I am natural and rough-and-tumble in some ways (I love cross country and don't mind bushwhacking or warmish rain) but not in others (I get cold easily and don't handle dangerous exposure well). I like to talk about many things, especially nature (including plants and animals), science (especially biology), philosophy, personal growth, and more, but I also am comfortable with quiet time and need sometimes to take in the wild without talking. I'm a good listener and also participate readily. Nature is my church, especially the mountains, and I strive to treat it with reverence. I think at this point I can do ~4,000 feet gain and 10 or so miles with a loaded day pack, but I slow way down especially downhill if the trail is rocky. My favorite backpacking trip was up to High Pass (you can see the trip report in nwhikers.net under Neek, Napeequa Valley). I hike with two well-trained trail dogs (Belgian malinois). I am especially drawn to plants, so I'm happiest staying lower down in the winter. However, I can slog through deep snow without complaint, but I am not skilled on slippery slopes with poor runout (if you slip you die). I am up for gaining more skill, but at this point that terrain scares me.
I work full time as a technical writer for an engineering firm, and freelance as editor for a synthetic biologist at a national lab. That said, retirement is not out of the question, and I have a reasonable amount of PTO to spend hiking, if only I could find a compatible partner. My 98-year-old mother recently moved from my home to a care facility, so I am testing my new-found freedom. [less]