For a girl that grew up in Montana, it is odd that my childhood didn’t involve backpacking, fishing, and hunting. We mostly spent our weekends skiing, road-tripping, and occasionally, we would load up the 1956 camper that my mom bought at a garage sale and head out for a long weekend. We loved the outdoors, but after my dad died when I was three, we didn’t get out as much. My dad was 6’6” smokejumper who lived for fresh Montana air, high alpine lakes, and the solitude of the mountains. Almost every picture I have of my dad includes him holding onto a fly-rod, wearing a backpack, and smiling. He constantly sought adventure and made the most of everyday. Today, I hold onto those memories and although he isn’t around to take me with him, I know that he is always with me. I often think of how my life would be different if he had been there to experience my childhood; but I feel thankful every day that his presence continues to inspire me to reach new peaks and fish new lakes…all with a smile on my face.
BHA's #MentorMonday is a weekly effort to recognize those who have coached us, encouraged us and who helped make us who we are as sportsmen and women. If you have a mentor that you would like to recognize on the Backcountry Blog, please send us a one to two paragraph entry and photo here.