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  • Writer's pictureKatja

Ten Questions


So many people keep asking, so here’s a quick rundown of the most common inquiries so far.


Q: Where do you live now?

A: Like the name says, everywhere and nowhere! Technically I will be coming back to my mom and stepdad’s house on Vashon Island from time to time to maintain a Washington residence, but the primary goal is to keep moving.


Q: Where are you going first?

A: The first adventure begins this week (July 13th) with the “trip of a lifetime” - rafting the whole 280 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Look for a post before we launch with a link to track the journey, courtesy of my faithful Garmin inReach Explorer+ (I am not endorsed by Garmin, I just think they make a kickass GPS/SOS device that is worth saving your pennies for).


Q: Do you have an itinerary?

A: Sort of. There are several places I want/need to be at certain times. There are several conferences on the calendar I will attend (as a visitor for some and a presenter for others, stay tuned!) from Eastern Washington to Salt Lake City, Utah. Ideally, each of these would include some fun travel before and after, and of course require extended stays during the work week so I can still attend meetings and successfully serve the state as a trainer. I plan to be back on Vashon more around the holidays and beginning of the ski season, then hope to set off again in the spring. To be determined, of course!


Q: What About the Dogs?

A: Harley and Zoë are too important to leave behind. Plus, everyone who watches them always tells me how sad and mopey they are when I am gone. Talk about a guilt trip! So for the most part, they will come with me. This means making some sacrifices like limiting time in non-dog-friendly areas like the National Parks, or connecting with local or traveling dog sitters for the days I do want to go on certain adventures. There may be future opportunities for free room and board at my next location in exchange for a night of dog-sitting…


Q: What about crisis work/Wilderness Chaplains/etc.?

A: Still happening, no worries! WC has been in a pandemic slow-down as resources have been drained over the last year and we want to keep operating costs low and protect the wellness of everyone involved. Things have been happening in the background, however, and there will be a lot happening beginning in August. I did resign from the Crisis Response Unit and have stepped back from several local commitments, but through WC and the agencies I remain current with, I should be able to assist/support and provide phone consults from wherever I am.


Q: Is it safe?

A: Statistically, the fast food and driving is more likely to kill me than anything or anyone else… but overall, I am not worried. I already take precautions when I adventure and travel alone such as letting someone know where I am and what my next moves are, researching connectivity options before going somewhere new or remote, not flaunting myself as an easy mark when I stop at convinience stores, restaurants, etc. (there are a lot of great books out there on how to not be a victim). Those who know my professional background are aware of some of my prior training in self defense, deescalation, etc. I also try to avoid publicly posting specific details online ahead of time and will not comment on what protective equipment I do/do not have with me at different times. So, while I will never say that any adventure is “safe,” I will say that I am using common sense and a safety mindset to make it as safe as possible.


Q: Will you come back?

A: I am not totally sure where I will end up when, so this one is difficult to answer. I have a lot of ties in Western Washington, from family and friends to work commitments and events I am looking forward to. Permanently—I have no answer at this point. Temporarily—I will be back in the area a lot, no worries!


Q: Did you sell all of your stuff?

A: No, I want to end up buying a house sooner or later—that is part of why I am doing this—so getting rid of everything makes no sense. I have a large storage locker that is about two-thirds inaccessible household items, and one-third a walk-in library and gear cabinet. It got a little disorganized as I raced around looking for my Grand Canyon gear, but when I get back and clean it all up again, I will offer a virtual tour in case it inspires others.


Q: Can I [you] come visit you [me]?

A: Hopefully! Some places and plans will not be conducive to having visitors, and some of you have already locked in an invitation for certain dates and destinations. However, I am eager to share these experiences with others and look forward to putting out “open house” options for some of the places I will go. Since I usually work Monday-Thursday, it would be easy to have a guest during the week and let them use me as a base-camp for the area while I work. Weekends will be TBD as sometimes I will be traveling and other times adventuring. Definitely reach out and ask!


Q: What are you most excited about?

A: Am I allowed to say the Grand Canyon? Well, obviously that, but if you mean afterwards when I wrangle the dogs and go semi-nomadic… I am looking forward to experiencing the unknowns that are sure to find me, seeing wildlife, and trying new things along the way.

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