I spent my entire childhood in Idaho traipsing through the Sawtooth Mountains and the Bruneau Desert with my family. My family also spent summers commercial fishing in Alaska, which meant my sister and I were allowed to explore with more freedom than we would at home. Sometimes we would find ourselves a few miles away from our island camp, narrowly escaping the rising tide.
After graduating from Boise State University, I moved to Montana and began working in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. From my childhood, I felt very connected to the landscape around me. After spending time at a remote fire lookout where my only companions were the landscape and the sky, I now feel connected to the land as though it is my closest friend. In times when I was hiking alone in the wilderness, or almost walked off a cliff in the fog, or saw a grizzly bear a little too close, I was not afraid of the land around me; I trusted it to take care of me, or at least know my place in it, large or small, safe or not.