To Blog or Not to Blog:
I’ve been thinking about writing a blog for what…the past year or two? I’ve always enjoyed writing but never really got into it outside of schoolwork, and I’ve been out of school now for a LONG time. Recently I wrote a trip report on my current favorite website 14ers.com and I had a BLAST writing it! (If you are in Colorado and are interested in the high peaks, you need this website, and I do mean NEED.) Anyways, the other day my dear friend Kaitlyn (English major/teacher/writer extraordinaire) shared a new project she’s working on: a weekly email newsletter with writing tips. I signed up because why not, but then today I received the first email…and while it was short, it got me thinking. NOW IS THE TIME FOR A BLOG. I just…wanted to write about stuff. So I signed up, created a website, uploaded some pictures…and here I am. Blogging my little heart out. Partly to hear myself talk (because who doesn’t love that) but mostly because I want to SHARE THINGS WITH PEOPLE. Hiking things, outdoor things, experiences, and probably some dogs thrown in there. I want to reach people who want to learn more about hiking, or want to find new hikes in Colorado, or even need some motivation to get outside. I want you and your problems to get outside and do things that you like.
And now that you know how I came to be a “high profile” blogger, you should maybe know a bit about ME (assuming I have readers other than my mother).
I grew up in Wisconsin, eating cheese and freezing to death. Ever since I can remember, my family would go on trips, big and small, to really cool places where we could spend time outdoors. We went to state parks, county parks, national parks, and eventually my parents bought 66 acres of land that we spent countless hours exploring. I don’t remember a single summer where we didn’t do SOMETHING outside. I learned early the Leave No Trace principles, and I developed an appreciation for nature that would grow as I did.
It was actually an environmental educator at Glacier National Park that helped me determine what I wanted to major in in college; Environmental Education and Interpretation. I knew beforehand that I wanted to do something with Natural Resources, but I wasn’t sure what, and this seemed perfect for me. I liked teaching, I liked the environment, and the idea of doing both of these things at a National Park seemed seriously amazing.
After my freshman year of college, I worked a summer at a Girl Scout Camp in Central Wisconsin. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, and while I knew that a National Park would be completely different, I was unsure if Environmental Education was really for me. My camp director, Chickadee (yes we had camp names), discussed with me my career opportunities, and so I decided to change my major to Soil and Land Management. Seemingly random, but was a great fit for me.
After my sophomore year of college, I went to a 6-week mandatory Natural Resources summer school/camp (Treehaven) in the northwoods of Wisconsin. 50+% of our classes took place outside, doing hands on things in different fields of natural resources. We had courses in Forestry, Wildlife, Fisheries, Soils, and Plant ID.
After my junior year of college, now in the throes of upper-level soils classes, I had an internship in Colorado. It happened randomly. I didn’t apply to internships in Colorado, but one day I got a phone call, and then the next day I had an internship in FREAKING COLORADO HALLELUJAH SO EXCITING. I did, in fact, scream into the telephone. (Sorry Colby LOL!)
That summer, I learned a lot about being alone. Living alone, hiking alone, doing everything alone. I spent all of my free time outside exploring Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and a number of county parks near where I lived. I had the time of my life!
When I was 12, we had our first family vacation to Colorado. It was the first time I’d seen the mountains and they were awe-inspiring, to say the least. During a bit of road construction in RMNP, we were stopped near a traffic control flagger. He had moved to Colorado some years before, I can’t remember from where. I thought to myself “that’s awesome, one day I want to move to Colorado!” and then promptly forgot all about it.
I didn’t remember this memory until I received that call from the internship in Colorado. I didn’t forget it during my summer internship in Colorado in 2012. I didn’t forget it when I begged my company to hire me full-time after I graduated. I didn’t forget it when I loaded up the car and moved to Colorado to start a life all by myself. You see, I remembered that when I was 12, I wanted to move to Colorado. And after my summer in Colorado, I knew that I NEEDED to move to Colorado.
I moved to Colorado in 2013. It was the scariest and best thing that I have ever done.
Since then, there have been a lot of firsts. First 14er, first backpacking trip, first thru-hike attempt, first solo 13er. I met and married my husband. Somewhere in there we acquired 4 dogs. (We also foster dogs & puppies, in case you didn’t think we were crazy enough.)
I have tried a lot of different things, but not once have I gotten sick of the wilderness. It’s become a part of me that will never go away. Now I have a hunger for the high peaks, the 14ers, 13ers, and traverses. I won’t stop hiking and exploring and learning, because I can’t. It’s not in me to stop, to slow down.
I’m hoping that I can openly and honestly share this part of me through this blog, and I hope that you find something here to inspire, teach, or guide you.