By Stephanie Farrell
Stephanie Farrell’s previous career in mechanical engineering has given her a solid platform in spatial reasoning and technical know-how. Working at IBM in product manufacturing and later in technical sales at General Electric, Stephanie felt fulfilled but was never entirely passionate about the products she was designing and selling. So in 2013 she jumped ship and dove into the Master of Architecture program at UW, eager to follow her original dream of becoming an architect.
March 11th, 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, forcing us all to hunker down at home. In spite of this, WTers still found impressive ways to connect. In-person meetings, walks to coffee, and kitchen chats have been replaced with digital tools like Zoom, WebEx, Teams, and perhaps primarily with Slack—a word that was barely on our radar a year ago has joined Google, Text, and Tweet as a new noun-verb in our lexicon. Slack is a texting platform that allows users to create specific channels for each project team or well…pretty much anything. Weber Thompson’s legendary spirit for fun and life-work balance soon translated to Slack, and project team channels were joined by extracurricular channels like #wt-writing-circle, #wt-ski, #food, and my personal favorite, #hiking.
The WT #Hiking Slack Channel is my fave not only because it is an amazing resource for epic outdoorsy adventure ideas, but because it speaks to our resilience in the face of the pandemic.
Like the Whos in Whoville, WT-ers overcame pandemic gloom finding joy, connection, and beauty by safely venturing out into nature, and then sharing those great experiences with each other for fun and inspiration. I planned to show the three most impressive hikes here, but in less than two months, twelve spectacular adventures throughout our beautiful state have been posted and it was impossible to choose. Instead, all twelve are plotted on the map below with links for more information on each and every one. The map shows that you don’t have to travel far from the city to reach these fun escapes, and the wide variety of hikes offer something for everyone: hikes for all seasons and skill levels, hikes with pets, hikes with kids, hikes with mountains, hikes with lakes, and hikes with berries. The #hiking group members have even shared some great tips on what to avoid, which is often the most important info to know!
So do yourself a favor and download our hiking guide to find gorgeous photos, helpful tips, and directions to the trailheads. I am confident they will inspire you to turn off Netflix, grab your mask and your partner/pets/kids, and head for the hills.