I am a backpacker. I used to joke that when an ultra-trail runner (my father) and an open-water swimmer (my mother) made a baby, they make a backpacker. And it's the truth. Being out in the wilderness is my true passion and I've spent many days exploring the sections of the Appalachian Trail and now, the Washigton Cascades. After I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I began reaching out to local advocacy groups and soon became a volunteer speaker and community advisor for the Sierra Club. It soon became clear, as the only Central Washington representative, I would have to do everything I could to make an impact. I trained as an outings leader, Leave No Trace spokesperson, and Wilderness First Reaponder. As I started leading hikes, I really wanted to focus on getting people backpacking for the first time. So I lead mostly Intro to Backpacking courses. I teach people about proper attire and packing skills, cooking and food storage techniques, and physical and mental activities to make the body strong. People really seem to enjoy the ease and comfort of their first outing with someone they can trust. It's made my life here so much more meaningful knowing I'm opening up a new world to so many people! This photo was taken of me as I was leaving the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area after a successful first overnight in the backcountry! The first, but definitely not the last for these inspired young people!