Tales of a Mountain Mama Team for 2021
Every time we do a team call, we are completely overrun by AMAZING applicants. I am blown away, humbled, and forced to do the hardest part of my job – just choose a few of you!
But the reality is that YOU are the TMM Team. Each one of you that read, comment, share and get outside with your family. Thank you to each one of you for being here.
Without further adieu, I am so pleased to announce my dynamic team that you will be seeing on the site over the next few months.
Newest Team Members:
Ann Fischer – Florida
Ann loves to play outside with (and sometimes without!) her husband and 5 kids in North Florida where they live. Beach camping is a family favorite. Backyard bonfires are a close second. She is a subject matter expert in the discovery of how little she knows about parenting, but they might as well have some fun.
Aside from outdoor adventures, Ann enjoys training in Korean martial arts and sharing these passions with others!
Anna Kerlee – Washington
Anna is a proud Washingtonian living in the Cascade mountain range with her park ranger husband and their three kids. Their family is lucky enough to live in a ranger house in a state park and have lots of access to the outdoors year round.
When not spending time outside with her family, she is an 8th grade science and language arts teacher with a goal of getting her students outside as much as possible. Anna is expecting her fourth child in early March and is on a mission to find the best gear for the tiniest of explorers.
Caitlin Carroll – Texas
Caitlin currently lives in Austin, TX with her partner and three kids (Atticus, 12; Tallulah, 9; and Clementine, 3). Over the past decade, they have floated between Austin, TX; Madison, WI; and Uppsala, Sweden, and they can’t seem to settle on one place to stay!
She loves any and all outdoor activities: she is especially adept at biking, hiking, swimming and car-camping, while dabbling in snow sports, paddling, and backpacking. She is currently finishing up a PhD in Sociology with an emphasis on Gender and Sexuality, and she loves to talk all things feminism, gardening, tiny living, and the Danish political drama Borgen.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @caitpc
Calisa Kastning – Alaska
Calisa is originally from the Upper Midwest and moved to Alaska with her husband in 2011. She is the mother of 3 young energetic daughters who have all been on skis soon after they learned to walk. In addition to skiing (both cross-country and alpine), Calisa and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, picking berries, camping and biking adventures in their Alaskan backyard.
When not out adventuring you can find Calisa and her family at local music, sewing and gardening. Calisa has learned to “find the time” for self-care, which for her is most enjoyed in physical activity (running and skiing). She is quickly learning that not only does she feel better mentally and physically, but it allows her to be more patient with her kids when her own cup is full AND the ability to keep up with her kids (for the time being)!
Calisa has worked professionally in the ski industry as an Exercise Physiologist and as a Collegiate Ski Coach at various Universities. Since moving to Alaska, Calisa has coached adults in local community ski programs and is the current Executive Director at Skiku, Inc. , which is a non-profit that takes gear and volunteers to 55 rural Alaska villages to teach the kids to ski.
Additionally, Calisa is the owner of Skogsbarn Enamelware Mugs and is the Co-founder of Moms Matter Now, LLC. Moms Matter Now is an online supportive community for mothers in addition to online courses designed to help expectant mothers with the emotional and psychological transitions to motherhood.
Domo Woodham – Washington
Being outside everyday is a lifestyle choice for Domo and her family. She got hooked on mountain running in high school, then stayed outside exploring the mountains and woods as a wildland firefighter, and later as a Natural Resources educator for Montana State University Extension.
These days, she can be found wrangling her borderline feral children (Maverick (3) and Ruthiemay (1)) on the farm, or exploring nearby trails of the west. Everything this mountain to farm mama loves is at the end of a dirt road, and besides exploring rural stretches of the west, her passions are art, conservation and agriculture. Sustainable agriculture depends upon healthy natural resources and art communicates where words fail; we realize the true value of conservation when we get outside and let our imagination soar.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @northcountryrural
Kate Blackmore – Alberta
Kate currently lives in the Peace Country in McLennan, Alberta, Canada with her husband Richard, their son Sawyer (7), and daughter Mabel (11 months). Fun fact, McLennan, AB shares is famed with being the bird capital of Canada!
Aside from being a mom, Kate works part time as a nurse in a neighboring community. Sawyer is in grade two and attends a Francophone school while Mabel is a busy girl learning through play at home with her family. Kate’s husband is a journeyman Electrician and is currently apprenticing to become a Heavy Duty Mechanic and he works away in camp for long stretches at a time. The outdoors helps her family stay grounded and happy while he’s away.
Kate’s parents own an outfitting business in northern Alberta and a remote fly in fishing lodge on the barren lands of the Northwest Territories. These two business have encouraged Kate to adventure, push herself and learn new skills. She is beyond blessed to have been given these wild adventures opportunities in life that she now gets to share with her own family!
Their families favorite activities are swimming, fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, boating, canoeing, and many backyard micro adventures from tobogganing, bird watching, biking (but nothing too serious) and shed hunting. She is excited to share their adventures with you!
Meghan Underhill – New Hampshire
Meghan is a New England mama who lives in the Lakes Region of NH alongside her husband, their two kiddos, and a couple of silly dogs. Growing up in an outdoorsy family and with a background in Adventure and Environmental Education, she radiates a love of the natural world and adventures- big and small.
Before kids, Meghan was an elite mountain bike racer and Nordic skier who turned to ultra running once her kids were born. She now finds balance by playing in the White Mountains, enjoying slower-paced kid outings, and running around after their young husky.
Meghan is a Leave No Trace Trainer and Wilderness First Responder who loves beet smoothies, puffy vests, and being a stay-at-home mom.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @unspoken_adventures
Nicki Gilbert – Utah
Nicki is a mother of four active boys and spends her days trying to keep them from destroying the house. The easiest option has been to go outside! She and her husband live in Utah and love all the beauty and adventure it has to offer.
Nicki was pregnant with her third son when her world was flipped upside down. Her vision of motherhood and outdoor adventuring shifted with his diagnosis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Since then they have had surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and therapies that have impacted their lives.
Through it all, she has worked hard to make sure they get outside. Their outside time looks different from what she had hoped, but instead of letting disappointment and overwhelm stop their family from pursuing those outdoor experiences, they have decided to embrace the imperfect version that, as it turns out, is perfect for their family.
Victoria – Texas
Victoria is a native Texan and loves tamales, rocky bottom rivers, and the smell of the desert after a thunderstorm. As a science teacher, she brings her passion for the outdoors into her classroom. At home, she and her family explore their backyard, neighborhood, and favorite green spaces.
As a family, they run North Texas Kids Outside. They’ve spent many weekends introducing camping and outdoor activities to people for the first time. Their mission is to bring people together for quality time outside.
Current (and Awesome) Team Members:
Becky Trudeau – New Hampshire
Becky lives in New Hampshire with her husband, three boisterous boys, and a geriatric dog. To keep everyone happy and sane, the family plays outside all year. They bike, hike, and swim during the warmer months and ski when the weather turns snowy.
Many mornings you may find Becky running on the trails near her house while listening to an engaging mystery. For vacations, Becky and her family typically camp — either in their campervan or backpacking. As a former biology teacher and current homeschool mom, Becky is guilty of giving science lectures while hiking. She also relishes good books, dark chocolate, and lattes.
On the blog, Becky enjoys helping families minimize common barriers to getting outside. Although she’s not naturally organized, Becky has learned several tricks and simple solutions to make everyday life less stressful. She loves sharing these simple, easy ways to organize so that other families can spend less time managing their gear and more time playing.
Emily Christensen – Tennessee
Emily is a full-time working mama and wife raised in the Ouachita Mountains and currently navigating life as a chemistry professor in eastern Tennessee. Over the years, adventure has become a part of her lifestyle, leading her and her husband Rocky into outdoor activities like hiking, biking, scuba diving, camping, kayaking, fly fishing, and their biggest adventure: parenting!
Emily applies her adventurous spirit into getting her family outdoors no matter the season to instill that same love of nature and exploration in their son, and connecting with other families to inspire them to do the same.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @hiking.home
Ginny Galbreth – Montana
Ginny has spent her career focused on getting people outside; working with the Park Service, Forest Service, Student Conservation Association and Keystone Science School, as well as spending a decade in the outdoor retail industry.
She practices what she preaches, so can usually be found outside: downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, riding her dual-sport motorcycle, running, and SUPing in the summer.
Raised in Virginia, she realized early on that her heart was in the mountains. She has lived in Colorado and Washington, and currently resides in Montana with her husband, 4-year old son, and their rescued cattle dog.
Jackie Semmens – Montana
Jackie is a mom of three and a part time policy analyst and writer in Helena, MT. She has two boys – ages seven and nine, and four year old girl. Originally from the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, she is gradually getting used to Rocky Mountain winters. She co-leads a Hike it Baby Branch.
Her family loves hiking, fishing, cross country skiing and just hanging out by a river whenever they can. Jackie (and her kids) also loves birding, and is passionate about teaching kids about nature and their local environment. When they’re stuck indoors, she is probably either reading or baking (or catching up on laundry).
Jami Rogers – Wisconsin
Jami and her husband Greg were born and raised in lower Michigan, but now call Appleton, WI home. They have two little girls, Kylie and Nora, and two Springer Spaniels, Reece and Lucie.
They love getting out as a family camping, hiking, hunting, running, biking, and just playing outside. Jami and her family love spending free time in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula looking for adventure or headed to the mountains whenever they can.
Jami mostly stays home with her girls but also works part-time as an Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer. She also enjoys helping other families get outside as one of the Branch Ambassadors for her local Hike it Baby branch.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @littleadventuremama
Jen Gardner – Colorado
Jen Gardner was born and raised on Colorado sunshine and Rocky Mountain air. Diagnosed in 2006 with 3 Cerebral Cavernomas (weak blood vessels in the brain that hemorrhage creating benign tumors), Jen experienced auditory processing challenges, memory loss and migraines. Jen is determined to continue to enjoy climbing mountains, skiing, cycling till her body won’t take her any further.
Jen’s family loves adventure, they recently moved home from a year abroad and an 88 day bike tour of the east coast. She is also a local cyclocross coach for Boulder Junior Cycling and a private yoga teacher. Jen understands quality gear keeps families outside longer, and she’s committed to finding the best gear for the best price for every family.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @jen.a.gardner
Jessica Floyd – Washington
Jessica likes to consider herself the world’s most average outdoor mom – her family goes on big adventures here and there but mostly just loves being outside and making the most of their everyday life and opportunities to exist in nature.
She didn’t grow up doing anything in the outdoors, but when she relocated to Washington State from Illinois after college she found her inner mountain woman and hasn’t ever looked back. This means she is learning a lot of things as an adult and alongside her kiddos – skiing, mountain biking, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, etc. – a process she finds both humbling and empowering!
She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, and is very passionate about the outdoors as a source of healing and grounding and connection for kids and adults alike. She is also very passionate about examining outdoor culture with a critical eye to discern how we can increase access and inclusivity for people of all races, ethnicities, abilities, gender identities, and cultural backgrounds.
Her husband Ben is her best adventure partner, along with her two kids and Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @jurassica_marie
Kristin Drenzek – Alaska
Kristin grew up in Western Massachusetts but has been exploring the majesty of Alaska for most of her adult life. She homeschools three wildlings: Zane (7), Eliza (6), and Aurora (4); and tries to spend as much time as possible learning outside.
Kristin loves backpacking, camping, skating, Nordic skiing, ice, puddle stomping, kayaking, laughing, igloo building, reading, science, baking, photography, and watching the sun go down from on top of a mountain; and is passionate about sharing her enthusiasm for the natural world and her knowledge of the gear that can get you out there in every kind of weather. Exploring the world with her children is her greatest adventure yet.
She works part-time from home as an Editor and Environmental Scientist.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @AlaskaWildlings
Rita Muller – Vermont
Rita is a born and raised Vermont girl and mom of five children. She is also homeschool mom trying to learn how to live in town and still get out for fresh air. When not educating her kids or exploring, you might find her enjoying cooking a big meal, playing with Hattie the dog, or reading.
Rita grew up exploring the outdoors from a young age, and those early experiences were a formative influence. Rita wants to help everyone have access to that impact of nature and outdoor adventure.
She works and plays from the northeastern corner of her tiny state. This tiny corner abounds with mountain biking, hiking, lakes, and waterfalls.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @sevenhappyhobbits
Sarah Toal – Wyoming
Sarah Toal is a Colorado native who now calls Jackson, Wyoming, home. Sarah, her husband Evan, and two kids August, age 7, and Harper, age 5, spend their (long!) winters snowboarding, and (short!) summers riding bikes, floating on the Snake River, and hiking.
Follow their adventures on Instagram @sartoal
Stephanie Johnson – Idaho
Stephanie is an Idaho native who recently returned to the state after living in Texas, Missouri, and Kentucky. She and her husband have 4 kids and one on the way. Stephanie has a background in exercise science and a masters of public health but spends most of her time chasing children.
As a family of 6 they enjoy biking, hiking, skiing, camping, climbing, traveling, backpacking and being silly. Like many others, they’re trying to balance the complexities of work and family life. They’ve found that time slows down when they’re outside adventuring together and appreciate the simplicity and beauty they find there.
Valerie is a homeschooling mama of two dirt lovin’ kids, ages 6 & 9. She loves spending time with her family outdoors and is a self-proclaimed bibliophile.
Valerie and her family can be found mountain biking, canyoneering & scooping sand in Utah; skiing and building snow forts in Colorado; hiking & hugging cactus in Arizona; and hunting for singletrack, tadpoles & breweries in Oregon.
And if you’re new here, a bit about me:
Amelia lives with her husband and 5 children outside of Jackson, WY. She can wrestle a kid into a snowsuit like a ninja, isn’t above bribing her kids on the trail, and is just a better mom outside.
She started Tales of a Mountain Mama almost 10 years ago on a whim, and still loves connecting with other outdoor families all over the country.
Please warmly welcome these ladies – they are amazing and I’m so thrilled to have them!
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