Hike Trails, Get Money

I sort of hinted at this a couple of months ago, but it is finally official: REI got wind of me and I’ve been contracted to essentially keep doing what I do. They aren’t asking me to sell a product or be anything other than what I am, an unlikely outdoorsperson. For the next six months, you will very occasionally see that some of my posts are sponsored. They are also sponsoring the two meet-ups I posted about recently on Instagram.

As many of you know, REI, specifically with their #ForceOfNature campaign is making attempts to interrupt the common outdoors narrative. Obviously, there is so much work to be done and some of us have been doing it for awhile already, but this is a big deal. I’m a thirty-five-year-old, fat, queer, high school drop out who started hiking five years ago. When have you ever seen someone like me featured in the mainstream?

I am so grateful for this opportunity to share my experience and connect with all of you in the ways that we do. I feel like so many of my dreams are clicking into place. I’ve missed out on a lot of experiences and opportunities my peers have had due to lack of resources and access.

This may not be the most exciting news to my anti-capitalist, punk, queer communities, but I do hope you’ll support your girl in getting paid. I’m not making the big bucks, so don’t get it twisted. This will essentially help me to take a couple days off a month to focus solely on writing and adventuring and building community based on diversifying the outdoors. I still need a lot of help, financially, to keep doing all of this, so if you were thinking about donating to my patreon or paypal, I can absolutely use it. No pressure, I’ll stop touting it all of the time soon. 5% of monthly donations are donated to the Trans Assistance Project.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Neahkahnie Mountain

  • Level: Easy  (Beginner Level: Challenging.)
  • Length: 3 miles
  • Elevation: 900 ft. gain
  • Type: out and back
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h50m
  • Google map: n/a, the trailhead that comes up on google isn’t one I did. See below.

Continue reading “Neahkahnie Mountain”

Day One: Portland to Williams, Oregon

My alarm goes off at 7:50, but like most days lately, no matter what time it’s set for, it takes me about thirty minutes to get up. I lay in bed and check email as Brie continues to sleep undisturbed. I have a pingback awaiting approval from a website I’m not familiar with. Pingbacks are these notifications on WordPress, my webhost, telling you when someone has linked a page from your website to theirs. I check what’s been linked and a random woman has written an entire article grossly misinterpreting a piece I wrote, Fat Woman Falling. It’s fake sympathetic, off-the-mark about everything I actually wrote, focusing on what she perceives as my body shame and it accompanies no less than a dozen truly awkward photos of her thin, socially-acceptably attractive self working out. Whatever horror I was feeling evaporates as I look at a couple more things on her website: more of the same weird articles about what she incorrectly deems “body-positivity” and weird selfies accompanied by fat-positive hashtags. No comments or likes on any it. I can’t really get it up to give a shit, which is refreshing because lately I care too much about everything.

I get out of bed, finally waking Brie, and put on my beloved camping dress. Yes, I have a camping dress. It’s nothing special, just a black, stretch cotton, two-strap, mid-thigh length dress with an empire waist. It’s super comfortable, passes for cute and I’ve worn it on pretty much every camping trip for the last three or four years. We have a goal to be out the door by nine AM, which is lofty for us and our night job lifestyle, but we actually do it. I mean, we still have to go grocery shopping for the weekend, which almost always sends me into an anxious, agoraphobia spiral, but as I carry all of the stuff down the four flights of stairs to my car, I notice that my normally pain-bogged body feels kind of… not terrible. Grocery shopping is quick and easy, Brie and I are on the same page despite our still uncaffeinated, early morning selves. Our camping trip bodes well! Continue reading “Day One: Portland to Williams, Oregon”

Day Trip: Rattlesnake Falls

  • Location: Husum, Washington
  • Google map: don’t bother. From the Hood River Bridge, head west for 1.5 miles then make a right on SR 141. After 6 miles, just past Wet Planet, turn right onto Oak Ridge Rd. for 0.8-mile. Turn Right on Rattlesnake Rd and set your odometer. At the nine mile mark (most of this is unpaved, but fine for 2-wheel drive in drier weather), stay right and soon you’ll see the R1800 junction just after a tree with a “6” on it. Ignore any other trees with “6” on them, just pay attention to the mileage (I saw at least one other “6” tree).  Turn right for another 0.8 until it dead ends.
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h45m
  • Permit: n/a
  • Intensity: Easy (Beginner Level: Doable, but there is a creek crossing). 0.5 mile, little to no elevation gain
  • Open: mid April through July? Depends on the rain, I imagine it completely dries up in hotter months.
  • Pair with: Coyote Wall, Panther Creek Falls, a visit to White Salmon or Hood River

Continue reading “Day Trip: Rattlesnake Falls”

“Unlikely Hikers: An Invitation to the Outdoors”

Tagg Magazine is a magazine for “everything lesbian, queer and under the rainbow,” and they graciously interviewed me for a piece about @UnlikelyHikers. This came out weeks ago, but my head has been too up my butt to share it. I was in a deep grief brain fog when they interviewed me, but they skillfully made me sound good. Thanks, Tagg Magazine!

https://taggmagazine.com/unlikely-hikers-portland/

(Also, a correction, I started Unlikely Hikers in 2016. A year ago this month!)

Dalles Mountain Ranch

  • Level: Easy (Beginner level: challenging)
  • Length: ~5.5 miles
  • Elevation: >1,000 ft. gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year, peak wildflower time is mid-April to mid-May
  • Permit: Discover Pass or $5
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h30m
  • Google map: “crawford oaks trailhead”
  • Features: Eastern Gorge, spring wildflowers, waterfall

Every day that has passed in the week-and-a-half since I did this trail, I’ve felt like I was hoarding it. It was so unbelievably beautiful. You must go before the flowers go to seed and it gets too damn hot. There’s very little shade and it’s been so gross in Portland that I wasn’t even thinking about sunscreen yet and got pretty badly burnt. WEAR SUNSCREEN. Continue reading “Dalles Mountain Ranch”

Femmes to the Front!

A few things:

#1 and foremost, I’m on a RAD podcast and I couldn’t be happier about it. Lacy Davis, of Super Strength Health and Liberation Barbell, has a new podcast called, Femmes to the Front. I loved doing this with her and I lovelovelove the end result. I do not love the clicking sound of my headphones cord knocking against my earrings making a sound not unlike those awful dry mouth clicks on NPR, but what can I do except make unattractive, self-conscious comments about it? Please download and leave Lacy an iTunes review because that’s how those of us doing this online thing succeed ❤

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/femmes-to-the-front/id1215417980?mt=2

#2 I have great updates on the way, but do you know how hard it is to have a full-time job, make time for hiking and then actually write about it? It’s basically impossible, but I do my best. I cannot wait until I’m able to make a lil money doing this… (there’s a hint about future announcements in there somewhere.)

#3 You know that newsletter I said would come out in early March? It’s still going to happen. See #2.