Trailblazing Taylor!

1278883_10200516868628074_1238451010_oHi everyone, I’m a recent addition to the In My Backyard team this fall. I’m in my Junior year of studying sustainable forest management at the University of Washington. Hiking has become one of my favorite activities over the past few years, and It has connected me to a wonderful community of nature enthusiasts and career opportunities, not to mention other fun things to do like paddleboarding and kayaking.


Where do you hail from?

Newcastle, WA


Favorite discussion topic?

Usually I love talking to people about their favorite Wes Anderson films. moonrise kingdomIf they haven’t seen any, I still like to talk about Wes Anderson films. Coming in close second though are philosophical debates/agreements on the existence of Sasquatch.


Top three biggest adventures?

  1. Hiking the Wonderland trail: I only had 6 days and 93 miles before I had to return to civilization, and I didn’t bring enough food. So I lost a bunch of weight and went a little senile hiking all alone.
  2. Taking a road trip through the midwest with my grandparents back in middle school. There was a lot of grass fields between the historic monuments but they were definitely worth it!
  3. Hiking the 75 miles from Snoqualmie to Stevens pass on the Pacific Crest Trail with my best friend. If you want to test a friendship, take a friend with you on a backpacking trip.


What’s the strangest food you’ve tried?

Can’t say this is too adventurous but…. squid head at a Korean barbeque. I’d say it could use less salt, but I’m guessing they don’t catch it in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s to keep it from going bad maybe?


Past internship experiences?

I recently worked at the University of Washington’s experimental forest near Mt. Rainier during Summer 2014 performing forest inventory measurements (measuring tree heights, diameters, shrubs and other vegetation), and I spent Summer 2013 at Lake Sammamish State Park near Issaquah as a park aide, where I did a wide variety of park maintenance duties, including making nightly rounds to make sure all the visitors had left the park (the howling coyotes could stay), and clipping back a sea of never-ending blackberries from the walking trails.


What is your dream destination?

I’ve always wanted to go to Scandinavia, where my great-grandparents are from, especially Norway. Apparently it’s the second happiest country, not to mention the beautiful fjords and mountains.

lofoten islands

Favorite breakfast item?

Coffee, with monkey bread and eggs. But really, any meal with protein, caffeine, and sugar.


What’s your favorite color?

burnt orange 

What is your dream job?

Anywhere that I can serve as a Law Enforcement Park Ranger, but if I had a choice it’d probably be Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. I love the Pacific Northwest but I want to work somewhere with all four seasons man!


Favorite memory of your backyard?

When I was younger, I saw a huge, male Whitetail deer in my backyard while digging for worms to put in my bug jar. At the time, I thought it was a moose, probably because I was so small and it was towering over me, and I had never actually seen one before. It took my parents about ten years to convince me that, in fact, moose do not roam the greater Seattle area. Ever since then, I have had strange (some would say celestial) encounters with stag deer whenever I cross one. I think that the moment means so much to me now because looking back, it was my first face-to-face experience with nature in my sheltered suburb, where I didn’t get much of that exposure to what most people consider “wilderness.”

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