How I Met My Badass Adventure Friends


Summer was full of planning and executing weekend trips out of the city and into the mountains.

My writing didn’t keep up with my adventures, but one notable trip this summer sparked a flame that has manifested some amazing opportunities and highlighted the positive impact social media can have on community and forming intentional relationships.

Fall backpacking trip at Ancient Lakes, Washington


It began when I was scrolling through instagram and saw a posting on She Explores for a Pacific Northwest meet-up.

I happened to be out of town the weekend it was occurring but I stalked (yes, stalked) the gal who was hosting the event and found a quick connection with her positive posts and nature photography. I direct messaged her instantly and the following week we were getting to know each other over a beer.

Fall backpacking trip at Ancient Lakes, Washington Fall Camping Trips to Ancient Lakes Washington Fall backpacking trip at Ancient Lakes, Washington

Less than an hour into the conversation I was committed to a weekend camping trip in Oregon with her and 3 other girls whom I had never met.

The weekend of the trip approached and I was picked up by one of the ‘strangers’ that I spent the next 4 hours getting to know as we  battled Seattle traffic, crossed into Oregon, and settled at our campsite with the others. We all quickly bonded over our collective love for the outdoors, photography, adventure and s’mores. We cruised through the weekend, completely changing the itenerary of our trip and headed to Oneonta Gorge and Hood River instead of traveling to Portland for an outdoor expo.  As our weekend came to a close, we started devising plans for our next trip. I was excited, but at the same time questioning whether our future plans would come to fruition. It’s like a first date where the other person says they had a great time and they’ll call you, but you’re left wondering if they actually will. Thankfully we were all genuine in our desire to continue pursuing friendship and fun and we promptly had out next adventure weekend scheduled.

img_7163-finalimg_7220-finalFall backpacking trip at Ancient Lakes, Washington

The transition from Summer to Fall was happening and with the prospect of sun, we traveled East to Ancient Lakes (where all the pictures in this post were taken) in hopes of warmth and clear skies.  Less than a mile on the trail,  we concluded that none of us had ever done an all girls backpacking trip…..which felt pretty ironic because female powered adventures is what brought us together in the first place!  We’re excited to bring our meeting full circle and expand the opportunity for other outdoor loving females to connect by co-hosting out first event in collaboration with She Explores Saturday October 29th.  For more information and to RSVP, head to the She Explores website.

Oh and quick moral of the story? Social media can be incredibly useful for connection, education and inspiration.

If you follow someone that positively influences you, don’t be afraid to reach out and let them know.  You never know the adventures that may come from it! See ya on the trail!



  1. October 25, 2016 / 5:29 am

    I love how social media has the power to connect us with people with the same interests!

  2. October 25, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    Agreed Rachel! In the past I’ve been hesitant to reach out to people via social media but I’ve met really great people in the last year because of it! Most are really receptive to meeting. What has been your experience?

  3. October 29, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    Love those shots you took! They are stunning!!

    • Leslie
      October 30, 2016 / 6:32 am

      Thanks Alesa! I had two other photographers with me and we were fiddling with our cameras the entire trip. I’m trying to be intentional about always shooting no manual but it’s so challenging! It has to change constantly with the light, subject, etc. But learning is exciting 🙂

  4. November 2, 2016 / 8:51 am

    I definitely have a few girl crushes on social media who I would love to reach out to but I’m always to scared! I know Its coming from a place of fear and not feeling like a “cool” kid. I guess I really should get out of my shell and start making connections, I know there are alot of awesome people out there!

    • Leslie
      November 3, 2016 / 7:45 am

      Share your girl crushes with me! And then reach out to them 🙂 What’s the worst that can happen right? I’ve had a few gals not get back to me but I don’t take it personally. Some may not be as open to it as others.

      • betsydionne
        November 3, 2016 / 12:41 pm

        I really love Becca Skinner and Jillian Lukiwki’s photography. They both seem to have these wild adventurous souls and I love their work. Molly Mitchell is a bad ass climber I follow. I also really like Women Who Hike which was started by Nicole Brown, who actually lives in my area but I’m to shy to say hello haha. There are alot more but those are a few of my favorites.

  5. November 30, 2016 / 6:26 am

    Such a great story. I don’t really have adventure friends. When I started hiking and climbing, I forced my non-outdoorsy friends to go with me, some more successfully than others. But I’m working on it!

    • Leslie
      December 7, 2016 / 6:58 am

      Thanks! Did any of your non-outdoorsy friends enjoy climbing or hiking? We just hosted a weekend meet up to go hiking and we got a great turnout! It was fun to see so many strangers connecting over nature. 🙂

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