework), such as developing negatives and the chemicals and processes to do so. Funny story...I actually remember the Professor telling us "before long, we will all be running around pointing mini copiers at one another". We were in awe of the future of digital! These days it's not uncommon for me to lug 20 pounds of digital camera gear on day hikes, just to seize that one perfect shot. Other hikers who pass often think I'm going into the wilderness for weeks.
The extra huff and puff up hills has been warranted for more than just my own enjoyment. My photos have appeared beside articles on outdoor recreation in Washington Magazine, City Dog, and Washington Trails magazines among others. My work currently is featured in outdoor campaigns for the City of North Bend, Washington. As an outdoors writer, I am presently a Regional Correspondent, and Contributor to Washington Trails Magazine, an active guidebook writer and I frequently post on outdoor blogs and commentaries.
While backpacking rises to the top of my favorite outdoor activities, other things tickle my adventure bone, such as snowshoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, scuba diving, photography, traveling, cooking (and eating), as well as fly-fishing.
My husband and I live in the Cascade foothills with our cantankerous German Shepherd, Summit, whose primary job is keeping my toes warm and carrying the garbage can lid up the driveway on garbage day. Summit will always be one of my best friends. He, like me, has yet to grow up.