Hometown: Redmond, Washington
Superpower: Picking out the perfect avocado (almost) every time!
What's your favorite Trail Mavens lesson to teach?
Fire building - it makes you feel powerful and humble (and warm and cozy) all at the same time.
How'd you develop your prowess as an outdoorswoman?
I grew up going to summer camp in the San Juan Islands, and it became my second home. Being outside, making new friends, and pushing my comfort zone just enough was the place I felt most alive and most myself. When I had the opportunity to take an Outdoor Leadership course in college, I went on my very first backpacking trip and from then on I was hooked. I loved the feeling of having everything I needed on my back and the freedom this offered. I went on to go on my own adventures, lead youth on overnight trips in the wilderness, and even go to graduate school in the middle of a national park!
How do you spend your time when you're not leading Trail Mavens adventures?
Skiing, eating snacks, playing on a very non-competitive volleyball league, planning my own backpacking adventures, cooking, reading, napping when I can, and exploring San Francisco. I also work at a non-profit that creates access to the outdoors for youth of color and of low-income backgrounds.
What do you love about leading Trail Mavens trips?
The conversations! I am always blown away by the wisdom I gain on trips from other Mavens.
What’s the most amazing thing that’s ever happened on a trip you were leading?
Stopping along the Lost Coast for a snack break, we watched a river otter drag a fish up through a creek and across the beach only a few feet away from us. The whole group was silent and in awe of this incredible moment.
Tell us your go-to story of a personal outdoor adventure experience.
Henry Coe State Park will always have a special spot in my heart. This was the first place I ever backpacked. 10 years later, when I was more experienced and seasoned in the wilderness, I decided to try out my first solo backpacking trip, and went back to Henry Coe to try it out! I went into it feeling nervous and unsure of what to expect. Once I got out there, the nervous feeling went away and I felt excited! I hiked, took close-up photos of wildflowers, took a nap on a wide boulder in the middle of a creek in the sun, and camped on the bank of the creek. I came back feeling refreshed, empowered, and proud.
Describe your most favorite campsite meal (make our mouths water!).
Gado Gado. When I was 12 years old and on a camping trip through a summer camp I was attending, my trip leader made Gado Gado, and on a cold, wet, Washington day, this warm, sweet and savory Indonesian dish was the most delicious meal I had ever tasted.
I didn’t think about it much until a few years ago when I was planning a backpacking trip to the Lost Coast with a friend and we were planning our menu leafing through a book called Lip Smackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’ Recipes. I opened up the book, and there it was: Golden Bear Gado Gado. Preparation time on the trail: 15 minutes. Challenge level: Easy.
The memory of eating Gado Gado as a 12 year old came rushing back, and I knew we had to make it, and once again, it did not disappoint. The orzo pasta with a tangy, garlicky, onion-y sauce topped with crushed peanuts was just as delicious on a windy bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with sea lions hootin’ and hollerin’ in the background as we ate our lip smackin’ vegetarian backpackin’ Gado Gado. Highly recommend!
Top three places you like to play outdoors:
North Cascades National Park in Washington State - its epic. Rugged, snowy, volcanic peaks combined with glacial lakes and old-growth Western Red Cedars and Douglas Firs.
Desolation and Emigrant Wilderness areas in the Sierras - plenty of beautiful alpine lakes I can just pick up and go to on a Friday night for a quick weekend getaway.
Berkeley and Oakland Hills - I love the accessibility of East Bay Regional Parks and often pop over to Joaquin Miller or Redwood Regional Park for a trail run.
What should ladies who are on Trail Mavens trips with you be sure to ask you about?
My international upbringing!