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Feeding the Source: WTA Staff Take Time to Get Outdoors

Posted by Kindra at Nov 10, 2016 10:50 AM |

In celebration of our 50 anniversary, WTA staff were given hiking holidays to get out and explore the places the work to protect. #OptOutside

Once again, our friends at REI are inviting folks (including their employees) across the country to #OptOutside on November 25 (Black Friday). Their call for people and companies to step outside on Black Friday is one that's easy to get behind—it's part of the fabric of who we are here at Washington Trails Association.

Our work, our passion, our lives

WTA believes that being out in nature has a powerful impact on people’s lives. We work to inspire people to get outside, ensure everyone has access to trails and protect these special places for the next generation to explore.

WTA’s staff works hard year-round towards these important goals, and in honor of our 50th anniversary, each staff member was given two extra “hiking holidays”—bonus days to use how and when we wanted. Many staff members took advantage for these days to get out and recharge on the trails we all work so hard in support of.

Here are just a couple of our stories from this year:

Rebecca Lavigne Interim Executive Director: birthday road trips

Rebecca's  hiking holiday
Rebecca's husband taking in the huge trees in the Colonel Bob Wilderness.

Rebecca used her hiking holidays for weekend birthday celebrations for herself and her spouse. In May they spent a weekend touring the southwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula.

"On our way to Lake Quinault we detoured to Ocean Shores, which I hadn't visited since childhood, to check out beautiful Damon Point on Grays Harbor. We followed that with an awesome hike in the remote Colonel Bob Wilderness via the Colonel Bob Trail, which has benefited from a ton of storm-damage repair from WTA volunteers. The final day was a surprisingly warm, and we had Kalaloch Beach 4 nearly all to ourselves. The extra days off gave us just enough time for two great road trips to explore and hike in areas we hadn't had the chance to visit before, or in a very long time.”

Andrea Imler, Advocacy Director: father-daughter backpack

Andrea Imler hiking holiday
Andrea and her father on a recent trip to Mirror Lake.

Andrea used some of her days to go backpacking with her dad in Alpine Lakes Wilderness. During the three night trip enjoyed each others company away from the day to day worries.

“He hadn't been backpacking since 2014, and I love to spend time out on the trail with him.”

Andrew Pringle, Outdoor Leadership Training Manager: weekday peak bagging

Andrew hiking holiday
Andrew Pringle enjoying his hiking holiday on Pruski Peak.

Andrew used a hiking holiday to climb the classic West Ridge of Prusik Peak in the Enchantments.

“As a weekend warrior used to contending with crowds on our region's most popular routes, it was pretty special to have the entire peak to ourselves—not to mention, topping out comfortably in a t-shirt in perfect summer alpine conditions is pretty amazing!”

Aaron Brackney WTA’s database assistant: urban hiking the High Line in New York

Aaron urban hiking the High Line.
Aaron enjoying urban hiking in New York City.
Aaron had his eye on another type of adventure and decided to explore New York City's urban hiking opportunities on the High Line Trail.

"The High Line trail in New York City is a great example of how trails can strengthen communities by providing fun and accessible recreation opportunities for everyone, even in the middle of the big city."

WTA staff adventures continue

WTA’s staff continue to use these hiking holidays to fuel our adventures as the year winds down, and we're already dreaming about our next adventures.

In the spirit of a hiking holiday or #OptOutside we hope that you will continue to find time for yourself and your family to connect with the amazing outdoor opportunities that Washington has to offer. Then please share your moments on trail with us by writing a trip report.