She and her business partner run the online site Seattle Backpacker Magazine. The magazine is dedicated to providing Backpackers with the best information.
I was particiularly interested in learning more about what they were doing because we were heading to Seattle for my brother Mike’s wedding in May (lots to come on the wedding shortly).
Our appointment time was scheduled and we met outside of the media room.
The OR show was almost over and we were both pretty exhausted. We sat out in the hall, sitting side by side, with our backs agains the wall. Our feet were tired and our ears were ringing a little.
But what happened in the interview was a conversation that changed course.
You see, it was suppose to be about how they started their magazine, which I’ll share below, but what happened instead was two mothers talking about their loves for the outdoor and how an interview of her own, changed her life course.
Erika is a mother, journalist and photographer.
Seattle Backpackers Magazine was borne out of a love for the outdoors. They decided they wanted to share all the knowledge they had gained from their time outdoors and it seemed like the best medium to share it effectively. It was because of the magazine that she met AC SHERPA, the world-record-holding Sherpa climber who took her to Nepal on her first trip. She was interviewing him for the magazine: http://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/seven-summits
I love how Erika describes herself:
“I am a mom who lives in the suburbs of Seattle. I live a pretty normal life in that vein. I run a business, I run kids to soccer, I run to the mountains to photograph and write about them. (And I just run, too.)
This is the part where the normal goes away. I ended up in Nepal, walking up a famous path called the Everest Highway, on a project designed to raise awareness and funds for global issues. During this project I lived in Nepal for a month with a handful of Nepalis, and a few Americans. And they weren’t normal. They were musicians and mountain climbers – extraordinary ones. And it wasn’t a normal trek. Some pretty extraordinary things happened along the way.
In short, I was inspired like I have never been inspired before.”
So, an interview lead to a trip to Nepal.
AC runs the nonprofit 7 Summits Foundation (7summitsfoundation.org) and it is his connections that have allowed them to volunteer effectively in Nepal. More info at their website. Much more work to be done. Beautiful way to see a developing country.
Personally, she blogs at HimalSong where she shares her journey of volunteering and learning lessons you can’t lean by staying in the comfort of home. After her first trip to Nepal, she wrote a book about her experience.
“To date I’ve been to Nepal twice, (one month each time) once for an environmental awareness tour (2011), and once for volunteering in schools with infrastructure and materials (this past spring). We donated 10 laptops and 10 Kindles to a school in remote a rural village, 10 hours walk (over 10,000 foot mountain ridges) from the nearest airport, to work with the people there.
I love to share what I’ve learned. I want more people to know about the far corners of the world, and know that they can go there and experience it, too. I give presentations in the Seattle area about my travel and photography. This coming weekend I’ll be at Gear Up Expo at Comcast Arena, in Everett, talking about cultural travel and photography.”
Erika is so inspiring because she saw a need and acted.
Erika’s mission is one of charity and love:
“We are a small group and don’t pretend that we will be erecting a building or re-arranging a village with our few hands. But our hopes are in some ways larger. Our focus is on education and medical assistance. Our basic premise is to empower the people and the children that we work with so that they can walk their own path with fewer roadblocks. We’ll spend some time getting into the communities, rallying the locals and engaging them in the work so that they will be invested in it once we’re gone. There are so many roadblocks in a country with so little infrastructure, such varied landscape and an unsettled government. But that offers us an opportunity to make change much more readily than elsewhere. Or one hopes, because there is so much to do. Broad strokes. With few hands. To develop empowerment and responsibility.”
The tour company she uses is a local and Nepal company – International Sherpa Guides (ISG).
The non-profit that I volunteer with (and am a member of the board) is 7 Summits Foundation (7SF) which is a local 501(c)3 in Redmond, WA.
The owner, lead guide of ISG is the president of 7SF, so they are they are the same guy – AC Sherpa.
Go Adventure Mom’s found, Kathy Dalton, launched Go Adventure Mom in 2012 in an effort to bring women together that love travel and the outdoors.
As a former ski instructor, Kathy has taken her love for outdoor recreation and through the power of social media has created a platform to share her passion with the world.
As a mom of three, Kathy loves to share her family adventures in Utah, cross-country skiing up Millcreek Canyon, skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, camping in Grand Teton National Park and camping in the Uintas.
Kathy has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Parents and Parenting magazine.
Kathy is a regular contributor to Visit Salt Lake and is a tip contributor on TripAdvisor.