My name is Lisa Elliott.
This past year, I planned to spend 10-12 nights in the backcountry of Mt. Rainier backpacking on the Wonderland Trail. The Wonderland Trail circumnavigates Mt. Rainier and is a part of Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State. There are no services, little internet, and the trek can be both life changing and challenging.
My family came to the Pacific Northwest over 100 years ago. It was a family who respected all people, and who were above all else passionate about nature, service minded, and hardworking.
We have always had strong ties to our ancestors. My grandparents and mom had a great sense of pride when they spoke of our heritage and culture. My mom carried the torch of research at the library and through internet resources to fill in missing pieces of the bigger picture of our ancestry and coming to the great Pacific Northwest.
Like many families of early European descent, it appears our family arrived early on the scene and ready to take on new hardships in hope for a better life.
As far as myself, I have lived a rather sheltered life. I’ve played the sometimes, easier role of been a wife, teacher and mother most of my life now. My friends say I’m badass in the womanhood department but, I am really a bit of a big sissy, truth be told. I have some major fears with being outdoors at night and alone in my own home at night by myself for that matter so I’m not sure how it will all play out, outdoors for many days with no services.
Our family has grown a new generation of grandchildren now. Having my own grandchildren has brought back memories of when I was a little girl. Memories that include what I hoped and dreamed for and what continues to be the most important in my life as an adult today.
A Life of Purpose
A note about myself, I am a retired as a public school teacher but, just because I gave up a paycheck doesn’t mean I’m done with life. My first year of teaching was a disaster. I felt a failure because I couldn’t simply fix lives. You eventually discover people need to live their own adventure. Who you are as a person solidifies when you have choices and make decisions about which adventure to live and build the mental endurance to navigate it successfully.
I am also an Ambassador for Washington Trails Association in Pierce County, WA. It was quite the interview process too. The mission of the WTA is access for all. That means they take it very seriously when it comes to diversity, equity and access. Their mission to connect people to trails, to provide access and grow and nurture a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors. It fits my beliefs and values and that is, the outdoors heals and brings value to our lives.
Live Your Adventure and Find Your Ground
I hope you enjoy the following adventure. It goes without saying, when I was a very young girl what grounded me was the mountain and my family. My grandmother on my mom’s side used to tell me of the times when she lived on the mountain at Longmire at Mt. Rainier. The mountain and the community of people she encountered had such a tremendous impact on her as a young girl.
As a young child I remember, I began to know of the mountain because my grandmother would take me on long nature walks and teach me the names of all the plants in our back forest of 10 acres. This brought her much happiness and joy because she frequently would speak about those times with a smile.
Living your adventure starts young, it will guide you towards grounding your soul and having a peaceful existence in harmony with those around you.