I am an aspiring winter backpacker and thru-hiker based in Duluth, Minnesota with my partner and two dogs.
I have completed the remote 41-mile Kekekabic and 66 mile Border Route Trails bordering Ontario, Canada, and Northern Minnesota, the 310 mile Superior Hiking Trail which travels from near the Ontario border to Wrenshall, Minnesota, south of Duluth.
I also recently completed the 14,048’ Mt. Lindsey in the Sangre de Cristo Range in Colorado. In 2021 through a remarkable journey of courage and determination from Potawatomi State Park to St. Croix State Park on the Minnesota border, I became the first woman to thru-hike Wisconsin's 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail in winter.
(Photo Description: Diggins, a black and white Alaskan Husky, and I with our faces smushed together while taking a break on the snowy Ice Ace National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin.)
My trip across Wisconsin opened my eyes to the lack of people of color at the forefront of the outdoor industry, even though there are plenty of social media accounts to follow. With an understanding and drive to show that anyone can hike and everyone deserves to discover the outdoors, regardless of race, gender identity, or upbringing, I want to continue to seek adventure and represent the underrepresented in outdoor spaces.
People of African descent have a long history of exploration in the great outdoors. At the turn of the last century, one of the most proficient voyagers who ventured into the Arctic regions of the northern hemisphere was a Black man by the name of Matthew Henson. On his final expedition, sponsored by the National Geographic Society, in 1909 with Captain Robert Peary he became the first person to reach the North Pole. I aspire to continue on, with others to represent people of color in the icy outdoors.
(Photo Description: Face of Matthew Henson with a fur hood around his face. Photo Credit: National Geographic)