I was browsing the facebook world the other day and happened to come across this post.
I immediately reached out to Sara. I shared my story about Two Little Feet. I knew I wanted to get her story out!
I asked Sara to send me “Her Mission!”
Here’s a little mini bio on Sara!
I grew up back East, in New England, and had never heard of wildland fire until some NOLS student who picked me up hitchhiking in NV told me about it. Incidentally, I thought it sounded terrible. In 1998, I joined a volunteer dept in rural VT, and in 2000 joined a brush disposal crew and Type 2 handcrew on the Manchester Ranger District in Manchester, VT. I got my first taste of western wildfire, and was instantly addicted.
In 2002, I was hired by the Midewin Hotshots for their first full operational season; that winter I applied for several hotshot crews, but was accepted by the Wenatchee Valley Rappellers for my rookie season in 2003. After three seasons as an aerially-delivered firefighter, I returned to hotshotting as a senior firefighter with the Rogue River Hotshots in 2006, then transferred to the Baker River Hotshots in 2007. I accepted a squad boss position there in 2008.
In 2012, after over a decade in Region 6, I detailed as the Assistant Superintendent for the Craig Hotshots in NW Colorado. I accepted the position proper at the end of the 2012 season, and worked for the BLM until I returned to the Forest Service in October 2014, when I accepted my current position as the Assistant Superintendent for the Bitterroot Hotshots based in Darby, MT. I continue to learn and grow, and have found more joy in my career than ever as I help to mentor the new generation coming in today’s fire service.
I currently own a home in tiny Winthrop, WA, on the eastern side of the North Cascades. In my “off” time, I catch up on quality time with my patient boyfriend, patrol the Nordic ski trails and explore my local hills by snowshoeing, snowbiking, ski touring, and of course running. I read constantly, bake a lot of yummy stuff, and rediscover my crockpot…I also keep busy by finally visiting friends and family, blowing glass, trying to learn Russian…and ceaselessly annoying my two tiger-striped cats.
I asked for the best way to donate for her.
I do have a FB page at https://www.facebook.com/give5at2/ of course people can go there to donate. If they go to the Foundation page at wfffoundation.org, they can donate there at any time, and tag it with “Give $5 At 2”. The easiest way, I think, is the text link; they just text SKNAPP to 71777. It will text them a mobile cause link to finish their donation. That will be tagged as coming to my campaign.
I wanted to know her “why?” besides the obvious of being in wildfire herself.
As far as the why, I think that’s a little more complicated. I was never a “runner” in school; really, wasn’t even that athletic as a kid. In 1997, I through-hiked the Appalachian Trail from GA to ME, and when I got back I discovered suddenly that I could run, and it didn’t hurt. I also discovered that it was almost a sort of meditation, a way to be alone with whatever issues I happened to be wrestling with. As an added bonus, it was portable: it was something I could do anywhere with just a pair of sneakers. This fit right in with my itinerant lifestyle.
In the last 20 years since I made that accidental discovery, I have worn out dozens of pairs of shoes and run thousands of miles, through city blocks and over rutted dirt roads, along winding trails and in deserts and forests and on three different continents. It has become the great equalizer in all phases of my life, and at different points along the way has served as escape, release, conditioning, catharsis…and just plain brute punishment. I have run to remember, and I have run to forget. I have run through joy, excitement, fear, anger and bitterness…sometimes all in the same day.
In the fall of 2015 after the fire season wound down, I needed a new challenge. As I trotted through the foothills of the Bitterroots, I realized that for all the miles I had put in, I had never done a race (maybe a 5k, once, ages ago…). I was staring down the barrel of my 40th birthday in the coming February, so I decided I wanted to run 40 miles for my 40th.
After a lot of research, I couldn’t find a race to fit the distance, so I settled on the Antelope Canyon 55k, which comes out to about 34 miles. I spent all of that winter training and figuring out fueling, aid stations, logistics, etc, and in late February, completed the race on a beautiful Arizona day.
I was hooked.
This year, I have set myself to a new task: the Zion 100k, sponsored and run by the Grand Circle Trail Series. You can find their race website here http://www.grandcircletrails.com/. They do an excellent job of managing beautiful, zero-waste events in gorgeous places.
This race is twice the distance, and has more elevation gain and loss than Antelope Canyon. I am excited and nervous, and perhaps in part to channel some of that excess energy, I decided to turn it to fundraising for the Foundation, a cause that is near to my heart.
I have spent nearly two decades in the fire service working for the federal government, and over the course of my career I have witnessed the incredible work that the Foundation performs on an (unfortunately) regular basis. (Unfortunately only because when their services are needed, it usually means someone I know has been injured or killed.) I have seen families genuinely cared for in the midst of their greatest tragedies; the awesome folks at the Foundation step up and do whatever is needed.
So, Two Little Feet nation can we help a gal out?! Go now! Share now! Donate NOW! I can’t wait to see Sara soar on the trails. You better believe I’ll be at the finish line waiting to meet her…the race is down by Zion!
Thanks for all the continued support for me and Sara!