"There's a feeling I have when I set out on the trail" - Blog from Teryn, Seattle TVOP volunteer

There’s a feeling I have when I set out on the trail. It’s filled with a sense of a morning rise and an overtone of escape. I feel the fresh air enter my lungs and I begin to feel the proximity of my car get further away. And with it, my day to day that consumes so much. I hear the ambiance is changing its bias from the urban to the natural. As I place one foot in front of the next, I begin to breathe a little heavier and deeper and I get the very real sense that I’m going somewhere. This is my favorite part of hiking. Some people hike for the summit, others for the physical challenge, and others like myself, hike to get away.

While visiting my family one weekend, my mother very excitedly shared an article printed in Sierra magazine about The Venture Out Project. I read the article and was taken aback by realizing there were other trans and queer people with a love of the outdoors. I immediately accessed their website and investigated further. I knew I needed to participate with this group.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have grown up in a home with a love of the outdoors. I was provided with experiences as a child that most people don’t get. As an adult I continued to collect those experiences and share some with my partner, friends and family. I thought that I could share experiences and be a good guide for other queer people who don’t have the experiences and comfort in the outdoors that I have. And so I contacted The Venture Out Project with the intentions of volunteering.

Now I am leading hikes in the Seattle area. My goal is to facilitate a safe and inclusive setting for people to socialize and connect in the setting of the outdoors. I hope to share my experiences and skills with others. Promote safety and awareness so that we can all build our confidence for being in the wilderness. I plan to lead at least one day hike per month. I very much look forward to leading new people into the outdoors and continuing experiences with people I’ve already met.

perry cohen