Bio

Hi and thanks for visiting!

On the John Muir Trail near Island Pass, a truly amazing place!
On the John Muir Trail near Island Pass, a truly amazing place!

Hi, I’m Christine, welcome to TrailChick.com!

Love the outdoors? Want to make the world a better place? You’re in the right spot!

I started this site as a way to keep family and friends updated on my travels, then friends asked me to tell some of my crazy stories and give them ideas for weekend road trips, places to visit, and types of gear to buy.

I love writing how-to’s, promoting great gear and sharing stories, but I don’t just want to tell people how to go buy more stuff or do more adventures, I want to inspire them to live and adventure in ways that improve the world and make a difference! All of us can support environmentally conscious companies, buy gear that gives back, mix volunteer work with adventuring, participate in work parties or support our local environmental and rescue groups.

I’m here to help you do that! After all, how you give back is just as important as how you adventure!

My story…

I’d love to say I’ve always been an outdoor enthusiast, but it really isn’t the truth. I grew up nerdy, skinny, and incredibly uncoordinated. I usually kicked the ball backwards in kickball. My superhero power was, and still is, being a complete klutz! Agility? I really wasn’t born with it and I was never meant to be a coordinated athlete.

When I graduated from Purdue University in May 2000, I made a quick, rebellious decision to pack everything I owned into my truck and hit the road for the sparkling Emerald City of Seattle. I had no job, knew no one, and had absolutely no idea what I was doing! I only dreamed of living somewhere with mountains and water and Seattle seemed so green and magical! And far away!

It’s amazing to think that one crazy decision would change the course of my life forever. I got a job as a Web Developer, met a few outdoor friends, and started hitting the trails in my jeans and cotton t-shirts. Ah, those were the days! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but I quickly fell in love with the outdoors. How can you not living in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest!?

One of my first PNW adventures with my dad way back in 2000. Hiking in jeans because of course, that’s a great choice for a wet climate! How much we’ve learned since then! 🙂

Fast forward to 2010 when I realized my dream to see the world was still unfulfilled, so I quit my full time Web Development job and became a freelancer to give myself the freedom to travel.

While working remotely I managed to drive a 1.2-liter car from London to Mongolia in the Mongol Rally (yes, it’s true!), spend time campervan’ing Australia and New Zealand, trek in the Andes, and solo hike part of the John Muir Trail. I tallied 32 countries on all but 2 continents and spent winters living in the Methow Valley, one of my favorite places in the state. It was an amazing 8 year journey!

travel

A few years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which wasn’t completely unexpected since it runs in my family. My dad is 68 and despite rheumatoid, still manages to hike 50 miles every weekend so I’m determined to follow in his footsteps! Sometimes I feel like the rusty tin man and I don’t run quite as fast as I used to but I’m convinced that movement is the key to life! I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be the fastest or the strongest to enjoy a satisfying life of adventure!

Last year I decided it was time for a change again, so I went back to full time work, still a Web Developer and now Technology Manager, to tackle new challenges and replenish my bank account for future travel.

The summit of Mount St. Helens on New Years Day 2015, woohoo!!
The summit of Mount St. Helens on New Years Day 2015, woohoo!!

I can usually be found hobbling and crashing (and usually bushwhacking) my way to new sports and adventures with my partner in crime Jake dog, a crazy Lab/Chessie mix I adopted in 2005 who at 12, still has the energy of 10 dogs + 2! This year has been tough as he’s growing old and we’re learning new tricks.

I enjoy adventuring with friends, but I love solo outings and travel. There’s just something magical for me about being outdoors alone, me and nature (and Jake dog of course!)

Despite 17 years of exploring this beautiful state I still have an unending list of places to go and I’m currently working my way through visiting every remaining Washington State Fire Lookout. There are 93!! Why? I have a weird fascination and love for old structures, especially fire towers! Not only are they damn cool, but they have incredible views!! And most of them require some steep climbing, a great challenge!

My best adventure partner Jake dog!
The best adventure partner a gal could ask for: Jake dog!🐾

I volunteer with the Washington State Animal Response Team, a volunteer emergency response team that helps animals and their owners in times of need and I share my love of trail running by being an XTERRA Trail Run ambassador.

I still have way too many places to travel and trails to backpack. I crochet tiny dragons, collect sparkly things, and can be easily bribed with peanut butter cups. Oh, and cheese!

The Mongol Rally

I get a lot of questions about the Rally and no question, driving a tiny car from London to Mongolia with two friends was the most incredible adventure of my life! I think it’s all too easy to get caught up in negative news and this trip taught me that mankind as a whole is truly amazing.

It was humbling to see first-hand how money raised on the Rally directly contributed to improving the lives of many by building water filtration systems, providing children’s playgrounds, and establishing youth development centers. We met some of the kindest people thriving in some of the harshest areas on the planet. I’m forever in awe of all the ways this trip changed my life and it motivated me to find ways to give more.

Camels in the Gobi!
Camels in the Gobi!

5 things I can’t live without

My passport
Running shoes
Good coffee
A journal
Cheese!!!

My inspiration

My dad inspires me to always be an adventurer! He’s 68 and despite having rheumatoid arthritis, is living proof that staying fit and having an intrepid spirit keeps you eternally youthful. He and my stepmom have lived in the southern California area for 15 years and have bagged around 730 peaks (over 1,000 if you count repeat trips). They’ve completed nearly every Sierra Club peak list in the area. We’ve done several amazing adventures together including backpacking the JMT, climbing Mount Whitney, completing the Enchantments Death March, and hiking the Grand Canyon rim to the river and back in a day. Just this past summer we hiked Southern California’s 3 tallest peaks in 3 days to complete the 3 Peak Challenge. Somehow my dad always outhikes me, no matter how fit I get!

The summit of White Mountain (14,246′) in the Inyo-White Mountains with my dad and stepmom.

Favorite quote

“”Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”-Dr. Seuss

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
-Henry David Thoreau

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Contact me if you’d like to chat, I love hearing from fellow adventurers! I’m also available for guest blogging and freelance writing. Follow my stories on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Life is short, so get out there, plan your next adventure, and make a difference! Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day!!

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