One of the coolest things about being a part of an online community of adventurers is that I get to meet the most amazing people. I wrote a message to friend the other day and these were my exact words in the message:
It's funny, but I used to hate social media - I retreated from it for so long, but I am so grateful for it now and for the opportunity to connect with such amazing people. I know I'm corny, but sometimes I think about all the people in our TTMIBI (Toward the Mountaintop Inch by Inch) group, and it makes me so emotional and grateful that my life is blessed with knowing that such beautiful people exist in the world.
As a part of our group, I like to feature one member per week and share their unique story and have them talk about their personal relationship with the wilderness. This practice not only helps to build camaraderie in the group, but it also serves as an incredible way to connect with and be inspired by other like-minded adventure-loving people.
So, without further adieu, I am so honored to share the story of Angie Regensburg on my blog. She is a beautiful, adventurous woman who has truly inspired me - last week she completed her 45th hike of 2017, and I know that she isn't slowing down anytime soon.
1. Tell us a little bit about you and your hiking/outdoor interests!
I began hiking when I was about five. I remember climbing to the top of a mountain with my dad and reaching the summit and there was snow and glorious views as we sat and he shared sips of his hot coffee and sandwiches with me. Sundays were filled with outdoor family adventures and summers were filled with long backpacking trips to alpine lakes.
As an adult, I continued to hike the occasional summer hike and explore the outdoors locally and beyond. I found there were no resources in my area for places to explore outdoors so I wrote a book called "Explore Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey" about the area surrounding our state capital to encourage others to also get out more and explore.
Over the last few years, I have been hiking more, attending more classes and acquiring better gear. In an effort to push myself to overcome some challenges in life, I set a goal for myself in 2016 to hike more and feel better. I set a goal of 141 miles which seemed high but within reach. I met and passed the goal and hiked 213 miles last year. This year I increased my goal to 242 and also added a goal to try to expand my hiking adventures to locations I have never been. Currently we are in July and I have tracked 280 miles over 45 hikes! Each mile hike I feel stronger - mind, body and soul!
Besides hiking, I love being at the beach - exploring tide pools, kayaking in the sound or in lakes, nature painting and photography, researching and identifying plants in the forests and so much more.
You can follow my adventures on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/naturegirlangie
2. Favorite trail food?
I love to eat. I like having first breakfast at home then second breakfast on the trail and maybe a first and second lunch as well. I have a dehydrator that I have been playing with and creating some real food for the trail. Recently I made a meal with quinoa, black beans, veggies, chicken and some spices and salsa. I also love olives and avocados on the trail. I love the extra healthy fat for fuel.
3. Favorite outdoor experience?
Last summer I backpacked into lower Lena Lake and got up early in the morning to day hike to upper Lena Lake. I climbed the first small hill from the lower camp to the rock that overlooks the lower lake. as I stood there watching the light morning fog touching the lake, I turned around and caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and I was surprised that someone else would be up there so early on the trail. Then I realized it was a mountain goat. I had just been talking about mountain goats on the hike up and how much I love them. My first thoughts were the cliff to my back side and stories that they can be aggressive. It calmly made it's way to my right, glancing at me and not seeming to be bothered by my presence. Then a baby mountain goat comes skipping up to mom and mom pauses and the baby nurses and they look at me and both walk a bit more then nurse again and then they both walk over the cliff. The calm of the morning, birds chirping, mountain goats. It was so peaceful and thankful for this moment. I have been to Lena Lake many times each year and I have never seen a mountain goat there.
4. What have you learned from the mountains that has had a "ripple" effect into other areas of your life?
I have learned to be more mindful. When I have some negative self talk going on when things get hard, I pause and I think about my senses. I take note of what I see, hear, feel, taste, smell... and it brings me back to the present moment so I can enjoy more of what is around me on the entire journey rather than being too focused on the end goal / summit. I think about the positives and how blessed I am in this moment to be here. This works well for life too - rather than wishing for the weekend, focusing on this moment and everything good about it is more rewarding.
I have also learned how to better manage fear of the unknown and anxiety that goes along with it. The more I explore new places, the more comfortable I am with the unknown. Life is full of unknown.
5. Favorite piece of gear?
This is a hard question because there are so many... Probably my MSR gravity filter for water, my microspikes because they got me out on the snow and ice this year, my nalgenes that are covered in stickers and probably my newest "gear" which is a small watercolor paint set which I am learning to use while I am backpacking.
6. What is your absolute passion in life? What lights you up when you talk about it?
Kindness, compassion and adventure. Life itself.
7. Do you have any DREAM trips that you'd love to take? Where? What would you do?
I have been checking off a lot of them here in Washington this year! I would love to hike Mount Kilimanjaro. My dad hiked it in 2011 with Parkinson's disease with a group that had Parkinson's and MS and the group was about overcoming the odds. He inspired me to make a shift in my own life back then and continues to inspire me today. Doesn't matter what life throws at you - own it, get back up and do what brings you joy!
I also want to hike the Wonderland Trail and the El Camino Santiago trail in Spain.
8. Through the lens of your own life, if you could give one piece of advice to others, what would it be?
Live life your life today. Don't put life off until the weekend or retirement. None of us know if we get tomorrow. Spend your time doing those things that light you up and bring you joy.