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Explorer Spotlight: Emily Kent

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Name: Emily Kent | Age: 36 | Location: Fairfield, California (for now).

What’s your day job?
My first and most important job is being Mom to our two little girls, ages 1 and 5. They teach us new things every day. In recent years I've discovered a love for the camera and am now also working as a freelance photographer.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
I love hiking with my family and good friends, camping, road biking, swimming, running, playing with my kids, and fly-fishing with my hubby on a beautiful river.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
First, it was my love of running outdoors, then, it was meeting this cute guy in college who is now my husband. After our first hiking/camping overnight trip in the Colorado Rockies, I was hooked.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
It's difficult to pick just one, but I love the Armstrong Redwoods Natural Reserve for it's accessibility without the crowds, the unbelievable beauty and vastness of the Redwoods sprawl, and the family-friendly trails available. Stopping in at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa for a Pliny or any other of their amazing brews on the way home is icing on the cake.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
My camera =)

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Trail Mix! I'm a squirrel. I eat that stuff wherever I go.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
It's possible that I was born a decade too late because I love 70's music. Ha! CCR's classics are usually playing in my car or on my iPod (I mean, dare you not to move when you listen to "Down on the Corner"), along with The Guess Who and The Hollies. Soundtracks specifically, it's hard to go wrong with any one of them coming from Warren Miller's films. Eddie Vedder's "Into the Wild" is another one I appreciate when I'm in a reflective mood.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
That would have to be the summer of 2009 when a group of us climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. It was the second time doing this hike for my husband and I, so I didn't anticipate the snow that began to fall as we were climbing the rock face near the top. It got cold quickly and I wasn't sure if my hands would hold circulation enough to keep a good grip on the ropes as we climbed. But we made it to the top to find an incredible, snowy 360 view of Yosemite from the top of the rock. Totally worth it.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
Hands down, my hubby. We share a love for playing outside and exploring, and we challenge each other to grow and venture outside of our own comfort zones at times. This journey wouldn't be right without him!

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
In northern California I'd have to say Point Reyes National Seashore (it's such a unique area along the coast with the famous Cypress Tree Tunnel, beautiful ocean surf along the beaches, and the paths along the cliff sides - I could spend weeks in that very spot), Mount Tamalpais (so many gorgeous hiking trails and stunning views of the clouds and ocean below you), and the Armstrong Redwoods near Guerneville.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Joshua Tree National Park for that incredible night photography I see all around that keeps taunting me. Hiking to Vernal Falls, Glacier Point and Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. Surfing in New Zealand's South Island around Kaikoura or Dunedin (zip lining and cave tubing here are also on this list!)

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
This photo is from a trip my husband and I took together to Puerto Rico a few years ago. We were just giddy to be able to have the chance to explore the rain forests of northeastern Puerto Rico together. It felt like a giant, serene, green and mystical playground. It was such a wonderful trip.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
To embrace life with honesty, kindness and bravery, as best as I know how. To soak in all of the daily details with unrelenting gratitude that I get to experience them. To make sure that the people who feed my soul know how much I love them. This to me is freedom. And I have a hunch there is more beauty that lies ahead than I'm even able to imagine.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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