These past two months I’ve been keeping myself busy doing as many outdoorsy things as possible. In March I got to spend two consecutive weekends with each of my two sisters, one in Big Sur and the other in Portland and the Columbia River Gorge. I took two foraging classes and went clamming with my husband (more about that next week). I took a rock climbing class with a friend and volunteered for trail work three times working toward my goal of earning a WTA hard hat. I’ve been reading a ton of outdoor books (of course) and I introduced myself as a writer for the first time ever. I actually haven’t been hiking that much, but I’ve found that celebrating the outdoors in other ways with my family, friends, and fellow volunteers, writers and students has been just as rewarding, if not more so, than hitting the trails on my own.
Here are some more people and things that have been inspiring me lately:
Gina Begin’s Interview on Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast
Gina Begin is my hero. She’s been all over the US and Canada traveling by road on her own, skiing, climbing and backpacking. She is an amazing writer and just an all around kind and compassionate person. She founded the Outdoor Woman’s Alliance to create a space for outdoor women to connect and learn from each other. She encourages others to follow their passions and realize their dreams however big and daunting they are. Listen to Kristen Carpenter-Ogden’s interview with Gina, check out OWA and Gina’s blog and basically follow everything she does, trust me.
website, twitter, instagram
Environmental Writers Workshop at the Burke Museum
A few weeks ago I attended an environmental writers workshop at the Burke Museum here in Seattle. The workshop is held every year with three guest authors. The three guests this year were Craig Romano, Sierra Nelson and Priscilla Long, all with different areas of writing expertise. I was especially excited to meet and learn from Craig Romano as he writes our local trail guide books. These books line my bookshelf, a rainbow full of adventures waiting for me. Craig has so much energy and is passionate about trails, history and conservation, and his enthusiasm is contagious. I also enjoyed learning from Sierra who is a brilliant self-proclaimed cepholopod-loving poet and Priscilla, a wonderful teacher and science writer. I will definitely be returning for years to come.
Phenomenal by Leigh Ann Henion
Leigh Ann Henion, after becoming a new mother, set off on a quest to observe seven natural phenomena around the world: the Monarch butterfly migration, bioluminescent waters, the Catatumbo lightning, a volcanic eruption, the northern lights, the great migration of Tanzania, and a total solar eclipse. This is a compelling travel story on it’s own, but Leigh Ann gives us so much more. She looks for meaning in these unexplainable wonders, learning not just the scientific explanations but also the cultural aspects and the overlapping of the two. She contemplates spirituality, mythology and ultimately what it means to be human. Meanwhile she struggles with being away from her son and her husband. But she learns that by making her life fuller, she can in turn enrich her son’s life and instill in him a sense of wonder. She is an inspiration to all mothers or those who are contemplating parenthood, showing us that you can be both a good parent and have an adventurous and full life. I treasure this original, brilliant and smart book and can’t recommend it enough. This is a book I will surely be revisiting again and again. website, facebook, twitter
Drawn: The Art of Ascent Film & Book by Jeremy Collins
After Jeremy Collins, a climber, artist and parent loses a close climbing friend and mentor he goes on a mission to spread his friend’s ashes in the four cardinal directions from his home in Kansas. The film documents his journey to Yosemite Valley, the Yukon in Canada, China and Venezuela to climb. It’s a story of the celebration of life told with both video and his animated art. The unique companion book is more like a graphic novel, the pages full of Jeremy’s original sketches and art collected from his adventures. There’s a lot of heart in Jeremy’s work. His love of nature, wildlife and mountains is evident, but he also makes a point to show that adventure and family don’t have to be separate endeavors, they can be one and the same. Be sure to check out the documentary, book, and his clothing / print shop, Meridian Line.
website, instagram, facebook
What I’ve Been Reading:
New Books I’m Excited to Read:
Coming Soon on the Blog:
Foraging / San Juan Island Road Trip / Camp Reads: Long Distance Edition / Trailblazers / More!
What has been inspiring YOU lately? Have you recently discovered an inspiring person, read a great book or attended an exciting event? Tell me about it in the comments!