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Explorer Spotlight: Mikaela Tangeman

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Name: Mikaela Tangeman | Age: 25 | Location: Seattle, Washington

What’s your day job?
I work as a full time Orthodontic Assistant in two different locations.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Hiking, hiking and more hiking.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
An old co-worker would show up to work with mind blowing photographs of her hikes on the weekend. I finally decided to jump on the trail and join her one weekend, which was one of the most memorable hikes to this day.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
Favorite hometown adventure, oh that’s a tricky one! Maple Pass Loop trailhead has always been one of my all time favorites with the scenery changing dramatically every season. On the way home you can take a pit stop by Diablo Lake which is breath taking. There aren’t many great spots to stop for a beer BUT Eatery Drive-In (famed for its cinnamon rolls and fruit milkshakes) is a must stop after any hike in the North Cascades!

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
My North Face shell never gets left at home, living in Seattle you never know when mother nature will throw you a rain shower.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
My favorite trail snack is apple sauce, homemade energy bars, fresh smoked salmon jerky from the local market and a cold Rainier beer for the top.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
I listen to just about every soundtrack there is. It is really mood inspired. My go to artists would be Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles. I am a sucker for oldies. For my early mornings I find myself listening to Bon Iver, Mumford and Sons, and The Black Keys.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
Scariest thing that’s ever happened to me while adventuring would be falling hip deep into a frozen lake. Terrifying moment. I advise any hiker to never step foot on a frozen lake, the 3 mile hike down in wet gear was brutal.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My number one adventure partner in crime would be my close friend Michelle, she moved to Hawaii years ago for school and is only able to visit back in the PNW so often. Whenever she is back in the States our weekends, nights and mornings consist of adventuring. We inspire each other to stay active and explore new places.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
I have aspirations to make it to New Zealand at some point. There is something so intriguing about the landscape there.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
My must do adventure right now is climbing Mount Rainier. It’s going to happen.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
One hike that just recently became one of my favorites was my sunrise hike to Spray Park. Mount Rainier is known for not only its majestic looks but also for it’s hidden beauties that you can find all along it’s National Park. One of the beauties that MRNP is known for is it’s unbelievable wildflower display in the summer. Spray Park takes the cake on the best wildflower display in the entire park. Spray Park is covered in lilies, indian paintbrush and pink heather flowers for miles. If you look to the right of you while hiking through the park there is a breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier the entire way and I mean, it is in your face making it able to see all the glacier. This hike easily makes for one of my favorites. The most memorable part about my hike was camping at the Mowich Lake Campground where the trailhead starts and setting my alarm for 2:15 am to hit the trail to catch a sunrise. After my 3 mile hike to through the dark heavily wooded trail, it opens up into the park where the sky was pink and the bright colors of the thousands of flowers came alive. It was breathtaking being the only one in the entire park, feeling like the mountain was completely mine at 6,400 ft. I highly suggest that everyone makes it to see this display of wildflowers.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.

Discover all of Mikaela's amazing adventures here.

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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