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Explorer Spotlight: Melanie Ahrens

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Name: Melanie Ahrens | Age: You should never ask a lady her age! (43) | Location: Boise, ID. 

What’s your day job? 

I pass gas for a living.. (Nurse Anesthetist)  I keep you alive and well during surgery.

What are your favorite things to do outside?

Be outside.  If I must name some; hike, get lost, SUP the river, camp, snowboard, twirl around in a field of wildflowers.

What first drew you to the outdoors?


What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?

Hometown.. That's a tough one. Hike around Bogus or 4 wheel up by Idaho City. The Hollow...the best beer! 

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?

A hat. Never ever leave home without it!

What’s your favorite trail snack?

Cliff gel cube gummies, black cherry. They are like crack! Is that ok to say? -it's okay to say

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?

Are you kidding.. 80s hair bands all the way! Isn't that what everyone jams to?  

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest? 

The funniest may involve something excessively embarrassing, like an underwear mishap, so let's go with scariest. Lightning, really really close lightning at barely tree level. This is not what caused the underwear mishap.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?

My daughter. I'm a single mom, just us her whole life. Instead of letting it hold me back I took advantage of it. Built in travel partner (grudgingly at times) Taught her to camp, hike, play with camp fires, climb, navigate, and be self sufficient... (And love football~ you're welcome future men who date her) She climbed her first 12k mountains at age 14 because she didn't want me to be alone and we laughed the whole way, even when it hurt. We adventured almost every weekend until she left me for college. Her love for life is what inspires me. 

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?

Trekking the Peruvian Andes was incredible. For weekend trips I waterfall hunt in Oregon, and hang out in the local mountain ranges.

What's on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?

Not must do.. Am doing: climbing  Mt Rainer (July) Iceland/Greenland (August) climbing Mt. Whitney (September). Next year Antarctic. 

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!

It's a photo of my daughter at the saddle of her first 12er, taking in a view she had never experienced before. She looked over and said "I want to do them all" (All 9 Idaho 12k peaks).

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?

It's only Pain!

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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